HOUGHTON, Mich. –The Michigan Tech Nordic Skiing program along with coaches Tom Smith and Kristen Monahan are pleased to announce that five student-athletes will join the Huskies for the 2018-19 season.
Michigan Tech's incoming class will add four women's skiers and one men's skier to the team rosters for the 2018-19 season. Two of the incoming student-athletes come from Norway, and one p from Michigan, Minnesota and Oregon/Washington.
"The entire Nordic staff and current student-athletes are eager to start working with this strong recruiting class and want to formally welcome these student-athletes and their families to our teams," Head Coach Tom Smith said. "This recruiting class adds vast experience and overall depth to our Nordic program for the 2018-19 season.
"With only three women on the active roster in 2017-18, this recruiting class will truly fill our roster on the women's side. We have some great leadership with all of our women returning from the 2017-18 season."
The men's team remains competitively vibrant and seeks to build off of one of their best seasons to date last year with 17 student-athletes, 16 of whom are returning for the 2018-19 season.
Michigan Tech concluded the 2017-18 season with five NCAA National Championship qualifiers and a second place overall team standing at the NCAA Central Region Ski Championships. Tech had nine student-athletes receiving All-Region honors, four individual season race wins, an individual CCSA Conference Championship title, and 14 USCSCA Academic All-Americans.
The Huskies are also thrilled to announce they will be hosing the NCAA Central Region Skiing Championships this year at the Michigan Tech Trails on February 23rd and 24th, 2019, and hope to see all the Tech fans out on the trails in support.
Bye Vollset is an exchange student-athlete with from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He was a quarterfinalist in the Classic Sprint at 2017 Toppidretsvekka international roller ski race, has multiple top 10 age group finishes at Norwegian Junior National Skiing Championships and is a two-time bronze medalist in Norwegian Distance Running Championships in the 2000m and 3000m events. He also has claimed multiple top 50 overall finishes at Norwegian National Skiing Championships in everything from sprinting to 50km. Bye Vollset will be studying Industrial Economics & Technology Management at Michigan Tech. The coaching staff believes Bye Vollset will immediately be an impactful force for the men's team based on his proven competitive accomplishments. It's expected that he will step in right away and allow Tech to continue to push the pace of performance for the entire Nordic program."
Oda Hatlestad Hovland, Nesoeya, Norway
Hatlestad Hovland has been a fierce national competitor in Norway, having competed as a ski racer since she was old enough to walk. She attended a competitive ski school and the Konnerud IL ski club based in the Oslo area throughout her high school career. She comes to Tech as a true freshman and will be pursuing a bachelor's degree in the School of Business and Economics. Oda achieved a 22nd place result in the skate sprint and 34th place in the 10km classic at the 2017 Norwegian National Junior Skiing Championships, and was 45th in the 2018 Norwegian National Junior Skiing Championships in the 15km classic. We are confident she will excel here as a student as well coming in with an exceptional GPA.
Mary Lyon, Traverse City, Michigan
Lyon prepped at Traverse City West high school and the Vasa Ski Club coming to the program as a star high school skier and distance runner. She won three consecutive high school State Championships in Nordic skiing from 2016 through 2018. She claimed seventh in the 2017 MHSAA LP Region 02-1 cross country running meet with an outstanding 5k time of 18:38. She has earned multiple Traverse City West high school Athlete of the Week honors. The coaching staff said Lyon has a true fighting spirit and as one of her family members put it best, will "run through the wall if you ask her." The coaching staff is excited about her determination and work ethic which will help her build on her already impressive high school athletic career. Lyon will be studying Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Tech.
Samantha Kurkowski, Roseville, Minnesota
Kurkowski competed at Roseville Area High School and turned in a breakthrough senior year. She was a captain for both the Nordic skiing and cross country running teams, and earned AP Scholar with Honor Awards from the College Board. Kurkowski will be studying Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech. Kurkowski has an incredible engine and an opportunistic approach to her racing that has and will continue to serve her well as a multi-sport student-athlete. She posted an excellent 5k cross country running time of 18:43 in the NXR Heartland Regional Championships in 2017. Kurkowski proved she is ready to compete at the collegiate competitive level by achieving 5th place in the 10k skate at the 2018 U.S. Junior National Skiing Championships, earning First Team All-American honors for her performance.
Lydia Youkey, Leavenworth, Washington
Youkey grew up in Leavenworth, Washington racing for the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, but has been competing for the past two seasons as a postgraduate athlete with the Mount Bachelor Sports Education Foundation in Bend, Oregon. She brings a great amount of competitive experience, having competed at all domestic racing levels while achieving great national success. Youkey boasts multiple All-American finishes, having achieved 7th place in the 10k skate at the 2018 U.S. Junior National Skiing Championships, and a 6th place finish in the 10k classic at the 2017 U.S. Junior National Skiing Championships. Youkey is a very well-rounded individual, and the coaching staff believes her positive personality will be a fun and uplifting addition to the team.