Two Team Titles and Three Individual Crowns for NMU at CCSA Championships

Two Team Titles and Three Individual Crowns for NMU at CCSA Championships

RHINELANDER, Wis.—Northern Michigan University Nordic Skiing captured both the men's and women's team titles over the weekend at the Central Collegiate Ski Association Championships. The Wildcats also captured three of the four combined individual titles between Saturday and Sunday.

The women captured the team title with a perfect score of 222 points. The Wildcats swept the top-three scoring spots both days to defeat the field of six teams by 72 points. The men also took the team title, finishing just shy of a perfect score with 213 points. The Wildcats handily took the top spot by a 36-point margin.

In Saturday's five-kilometer classic style women's race, the Wildcats swept the top-five places with seven NMU skiers earning top-10 finishes. Senior Vivian Hett (Burnsville, Minnesota) took the top overall spot with a time of 15 minutes, 49.20 seconds. She defeated the field by more than 30 seconds in the victory.

Senior Kristen Bourne (Lake Elmo, Minnesota) and junior Nicole Schneider (Plymouthm Minnesota) completed the scoring sweep finishing second and third, respectively. Bourne crossed the finish line in 16:29.40, while Schneider finished with a time of 16:30.60.

Rounding out the top-five were sophomore Anikken Gjerde-Alnaes (Frogner/Akershus, Norway) and freshman Julie Ensrud (Saltnes, Norway). Gjerde-Alnaes finished with a time of 16:39.50 in fourth with Ensrud behind her in fifth with a time of 17:02.10.

Junior Sarah Bezdicek (Osseo, Minnesota) and junior Sophie McDonald (Park City, Utah) also earned top-10 finishes in seventh and eighth, respectively.

In Saturday's 10-kilometer classic style men's race, the NMU men's skiers also swept the top-three positions led by junior Ian Torchia (Rochester, Minnesota). Torchia earned the victory by more than 45 seconds with at time of 27:28.90.

Junior Leo Hipp (Forest Lake, Minnesota) was runner-up with his time of 28:14.70. Not far behind, Sophomore Mathias Aas-Rolid (Redalen, Norway) took the final scoring position for the Wildcats with a third-place finish. Aas-Rolid crossed the finish line with a time of 28:21.40. Also finishing in the top-10 was freshman Xavier Mansfield (Minneapolis, Minnesota) who placed ninth overall.

Schneider took the top spot in Sunday's 15-kilometer freestyle race with the Wildcats sweeping the top-six spots overall. Her time of 44:59.80 was two seconds better than Hett who was runner-up in the race.

Ensrud was the final NMU scorer, placing third with a time of 45:08.40. The sweep of the top-three gave the Wildcats a perfect combined score for the weekend championships. Bourne and Gjerde-Alnaes rounded out the top-five finishers with times of 45:16.60 and 45:23.10, respectively.

Two more NMU skiers also placed in the top-10 with McDonald finishing in sixth and freshman Erin Moening (St. Paul, Minnesota) crossing the finish line in ninth.

Four Wildcats finished in the top-10 of Sunday's 20-kilometer men's freestyle race, led by Freshman Kjetil Baanerud (Oslo, Norway) who finished second in the field of nearly 40 skiers. Baannerud finished in 50:27.30, less than two seconds off the top time. 

Sophomore Lars Soensterud (Oslo, Norway) and Torchia finished third and fourth to round out the NMU scorers. Soensterud crossed the finish line less than a second behind Baanerud in 50:27.70, while Torchia finished with a time of 50:28.40. Hipp was the final Wildcats to earn a top-10 finish, placing eighth with a time of 52:17.10.

Next up for NMU will be the Ishpeming SuperTour and NCAA Regional at the Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ispeming, Michigan. Classic races will take place on Saturday with freestyle races to follow on Sunday. Following that, the season will conclude at the NCAA Championships March 8 and 10 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.