Nordic ski teams takes gold and look forward

Trevor Drew

Both the men and women’s nordic ski teams took first place at the CCSA Championships in St. Paul, Minn. this weekend with the men’s team claiming 172 points and the women scoring 170 and many Wildcats making it to the podium.

After the first day of racing on Saturday, the Wildcats took an early lead that would set the tone for the rest of the competition.

For the men’s team, junior Adam Martin  took first in the 15K mass start with a time of 36:56.4 followed by fellow Wildcat sophomore Ian Torchia who clocked in at 36:59.1.

The women’s team dominated the podium with sophomore Vivian Hett and freshman Nicole Schneider tying for first after both finishing the 10K mass start in 26:02.7. Senior Felicia Gesior followed in  third with a time of 26:14.6.

On Sunday, the team accentuated their first place position with numerous Wildcats scoring high in the freestyle portion of the competition.

Another sweep for the Wildcats during the men’s 10K freestyle came as Torchia led the pack and finished in first with the time of 20:11.8. Martin returned to the podium taking second (20:39.8), followed by graduate student Jake Brown taking third (20:40.6).

On the women’s side, Gesior and freshman Sarah Bezdicek took second (15:00.3) and third (15:03.2) in the 5K freestyle.

With this victory under their belt, the Wildcats turn their attention to preparing for the NCAA Central Regionals despite missing eight team members who will compete in the U23 and the Junior National Championships in Romania. Head Coach Sten Fjeldheim believes that their victory helps both the athletes going to Europe and those who will be staying to compete in the NCAA Central Regionals.

“I think it gave us some confidence,” Fjeldheim said. “It was good training for them to get ready for the world championships.”

Although a handful of skiers will be absent during regionals, the team remains optimistic and is excited to represent NMU in their upcoming competitions.

“Certainly our team won’t be quite as strong at regionals,” Martin said. “I think Sten is willing to let us go to [Romania], because he knows it will get us really fired up about skiing and help the team in the long run.”

The nordic ski team will return to the track Feb. 20-21 when they host the NCAA Central Regional Championships in Ishpeming, Mich.

Some members of the of the team will be traveling to Romania to represent the United States in the U23 and the Junior National Championships Feb. 18 to 29.