Courtesy of NMU Athletics
COLERAINE, Minn. – Entering the final day of competition on Sunday (Feb. 17) at the CCSA Championships, the Northern Michigan University men’s and women’s Nordic skiing teams had a comfortable first place lead. At the conclusion of the day, NMU kept its lead and walked away with the title.
For the second straight day, junior Erik Soderman earned the men’s top spot, this time in the 20-kilometer freestyle race. Soderman finished with a time of 55:25.1. Just like Saturday, sophomore Kyle Bratrud placed just behind Soderman with a time of 55:26.2, good for second.
“Everyone’s really happy to have won,” NMU head coach Sten Fjeldheim said. “It was an interesting format this year, having the sprints and the relays involved. I think our team has really been firing on all cylinders this weekend though, and we are happy with how things turned out.”
Also finishing for Northern was junior George Cartwright in fifth, and rounding out the top 10 was senior Chris Bowler with a ninth place finish.
On the women’s side in the 15-kilometer freestyle, junior Rose Frankowski was the top finisher for NMU in second place. Frankowski finished with a time of 48:28.3, just seconds behind the University of Alaska’s Aly McPhetres. The two battled for the entire race, but McPhetres pulled ahead in the end.
“Aly is really an excellent downhill skier – I was impressed with her downhill ability,” Fjeldheim said. “Every time Rosie would try and pull away, [McPhetres] would close that gap on the downhill.”
Rounding out the women finishers for NMU was junior Jordyn Ross in fourth place, and freshman Mary Kate Cirelli in seventh.
With today’s results, Northern captured the men’s title with 303 points, and the women finished with 292.
Overall, the Wildcats finished with 595 total points, with the University of Alaska finishing second at 514 points. Michigan Technological University took third with its 454 points, just beating out St. Scholastica by a single point.
NMU will travel to Houghton next weekend (Feb. 23-24) for the NCAA Regional Tournament.