IRONWOOD, Mich. – The Northern Michigan men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams completed a successful weekend at the Central USSA Opener/Wolverine Ski Challenge in Ironwood on Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 10-11).
“It’s a really good start to the season,” said head coach Sten Fjedheim. “There wasn’t much snow so the course was challenging but our team is well trained and handled it well.”
On Saturday, the men’s squad had seven skiers place inside the top 14 in the men’s 10k freestyle race. Freshman Kjell-Christian Marksett (0:23:33.4), sophomore Erik Soderman (0:23:34.7) and sophomore George Cartwright (0:23:39.7) finished third, fourth and fifth respectively for the Wildcats. Senior Kevin Cutts (0:24:40.9), junior Chris Bowler (0:24:40.9), sophomore Ben Hugus (0:24:43.1) and freshman Kyle Bratrud (0:24:43.5) rounded out the event for NMU crossing the line in 11th-14th place respectively.
In the women’s 5k freestyle race, the ‘Cats placed six skiers inside the top 15. Junior Monica Markvardsen was the first NMU skier to cross the line, coming in third place with a time of (0:13:55.7). Junior Marie Helen Soderman was next for the ‘Cats finishing in fourth place with a time of (0:13:58.3). Sophomore Molly Burger finished in sixth place (0:14:10.4). Rounding out the field for NMU was junior Libby Ellis (eighth place), junior Rosie Frankowski (ninth), sophomore Jordyn Ross (15th), freshman Felicia Gesior (27th) and freshman Ingrid Saupstad (44th).
On Sunday, the men’s and women’s teams competed in the 10k classic to conclude the weekend. The men’s team had seven skiers finish inside the top 20, with Marsket (0:26:02.8), Soderman (0:26:08.7) and Bratrud (0:26:38.7) finishing third, fourth and fifth respectively. Also finishing for the ‘Cats were Bowler (ninth), Hugus (10th), Cartwright (12th) and Cutts (20th).
On the women’s side, Markvardsen (0:31:12.9)and Soderman (0:31:21.9)crossed the line in first and second respectively in the classic race. Burger, Ross and Frankowski were next to finish for NMU, coming in seventh, eighth and ninth place respectively. Other finishes for the ‘Cats were Saupstad (13th), Ellis (14th) and Gesior (16th)
No team score was kept during the event.
NMU has the remainder of the month off from competition before competing in the U.S. National Championships in Rumford, Maine. The four day event will take place Jan.1-7.
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