Houghton, Mich. - Five top 10s for Central Collegiate Ski Association skiers against the best sprinters in America was an impressive feat Saturday for the conference at the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships.
Lindsey Weier of Northern Michigan University led the way in the 1-kilometer classic sprint by reaching the A Final on the Michigan Tech Trails, where she placed third behind winner Kikkan Randall and runnerup Laura Valaas. In the B final, Aurelia Korthauer of the Alaska Nanooks was second (and eighth overall) while NMU's Morgan Smyth placed ninth.
Other CCSA women who reached the quarterfinal round by placing among the top 30 in the qualifying round time time trial included Lindsay Williams of NMU, who wound up 14th but was disappointed not to reach the 12-skier semifinals after surprisingly finishing last in her quarterfinal heat; Paula Daabach of Alaska in 23rd; and Elizabeth Quinley of Michigan Tech in 29th.
The Alaska Nanooks placed four of their five male skiers in the quarterfinal heats. Bart Dengel outsprinted teammate Marius Korthauer in the B Final as the duo finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Dengel, who bounced back remarkably after placing 125th in Thursday's freestyle race, saw his bid to reach the A Final thwarted when he crashed while leading his semifinal race.
Also from the Nanooks, Estonians Vahur Teppan (13th) and Henri Soom (27th) made the quarterfinals. Teppan's world-class qualifying time was second among 201 racers and faster than a handful of Olympians in the field. Teppan then had a sizable lead in his quarterfinal but crashed on a tricky U-turn at the bottom of the course.
"It was a great day for the Nanooks," said coach Scott Jerome. "Except for Vahur's crash, I don't think we could have done much better."
Andy Newell won the spectator-friendly event, followed by three teammates from the U.S. Ski Team.