MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s and women’s Nordic skiing teams recently started the 2012-13 season. The Wildcats look to repeat its success from a season ago, as it had an individual National Champion, three All-Americans and swept the NCAA Central Regional Championship in 2011-12.
NMU is under the reigns of veteran coach Sten Fjeldheim, who is entering his 24th year of coaching. Fjeldheim was named the region’s coach of the year for both men’s and women’s last year.
The women’s team, who won the Central Collegiate Ski Association title in 2011-12, is anchored by senior Monica Markvardsen who was the CCSA top athlete and first team selection. Junior Rosie Frankowski was also a first team selection and junior Molly Burger was selected to the second team. Also returning are juniors Jordyn Ross and Karmen Whitham and sophomore Felicia Gesior. Newcomers include Hannay Boyer, Mary Kate Cirelli, Megan Edic, Malin Eriksson and Elizabeth Simak.
The ‘Cats look to fill the loss of Marie Helen Soderman who was an All-American in the 5k freestyle and the region’s most outstanding athlete.
The men’s team enters the season after winning the NCAA Central Regional, finishing second at the CCSA Championship and 11th at the NCAA Championships.
NMU is once again led by junior Erik Soderman who was the individual National Champion in the 10-kilometer freestyle, winning by over 25 seconds. He was also a CCSA first team choice and swept the regional races.
Also returning for the Green and Gold is senior Chris Bowler who was named to the CCSA second team in 2011-12. Juniors George Cartwright and Ben Hugus along with sophomores Kyle Bratrud also bring a wealth of experience to the trails. Sam Elfstrom is the lone freshman on the men’s squad.
NMU will travel to Ironwood, Mich. this weekend (Dec. 8-9) to participate in the Central USSA Opener, and will close out the year at the Michigan Tech Opener in Houghton, Mich. on Dec. 15-16.
The New Year will begin at the U.S. Nationals (Jan. 2, 4 and 6) in Midway, Utah. The ‘Cats will spend two straight weekends in Minnesota, first at the Super Tour (Jan. 19-20) in St. Paul and then the St. Scholastica (Jan. 26-27) in Duluth.
NMU kicks off February by hosting the CCSA Championship at Al Quaal in Ishpeming, Mich. (Feb. 2-3). NMU will travel back to Minnesota on Feb. 16-17 to participate in the Gustavus Adolphus Invite. On Feb. 23-23 the NCAA Regional will be held in Houghton, Mich. The season will close out with the NCAA Championship in Middlebury, Vt. (Mar. 6-9).
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