Wildcats Nordic Skiing Wins NCAA Central Region Championship

ISHPEMING, Mich. — The Northern Michigan Nordic skiing teams dominated the competition at the NCAA Central Region Championships, winning the men’s, women’s and overall titles.

Adam Martin and Nicole Schneider combined to sweep the collegiate individual crowns. Martin won the 20K freestyle (55:41.6) and the 10K classic (25:33.5) while Schneider was the first collegian to cross the line in the 15K freestyle (44:59.8) and 5K classic (15:49.8).

Kristen Bourne and Vivian Hett joined Schneider on the collegiate podium in both women’s races. Bourne took second in the 15K freestyle (45:19.8) and third in the 5K classic (16:28.1) while Hett finished second in the 5K classic (15:54.3) and third in the 15K freestyle (45:24.3).

On the men’s side, Fredrik Schwencke cracked the collegiate field’s top three in the 20K freestyle (2nd, 57:19.2) and the 10K classic (3rd, 26:40.3). Zak Ketterson was the fourth collegian to finish in both races, timing in at 58:19.9 and 27:05.0 respectively.

Caroline Brisbois (4th, 45:30.4) and Sarah Bezdicek (10th, 47:45.4) placed in the 15K freestyle’s collegiate top 10. Brisbois (5th, 16:34.1), Sophie McDonald (6th, 16:56.7) and Anikken Gjerde-Alnaes (10th, 17:14.2) made the 5K classic’s collegiate top 10.

Lars Sonsterud (5th, 27:06.5) and Sam Elfstrom (8th, 27:46.5) placed in the 10K classic’s collegiate top 10. Elfstrom also took seventh in the 20K freestyle (59:04.2).

The NCAA Central Region Championships were held Friday through Sunday at the Al Quaal Recreation Area in conjunction with the National Ski Hall of Fame SuperTour, the first national Nordic skiing race to take place in Marquette County. Acclaimed programs, including the Sun Valley SEF Gold Team, Stratton Mountain School T2 Team, Craftsbury Green Racing and Alaska Pacific University, were in attendance.

In the overall standings, Martin finished second in both the 20K freestyle and 10K classic. Schneider was second in the 15K freestyle and 11th in the 5K classic.

Northern Michigan will next send a full men’s and women’s team to the NCAA National Championships, slated for March 6-11 in Jackson, N.H.