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The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Poe
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My name is Megan Poe and I’m an English (writing concentration) and Philosophy double major at Northern. My concurrent experience with being published in and interning for literary magazines has landed...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Sal WiertellaMarch 1, 2024

National champions on horizon for ski team

After earning five All-American awards at the NCAA National Championships over the weekend, the Nordic ski team gears up to conclude the season at the U.S. Distance National Championships March 26 through April 2.

“The team has come on really strong at the end of the season when our competitions matter the most,” senior Felicia Gesior said, “especially with the men’s performances at NCAA.”

The ‘Cats started hot out of the gates with sophomore Ian Torchia, junior Adam Martin and graduate student Jake Brown each earning All-American awards in the men’s 10K freestyle, which gave NMU first place in the

Torchia clocked in at 22:17.4 to finish as the NCAA runner-up. Martin took fourth with 22:35.2 and Brown ninth clocking in at 23:02.9.

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“Considering the races were at Altitude and our men had the best score of any Nordic [cross country ski team] at the championships, I would describe our men’s team performance as excellent,” head coach Sten Fjeldheim said. “Especially the first race, which was the 10K skate race, we were 19  points ahead of the next best team, Denver.”

The women’s team had three athletes place in the top 25 in the 5K freestyle. Gesior placed 16th with the time of 13:38.4. Sophomore Vivian Hett and junior Sophie Schimpl followed with Hett taking 21st (13:46.8) and Schimpl placing 24th (13:54.2). Their performance gained the team 32 points.

Lightning struck twice for the Wildcats during the men’s 20K classic with Torchia and Martin returning to the podium and each earning yet another All-American award, bringing the ‘Cats total to five. Torchia clocked in at 50:22.1 to take fourth. Martin followed, finishing in 50:39.7, placing fifth.

Torchia and Martin earned a combined total of 150, which was the best score by a Nordic men’s team at the National Championships.

Wildcats Hett, Gesior and Schimpl scored in the top 25 in the women’s 15K classic with  Hett taking 15th at 56:11.5, Gesior claiming 18th clocking in at 56:34.3 and Schimpl following in 25th place with the time 57:16.4.

As a combined team, Northern Michigan took eighth with 217 points despite unfamiliar weather conditions that made the snow soft and loosely packed. NMU was the only team participating in a single discipline to place in the top 10.

With the NCAA championships behind them, the ‘Cats traveled to Craftsbury, Vt. to take on the U.S. Long Distance National Championships.

Monday started off with Martin claiming a top-10 finish in the 15K freestyle. Martin crossed the finish line at 31:41.2, putting him at seventh and making him one of four collegiate athletes to finish in the top 15. Brown (17th, 32:31.7) and Torchia (21st, 32:40.9) followed in top-25 positions.

Gesior paced NMU, placing 23rd, clocking in at 27:29.4. She was the fifth collegiate skier to cross the line. Hett (33rd, 28:10.3) and Schimpl (38th, 28:26.5) rounded out the ‘Cats’ score.

With the ski team’s curtain call drawing closer, the team reflects on their accomplishments of the season. Some of these accomplishments include having three of the men’s skiers earning All-American awards at the NCAA championships, winning the College Cup and having seven Wildcats qualifying to represent the United States in the junior and U23 World Championships in Romania.

Gesior explained that another success of the season was overcoming unusually warm weather that led to their December competitions being cancelled and hindering their preparation before the Senior Nationals in January.

“We continued to train hard and overcame this barrier,” she said. “I do not think it slowed us down at all.”

His time with the team almost over, Brown plans to continue to train with the team and improve his skiing even after his time at NMU. Brown said he is very proud of the team and has high hopes for their future.

“I see the team only continuing to improve,” Brown said. “I don’t see any reason why they can’t do even better next year.”

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