Skiers define perfection


Tyler Young

The Northern Michigan University Men’s and Women’s Nordic Skiing teams captured both team titles over the weekend, putting up perfect scores at the Ishpeming NCAA Regionals. Each of the four races took place at the Al Quaal Recreation Area on Saturday and Sunday.

The Wildcats took the top three scoring positions in all four races to register perfect scores in both the men’s and women’s competitions. The women’s 222 points topped five other NCAA teams in the field. The NMU women defeated runners-up Michigan Technological University by 65 points. The men also scored a perfect 222 points on the weekend. Their total beat the field by 50 points, with MTU again finishing second.

Senior Kristen Bourne turned in a top-five performance as the fastest Wildcat women’s skier in Saturday’s 15-kilometer freestyle race. Her time of 44:36.90 was the fourth-fastest overall, but she was the top NCAA skier.

Junior Ian Torchia was the top Wildcat in the men’s 20-kilometer freestyle race. His time of 50:11.60 was fewer than 10 seconds off the top time and made him the best Wildcat skier in the race.

Bourne was the second fastest Wildcat on Sunday, earning a seventh-place finish in the classic race. Not far behind her was sophomore Anikken Gjerde-Alnaes, who finished ninth. Bourne crossed the finish line in 15:52.40, while Gjerde-Alnaes finished with a time of 15:59.20.
Sophomore Zak Ketterson finished the men’s 10-kilometer classic race on Sunday as the fastest Wildcat skier. Ketterson finished in eighth place with a time of 25:25.30. Torchia rounded out the top ten individual finishers on Sunday with his time of 25:45.00.

The races in Ishpeming concluded the regular season for the NMU ski teams. The Wildcats now get a break before finishing their 2017-18 season at the NCAA Championships March 8 and 10 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.