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Central Collegiate Ski Association Gets Director

Sat, Dec  23, 2006 - By Matias Saari, CCSA

Matias Saari, an Upper Michigan native who has lived in Alaska the past decade, began duties this month as the first sports information director for the Central Collegiate Ski Association.

Saari’s CCSA responsibilities include writing about the conference’s major races, including the U.S. Senior Nationals, SuperTour NCAA-qualifier events in Minnesota and Wisconsin, the CCSA Championships in Marquette, Mich., and the NCAA Championships in Jackson, N.H.

Saari will attend the U.S. Nationals Jan. 3-7 in Houghton, Mich.

A sports writer at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Saari’s responsibilities include covering university and high school Nordic skiing. Though he grew up alpine skiing in Marquette, Mich., (just a stone’s throw from Northern Michigan University coach Sten Fjeldheim), Saari, 36, embraced Nordic skiing upon moving to Fairbanks in 1998, and now races in several ski marathons each year.

A longtime freelance writer, Saari was the Nordic sports researcher for TNT Sports at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway and also covered the 2003 Junior Cross Country Skiing Nationals in Fairbanks.

The 12-school CCSA, which comprises the NCAA’s Central Region, consists of Northern Michigan University, Michigan Tech University, Finlandia University, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Northland College, the Alaska Nanooks from Fairbanks and six Minnesota schools: Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Cloud State University, St. Olaf College, College of Saint Benedict, College of Saint Scholastica, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.

Saari can be reached at matiasalaska@hotmail.com.