January 15, 2012

Women's Nordic Finishes First at Hilltop Invitational

Junior Monica Markvardsen
Junior Monica Markvardsen

COLERAINE, Minn. – The Northern Michigan men’s and women’s Nordic teams posted impressive finishes at the Central Collegiate Ski Association Classic Sprint Individual Championships on Sunday (Jan. 15) at the Hilltop Invitational.

In the women’s 1.5k classic sprints, junior Monica Markvardsen came home in second place for the Wildcats in both the A-Final race and the overall standings. Junior Rosie Frankowski was the next NMU skier to finish, placing sixth in both the A-Final and the overall standings. Junior Libby Ellis rounded out the top ten for the ‘Cats and crossed the finish line in fourth place of the B-Final. Marit Rjabov of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks won the individual championship.

“I’m pretty pleased with the showing we had this weekend,” said head coach Sten Fjeldheim. “We had a solid showing considering we’re not typically use to the classic sprint races as they’re not part of the NCAA format.”

The ‘Cats won the event with 143 points, one better than UAF. Michigan Tech finished in third place with 129 points.

In the men’s 1.5k classic sprints, the ‘Cats placed four skiers inside the top ten. Senior Kevin Cutts finished in sixth place overall thanks to a sixth place finish in the A-Final. Freshman Kjell-Christian Markset finished an impressive weekend by winning the B-Final and finishing in seventh place overall. Junior Chris Bowler came home in eighth place in both the B-Final and in the overall standings and sophomore Ben Hagus came home in fourth place in the B-Final, good for 10th place overall. Erik Soederstrom from UAF won the event.

The men’s team finished the weekend in second place with 137 points. UAF won the invitational with 144 points and host St. Scholastica was third with 116 points.

“This weekend was a good warm-up for next weekend at the Super Tour with four more NCAA qualifying weekends,” said Fjeldheim.

Both teams will next compete in the Central Grand Prix Super Tour on (Jan. 21-22) in Minneapolis, Minn.

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Prepared By
Joe Buczek
Sports Information
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