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NMU dominates Christmas Classic

CCSA

Tue, Dec  18, 2007 - By David Faiella

The Northern Michigan University’s Nordic ski team competed at the Michigan Tech Christmas Classic over the weekend. On Saturday (Dec. 15) the women skied the 5K freestyle and the men 10K while on Sunday (Dec. 16) it was the 10K classic for the women and a 15K classic for the men.

Women's races
 
The Wildcat women took the top three places in Saturday's 5k freestyle race. Maria Stuber skated across the finish line first with a time of 15:27.5. A little over three seconds back in second was Morgan Smyth (15:30.9) and Laura DeWitt was third (15:40.5). Tanya Cook had a top 10 finish in seventh (16:37.1).
 
NMU won the team race with 33 points, UW-Green Bay was second (24), Michigan Tech third (15) and College of St. Scholastica fourth (5).
 
“The women have been on a streak of sweeping the top three spots every race and we are feeling very confident,” said Sten Fjeldheim, the head women’s Nordic ski coach.
 
On Sunday in the classic race it was the same story as the ‘Cats had four of the top five spots. Just like on Saturday, NMU took the top three places as this time Smyth was the first one to break the tape with a time of 34:26.8. DeWitt was second (34:39.0) and Stuber third (36:08.8). Cook placed fifth with a clocking of 37:30.8.
 
NMU took the team title with 33 points, MTU was second (22), UW-GB third (13) and CSS fourth (10).
 
“The women were skiing with confidence and taking risks on the course to race on the edge is risky, you can either win or blow up and struggle in to the finish line, which is part of the learning process,” said Fjeldheim. “The team has done the training well, now we will focus on continuing the training and perfecting techniques and do our best to stay healthy and on top of the books.”

Men's races
 
Justin Singleton was the top placing Wildcat in the freestyle event with a second-place showing (27:27.4). A little over three seconds back was teammate Bill Bowler in third place (27:30.6). Three more ‘Cats were in the top 10 as Phill Violett had a time of 27:53.3 which was good for sixth place, next was Tim Cook in seventh (28:01.9) and in 10th was Gus Kaeding (28:20.5). Anders Gillis was the final ‘Cats to cross the finish line as he was 18th with a time of 29:52.0.
 
NMU took the team title for the freestyle race with 28 points, Michigan Tech was second (22), UW-Green Bay third (19) and College of St. Scholastica fourth (9).
 
“The men skied well. Having five in the top 10 was a great accomplishment,” said Sten Fjeldheim, the head men’s Nordic ski coach.
 
On Sunday in the classic race the ‘Cats were led by Violett who won the event with a time of 47:34.0 almost three second ahead of the second place skier. Kaeding was fourth (48:57.8), Bowler seventh (49:40.1) and Singleton eighth (49:46.3) for the ‘Cats. Cook placed 17th (51:30.2) while Gillis was 24th (52:32.3).
 
The ‘Cats took the team title with 27 points. MTU was second (26), UW-GB third (19) and CSS (5) fourth.
 
“I was happy with Violett’s dominating win, he skied very relaxed and fast,” said Fjeldheim. “The skiers are ready for some easier training after an intense four weeks of hard training block as well as having the end of the semester finals.”
 
NMU will compete again after Christmas at the U.S. National Ski Championships in Houghton from Jan. 2-6, 2008.

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