MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Northern Michigan men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams pieced together two days of strong performances to capture its first overall team title of the season at the Mayor’s Invitational (Jan. 21-22).
“It was awesome for us to be able to compete against some of the top nationally ranked skiers,” head coach Sten Fjeldheim said. “It was a top notch event all around.”
The women’s team opened the day up for NMU at Theodore Wirth Park with the 10k freestyle. NMU placed four skiers inside the top 20. Junior Monica Markvardsen once again paced the Wildcats finishing in sixth place with a time of 23:42.7. Markvardsen was the first skier representing a Central Collegiate Ski Association school to cross the finish line and capped off another solid weekend after placing fifth in yesterday’s 5k classic.
Sophomore Molly Burger was the next ‘Cat to cross the finish line, coming home in 11th place with a time of 24:19.9. Sophomore Jordyn Ross and Junior Libby Ellis finished back-to-back to round out the top 20, finishing with times of 24:52.6 and 24:53.4 respectively.
“We had some real standout races over the weekend,” Fjeldheim said. “Junior Rosie Frankowski had two strong races this weekend after struggling in this event the last two years.”
The ‘Cats finished first as a team in the freestyle event with 73 total points and finished in a tie for the women’s title with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks with 145 points.
In the men’s 15k freestyle, sophomore Erik Soderman was the first NMU skier to cross the finish line, coming home in sixth place with a time of 34:04.9. Like Markvardsen on the women’s side, Soderman was the first skier representing a CCSA school to finish the race. Freshman Kjell-Christian Markset finished in 15th place with a time of 35:02.1.
“It really shows the depth of this team to be able to win despite some of skiers not being able to compete due to illness,” Fjeldheim said.
The ‘Cats complete the Central Grand Prix Super Tour portion of their schedule next weekend traveling to St. Paul, Minn.
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