Men and Women Take Team Crowns in Houghton

Men and Women Take Team Crowns in Houghton

HOUGHTON, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Nordic Skiing took the top team spots over the weekend at the MTU CCSA Races hosted by Michigan Technological University.

The Wildcats took the women's crown with 222 combined points over the weekend, sweeping the top three scoring spots on both days. The men narrowly defeated MTU by a margin of six points, scoring 201, to take the top spot as a team.

Senior Vivian Hett (Burnsville, Minnesota) lead the Wildcats in Saturday's five-kilometer classic race, defeating the field by nearly 20 seconds to take the top spot. She finished in 17 minutes, 4.3 seconds. Senior Kristen Bourne (Lake Elmo, Minnesota) and sophomore Anikken Gjerde Alnaes (Frogner/Akershus, Norway) rounded out the top-three finishers with times of 17:23.90 and 17:53.70, respectively.

Also earning a top-five finish was junior Sarah Bezdicek (Osseo, Minnesota) who finished fourth. Bezdicek finished the 5K in 18:11.50. Freshman Julie Ensrud (Saltnes, Norway) and junior Sophie McDonald (Park City, Utah) turned in top-10 finishes, placing sixth and ninth, respectively. Ensrud finished with a time of 18:14.10, while McDonald crossed the finish line in 18:43.60. 

Freshman Kjetil Baanerud (Oslo, Norway) was the top NCAA finisher in the men's 10-kilometer classic race placing second overall with a time of 30:28.70. He defeated teammate sophomore Lars Soensterud (Oslo, Norway) who finished third overall in 30:47.80.

Junior Leo Hipp (Forest Lake, Minnesota) rounded out the top-five overall finishers crossing the finish line in 30:55.80. Sophomore Mathias Aas-Rolid (Redalen, Norway) crossed the finish line about 10 seconds later in seventh-place, while freshman Daniel Streinz (Hersey, Maine) finished in 31:52.20 to place 10th.

Sweeping the top-three spots again on Sunday, Hett won the 15-kilometer freestyle race with a time of 54:44.30. Bezdicek and Bourne rounded out the top-three with times of 54:45.10 and 54.50.00, respectively.

Ensrud was not for behind in fifth with a time of 55:17.60. Three more Wildcats placed in the top-10 with Gjerde Alnaes and McDonald crossing the finish line in seventh and eighth, while freshman Erin Moening (St. Paul, Minnesota) rounded out the top-10 skiers.

Banerud led the Wildcats again in Sunday's 20-kilometer freestyle event as the third overall finisher. His time of 59:43.40 was less than 14 seconds behind the top-NCAA skier in the race. Soensterud and Hipp also placed in the top-10 for NMU, finishing sixth and eighth with time of 1:00.10.10 and 1:00:46.40. Freshman Xavier Mansfield (Minneapolis, Minnesota) just missed on a top-10 performance, finishing 11th.

The CCSA Championships will be held next weekend in Rheinlander, Wisconsin. Classic events will be held on Saturday, with freestyle events set for Sunday.