A continuation of the Centeral College Ski Assocation season preveiw...
MICHIGAN TECH UNIVERSITY
Location: Houghton, Michigan
Coach: Joe Haggenmiller, fifth season
2007 Central Region result: 3rd
Top returning men: So. Jesse Lang, Sr. Kevin Heglund, Sr. Adam Airoldi, Jr. Chris Harvey, So. Erik Mundahl Top returning women: So. Jenna Klein, Jr. Elizabeth Quinley (redshirting), So. Kristen Monahan (redshirting) Top newcomers: Fr. Christina Mishica (redshirting), Fr. Jill Smith (redshirting) Key departed skiers: Kristina Owen, Aaron Ditty
2007-08 outlook: Coach Joe Haggenmiller called last season the program’s best in the current NCAA qualifying era (post 1992), and he hopes to stay strong behind the likes of Jesse Lang and Jenna Klein.
Lang, a sophomore from St. Louis Park, Minn., reached the NCAAs last year, as did returning teammate Kevin Heglund. Adam Airoldi is also in the mix.
The Huskies’ women are "in a bit of a rebuilding mode," according to Haggenmiller, because Klein is the only skier among the team’s 2006-07 top four that will be competing this season. Three-time NCAA All-American Kristina Owen has graduated (and moved on to the elite CXC team) while Elizabeth Quinley and Kristen Monahan are redshirting.
Haggenmiller, who expects his freshman to train between 425-525 hours per year, isn’t satisfied with merely qualifying skiers for NCAAs.
"Our next step would be to avoid some of our lows (in 2007) at the NCAA Championships," he said.
GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS COLLEGE
Location: St. Peter, Minn.
Coach: Jed Friedrich, 4th
2007 Central Region result: 4th
Top returning men: Sr. Kevin Patzoldt, Jr. Eli Anoszko Top returning women: Sr. Sarah Willis, Jr. Kelly Chaudoin, Sr. Laura Edlund, Sr. Kathleen DeWahl Top newcomers: Fr. Jens Brabbit, Fr. Andrew Tilman, So. Erin Eppler Key departed skiers: Brynden Manbeck, Ritva Taipale, Scott Kyser
2007-08 outlook: The southern-most school in the Central Region, GAC won the overall Minnesota team championship last season and improved to fourth in the conference. Now they’re looking to qualify skiers for NCAAs.
The Gusties’ Sarah Willis and Kelly Chaudoin narrowly missed making the NCAAs last year, while Laura Edlund and Kathleen DeWahl also had strong seasons.
"We have an experienced women’s squad that is hungry to compete for spots at NCAAs," Friedrich said. "The frustration of not qualifying last year fueled them to train even better this year. Right now, I don’t know who will emerge at the top, but all of them probably share our top spot."
Kevin Patzoldt and Elias Anoszko lead the men, who have eight first-year skiers. Patzoldt’s chances for an NCAA spot have improved because he is focusing on Nordic skiing after spending a month last season in Europe competing in biathlon events. The top newcomers are freshmen Andrew Tilman and Jes Brabbit, who have each competed three times at Junior Nationals.
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Coach: Butch Reimer, 11th season
2007 Central Region result: 5th
Top returning men: So. Santi Ocariz, Sr. Bryan Gastonguay, Jr. Craig Hertz, Sr. Dan Deroma Top returning women: Jr. Jenna Dickinson, Sr. Ashley Pletcher Top newcomers: Fr. Nick Maki, So. Justin Young, Fr. Lindsey Marshall, Fr. Carolyn Freeman, Fr. Jackie Pribyl, Fr. Steph LaFrance, Fr. Casey Sovil Key departed skiers: Casey Krueger
2007-08 outlook: UWGB is the only NCAA Division I school in the conference, and is one of two schools in Wisconsin to offer skiing as a varsity sport - the other is Northland College.
Leading the Phoenix is Santi Ocariz (Spooner, Wisc.), who has picked up this season right where he left off last year, when he qualified for NCAAs as a freshman. After a second-place result a week earlier, Ocariz won the Michigan Tech Christmas Classic 10K freestyle on Dec. 17 by four seconds over NMU’s Justin Singleton.
Bryan Gastonguay, Craig Hertz and Dan Deroma add depth to the men’s team.
Jenna Dickinson and Ashley Pletcher lead a young women’s squad.
Reimer said the team’s goals this season are "to get better overall and try to push the top three teams. Getting my skiers to get faster and stay consistent all year."
SAINT OLAF COLLEGE
Location: Northfield, Minnesota
Coach: Ollie Garrison, 2nd year
2007 Central Region result: 6th
2007-08 outlook: Lost to graduation is Linn Dale, from Norway, who was the Ole’s first female NCAA qualifier in five years, and the second for the program in as many years (Karl Nygren went in 2006). Junior Shaina Short is stepping into a leadership role for the women, while Nels Dyste paces the men’s squad.
St. Olaf, a Division III school that can not offer skiing scholarships (unlike DI and DII institutions), placed third last March at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association’s nationals in Colorado and have made that event a goal again this season.
"We have the capability to place at least one person in the Junior Olympics, and the team as a whole will be a medal contender in every event at the USCSA nationals championships," said coach Ollie Garrison, a former Saint Olaf skier.
In part III, the last seven schools will be covered...