The Northern Michigan University men quietly stole the spotlight on Sunday from their school’s heralded women’s team.
While Maria Stuber of Northern Michigan University gained the podium by tying for third place in the women’s 10-kilometer freestyle race Sunday at Mount Itasca in Coleraine, Minn., it was the strength of NMU’s men’s team — which this season has taken a back seat to the Wildcats’ star-studded women’s squad — that propelled it to the top of the Central Collegiate Ski Association standings in the NorAm SuperTour event.
On the backs of sophomore Bill Bowler (14th overall, and second among CCSA skiers), Norwegian freshman Martin Banerud (19th and third CCSA) and sophomore Phil Violett (21st and fourth CCSA), the Wildcats overtook the Alaska Nanooks for conference’s top result, 354 points to 352. Michigan Tech University took third with 320.
The tally amounts to nothing more than bragging rights, with the true competition pending at the CCSA Championships Feb. 17-18 in Marquette, Mich. But with Saturday and Sunday’s races being the second set of four NCAA qualifiers, the Wildcats put themselves in better position to send a full complement of six skiers (three men and three women) to the NCAA Championships in March.
Stuber, a fifth-year senior from Waukesha, Wisc., was a medical redshirt last season due to getting mononucleosis. She skated four 2.5-kilometer loops of the Mount Itasca course in 26 minutes, 50.6 seconds, tying Kate Underwood of the Subaru Factory Team for third place overall. Caitlin Compton, a former NMU skier now with Midwest regional development Team CXC, won the event in 25:48.7.
Stuber’s tie, a rarity in interval-start races, was the second in as many days at Mount Itasca: in Saturday’s men’s 10K classic, Marius Korthauer and Vahur Teppan of the Alaska Nanooks also deadlocked for third.
The CCSA had a host of other top women’s results Sunday. The Nanooks placed four in the top 13, creating an intrasquad competition that means at least one will be left out for NCAAs. Alaska’s Aurelia Korthauer took fifth, followed by Anna Coulter (10th), Julia Coulter (12th) and Paula Daabach (13th). Also cracking the top 20 among 73 women were Kristina Owen of Michigan Tech (14th), Anna Bergland from NMU (15th), Kelly Ahern of NMU (17th), Christina Gillis of NMU (18th), Kelly Chaudoin from Gustavus Adolphus College (19th) and Linn Dale of St. Olaf College (20th).
NMU Olympians Lindsey Weier and Lindsay Williams missed the meet because they are in Italy preparing for the Under-23 World Cross Country Ski Championships.
In the men’s 15-kilometer race, Marius Korthauer of the Alaska Nanooks took fifth overall in 36 minutes, 13 seconds, missing his second straight podium by less than five seconds. Lars Flora, an Olympian from Anchorage, Alaska, won for the second straight day in 35:46.
The men’s side was more stacked than the women’s with elite American skiers drawn to the SuperTour, a domestic race series that offers cash prizes for top finishers. CCSA skiers were thus bumped down the ladder a bit. Following Korthauer and the aforementioned NMU trio, Jesse Lang of Michigan Tech took 23rd, Justin Singleton of NMU was 25th, Chris Harvey of MTU placed 28th and Teppan from Alaska came in 29th of 148 finishers.
The CCSA teams will reconvene for another NorAm SuperTour event (and third NCAA qualifier for the CCSA) Jan. 27-28 in Hayward, Wisc. For complete results, as well a CCSA-only skiers’ listing, visit http://www.ccsaski.com.
Each CCSA school’s top result from the two days of racing are as follows:
OVERALL TWO-DAY COMBINED RESULTS (men + women)
1. Northern Michigan University, 354.
2. Alaska Nanooks, 352.
3. Michigan Tech University, 320.
4. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 239.
5. Gustavus Adolphus College, 226.
6. St. Olaf College, 208.
7. College of Saint Scholastica, 184.
8. College of St. Benedict, 90.
9. St. John’s University, 89.
10. Northland College, 87.
11. St. Cloud St. University, 36.
12. Finlandia University, 27.
TWO-DAY TOTAL WOMEN
1. Alaska Nanooks, 179.
2. Northern Michigan University, 173.
3. Michigan Tech University, 157.
4. Gustavus Adolphus College, 137.
5. St. Olaf College, 125.
6. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 104.
7. College of St. Benedict, 90.
8. College of Saint Scholastica, 66.
9. Northland College, 52.
10. St. Cloud St. University, 36.
12. Finlandia University, 11.
TWO-DAY TOTAL MEN
1. Northern Michigan University, 181.
2. Alaska Nanooks, 173.
3. Michigan Tech University, 163.
4. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 135.
5. College of Saint Scholastica, 118.
6. Gustavus Adolphus College, 89.
6. St. John’s University, 89.
8. St. Olaf College, 83.
9. Northland College, 35.
10. Finlandia University, 20.
Team results from Sunday’s freestyle races at Mount Itasca:
COMBINED (men plus women)
1. Northern Michigan University, 181.
2. Alaska Nanooks, 174.
3. Michigan Tech University, 156.
4. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 120.
5. Gustavus Adolphus College, 117.
6. St. Olaf College, 98.
7. College of Saint Scholastica, 92.
8. College of Saint Benedict, 50.
9. Northland College, 46.
9. St. John’s University, 46.
11. St. Cloud St. University, 18.
12. Finlandia University, 10.
MEN (from 15K freestyle)
1. NMU, 93.
2. MTU, 83.
3. Alaska, 81.
4. UWGB, 67.
5. CSS, 61.
6. SJU, 46.
6. GAC, 46.
8. St. Olaf, 38.
9. Northland, 18.
10. Finlandia, 7.
WOMEN (from 10K freestyle)
1. Alaska, 93.
2. NMU, 88.
3. MTU, 73.
4. GAC, 71.
5. St. Olaf, 60.
6. UWGB, 53.
7. CSB, 50.
8. CSS, 31.
9. Northland, 28.
10. SCSU, 18.
11. Finlandia, 3.