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NCAA Qualifiers from Central Region Announced

Thu, Mar  1, 2007 - By Matias Saari, CCSA

Northern Michigan University and the Alaska Nanooks qualified a full squad of six skiers to the NCAA Skiing Championships March 7-10 in Jackson, N.H. Other representatives from the Central Collegiate Ski Association include Michigan Tech University with five skiers and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and St. Olaf College with one apiece.

On the women’s side, NMU, Alaska and MTU each qualified three women while St. Olaf College garnered the other spot allotted the Central Region.NMU’s trio of Lindsey Weier, Lindsay Williams and Morgan Smyth, all seniors, took the top three spots in Central Region rankings devised from four qualifying sets of races that culminated with the Central Region Championships in Ishpeming, Mich., Feb. 17-18. Weier, a two-time Olympian, won the bronze medal in the 2006 NCAA 5-kilometer classic race.

Alaska qualified sophomore Aurelia Korthauer (fourth in the qualifying rankings), and the Coulter twins, Julia and Anna (seventh and ninth, respectively).Michigan Tech, meanwhile, saw senior Kristina Owen, a 2006 All-American ranked sixth this season, Elizabeth Quinley (14th) and Jenna Klein (17th) qualify.St. Olaf will be represented by Norwegian senior Linn Dale, the first female representative from the school since 2002.

Klein was the final qualifier, finishing not far ahead of four skiers from Gustavus Adolphus College, who ranked 19th though 22nd.

NMU actually had nine skiers ranked among the top 16, but each school is only permitted to send three female and three male Nordic skiers to NCAAs.

On the men’s side, Alaska is sending top ranked Marius Korthauer — a double2006 NCAA All American from Bonndorf, Germany — plus third-ranked Estonian Vahur Teppan and ninth-ranked Henri Soom, also of Estonia.NMU counters with Norwegian Martin Banerud (second), Bill Bowler (fourth) and Phil Violett (fifth).

MTU has qualified Jesse Lang and Kevin Heglund, while the final qualifier is Santiago Ocariz of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Tyler Kjorstad and Jason Kask of the College of Saint Scholastica just missed out.

The Nordic races at the 2007 NCAA Championships consist of freestyle races (5K for women and 10K for men) March 7 and a classic event (15K for women and 20K for men) March 9.

Despite not fielding Alpine teams, the Alaska Nanooks placed 10th, NMU was 14th and MTU placed 19th at the 2006 NCAA Skiing Championships.Colorado University is the defending national champion.