The 2007 NCAA Central College Regional Championships were contested
this weekend at the Al Qual Trails near Marquette, Michigan. Hometown
Northern Michigan University had strong performances nearly sweeping
every race to reclaim the crown from 2006 Champions University of
Saturday’s race was held in traditional Upper Peninsula weather with
snow falling heavily and swirling in all directions and temperatures in
the teens. The competitions were held on the challenging Olympic loop
which many skiers commented as being the most challenging course of the
In the men’s 10km freestyle race, split times showed that, Martin Stuge
Banerud (NMU) led the race from the start line, winning by 15.3 seconds
in 31:26.7. CXC Teamates (non-collegiate) Bryan Cook, 31:42.0 and Andre
Watt, 31:49.7 finished second and third. Cook was in the second
position for most of the race, but Watt moved up from 6th positing at
5km. Completing the Northern Michigan sweep of the top 3 collegiate
positions were Bill Bowler (NMU), 31:59.8 and Phillip Violett (NMU),
Martin Stuge Banerud: “I opened hard. Coach Sten gave me a split at 1.5
kilometers that I had the lead by 7 seconds. I was tired at the lap but
focused on my technique and skiing well. At 6.5km I was 13 seconds in
the lead. This was surprising but very encouraging. I went hard and
pushed myself all the way to the line.”
Andre Watt: “It was one of the harder courses of the year. Not too far
into the race it started snowing which slowed things down. This was one
of the hardest courses of the year.”
Bill Bowler: “This was one of my better skate races. I started pretty
conservative, but I got good splits which was encouraging. The last 2
kilometers were pretty tough for me and I lost some time there.”
In the women’s 5km freestyle race, Lindsay Williams also led from start
to finish, with a 9 second lead at 1.5km, according to splits. Williams
won by 19.8 seconds in 17:39.0. The battle for second through fourth
was tight throughout the race. In the end Lindsey Weier (NMU) was
quickest in 17:58.8 to take second overall. Morgan Smyth (NMU) finished
just one second back in 17:59.9 ahead of Maria Stuber (NMU) 18:06.9.
Anna Coulter (UAF) finished fifth in 18:29.4.
Lindsay Williams “I started hard and just kept hammering. I was going as hard as I could. The down hills were hard, but fun”
Sundays competition again saw temperatures in the teens, but with clear
skies and sun. The race was held on the Teal Lake loop with steady
gentle climbs. The women’s 10km mass start classical race was the first
event of the day.
Lindsay Williams (NMU) and Lindsay Weier (NMU) had a commanding lead
over the rest of the pack by the time they came through the lap at 5km.
Morgan Smyth (NMU) skied by herself in the third position ahead of a
pack of skiers containing: Aurelia Korthauer (UAF), Kristina Owen
(MTU), and Tami Kochen (Atomic).
In the sprint for the line Williams and Weier went hard all the way to
the line, with Williams edging Weier by one meter to take her second
Regional title of the weekend. Smyth held her third position to the
line. Owen had a gap after the final climb but Korthauer finished
strong making a pass in the final 100 meters to take fourth overall.
In the men’s 15km mass start classical the pace started quick with six
skiers: Marius Korthauer (UAF), Martin Stuge Banerud (NMU), Jesse Lang
(MTU), Andre Watt (CXC), Vahur Teppan (UAF), and Brian Gregg (CXC)
putting a gap on the main field in the first few kilometers. At 3km
Banerud went down with a broken pole near the top of the course. At the
lap the steady but quick pace put the lead group down to three skiers
with Lang skiing alone a few seconds off the group. Watt made a move on
the final climb but couldn’t shake Korthauer and Teppan who sprinted
for the victory. Teppan edged Korthauer to win his first Regional
title. Banerud and teammate Phil Violett (NMU) moved up on those
dropping of the lead pack with Banerud catching and putting a move on
Lang on the final climb. Violett finished 6th.
Vahur Teppan: “Marius did a lot of the work. I had good skis, with
perhaps a little better glide than others. I was happy with the day.”
Marius Korthauer: “I tried to push the pace. I was upset with
yesterday’s race and I was racing for time today. It may not have been
the smartest way to race, but I was happy with today”
Martin Stuge Banerud: “I felt good and found myself in the lead at the
start. I was surprised with this but just tried to stay with Marius. At
3km I moved behind Andre and fell and broke my pole. It was my mistake.
Still I kept my focus and really pushed hard. It was probably the best
classical race I have ever had. Unfortunately accidents happen.”
Northern Michigan University won the men’s, women’s, and overall Regional Championship.
For complete results for Saturday and Sunday, please see:
For NCAA qualifying points list and other Central College Ski Association news please see: http://www.ccsaski.com/