MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s Nordic ski team finished the 2010-11 season at the NCAA Championships in Stowe, VT. The Wildcats had another great year as they won five of the seven events where team scores were kept this season.
Andy Liebner earned All-America status at Nationals and NMU won the Central Collegiate Athletic Conference championship. Liebner, Martin Banderud and Erik Soderman were named CCSA First Team All-Conference. Chris Bowler was named to the Second Team.
Liebner finished eight in the 20k classic and ninth in the 10k freestyle at the NCAA Championship (March 10 and 12) in Vermont. Banerud and Soderman also qualified for nationals. Banerud finished 33rd in both races and Soderman was 19th in the freestyle and 39th in the classic.
At the season opening meet at Michigan Tech (Dec. 4-5), Bowler won the men’s 10K classic with a time of while Kevin Cutts finished in third place and Soderman finished 10th. Banerud was the top finisher in the men’s college 10K while Liebner wasn’t far behind in second-place. Cutts was fifth, Soderman was sixth and Chris Bowler was seventh.
Liebner had two second-place finishes at the U.S.S.A. Opener in Ironwood, Mich. (Dec. 11-12). Soderman was third in the freestyle and fourth in the classic while Bowler was fifth classic and 12th in the freestyle while Cutts was eighth in the classic and 11th in the freestyle.
The Wildcats placed three skiers in the top 50 in the men’s 15k classic race at the U.S. Nationals in Rumford, Maine (Jan. 2-8). Baanerud was the first ‘Cat across the line in 22nd place with a time of 45:50.8. Liebner was 31st (46:10.4) and Soderman was 34th (46:22.8). Bowler finished 59th (47:46.1)
NMU won the first SuperTour event of the season in Minneapolis, Minn. (Jan. 22-23). The ‘Cats dominated the field in the 10k freestyle race, winning by 10 points. NMU had three top 15 finishers led by Liebner and Banerud. Liebner took 12th overall, with a 24:52.4, edging teammate Banerud (13th overall) by just 3.2 seconds. Soderman rounded out the top fifteen with a time of 25:20.0. In the men’s 15k classic, Banerud (8th overall, 39:43.9) and Liebner lead (9th overall, 39:54.0) lead all CCSA competitors on the afternoon. Soderman finished 13th with a time of, while Bowler (19th) and Cutts (20th) rounded out the top 20 on the day.
Banerud won the 10k classic and 15k freestyle at the SuperTour in Houghton (Jan. 29-30) as NMU was the top collegiate team with 78 points. Liebner and Soderman finished second and third in both races and Cutts was fifth in the freestyle and 13th in the classic. Bowler was fourth in the classic and 10th in the freestyle. Tom McFadden was 13th in the classic.
NMU took home the CCSA team title when the ‘Cats hosted the conference championship at Al Quaal (Feb. 12-13). Liebner won both the 20k classic race and 10k freestyle. Banerud was second in the classic and eighth in the freestyle. Soderman finished second in the freestyle and fourth in the classic. The green and gold had 86 points in the classic and 87 from the freestyle to win by 24 over Alaska-Fairbanks (173-149). Bowler was third in the freestyle and 12th in the classic. Cutts was 13th in the classic and 18th in the freestyle. McFadden was 34th in the freestyle and 37th in the classic.
At the NCAA Regional (Feb. 19) in Houghton, Banerud and Liebner finished first and second in both the 10k classic and 10k freestyle. Soderman was third in the freestyle and 12th in the classic. Bowler finished fourth in the classic and 11th in the freestyle. Cutts was sixth in the classic and eighth in the freestyle.
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