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Battle for final NCAA berths

CCSA

Thu, Jan  31, 2008 - By Matias Saari

There is quite a battle going on for the final berths awarded to the Central Collegiate Ski Association for the NCAA Skiing Championship in March.

Currently for the men, Bjorn Bakken of the College of Saint Scholastica holds down the 10th and final spot with 188.6 points, but Ray Sabo of the Alaska Nanooks is just one-tenth of a point behind. A handful of other skiers are also in striking range.

For the women, Shaina Short of St. Olaf College (183.5 points) leads Ashley Pletcher (186.4) for the 11th and final position.

The 11--team Nordic skiing conference has completed six of its eight qualifying races so far, with the Central Region Championship Feb. 16-17 in Biwabik, Minn., serving as the final qualifiers.

As the standings are now, seven conference schools would be represented at NCAAs March 5-8 in Bozeman, Mont.

After three freestyle and three classic races, undefeated Marius Korthauer of the Alaska Nanooks continues to lead the men’s standings while skiers from Northern Michigan University hold down the top three women’s spots (Morgan Smyth, Laura DeWitt and Maria Stuber, respectively).

Currently, NMU has six skiers in qualifying positions, Alaska has five, Michigan Tech has four, Gustavus Adolphus has three and St. Scholastica, Saint Olaf, Wisconsin Green Bay have one apiece.

Perhaps most remarkable is Division III school Gustavus Adolphus, which has only sent one skier to the NCAA Championships in its history but is in line to qualify three women this year alone.

The top 20 scores (a combined average of the top two freestyle and top two classic results) in each gender are listed below. Because the maximum a school can qualify for NCAAs is three per gender, Short, ranked No. 12 for the women, and Bakken, ranked No. 11 for the men, currently hold down the final spots.

The complete rankings are attached as PDF files at end of this article.

Women:
1. Morgan Smyth, NMU, 112.2
2. Laura DeWitt, NMU, 114.4
3. Maria Stuber, NMU, 126.0
4. Aurelia Korthauer, UAF, 133.5
5. Anna Coulter, UAF, 145.1
6. Elisabeth Habermann, UAF, 164.9
7. Jenna Klein, MTU, 167.0
8. Tanya Cook, NMU, 168.1
9. Laura Edlund, GAC, 172.1
10. Kathleen DeWahl, GAC, 173.0
11. Kelly Chaudoin, GAC, 180.6
12. Shaina Short, STO, 183.5
13. Ashley Pletcher, UWGB, 186.4
14. Anna Berglund, NMU, 188.0
15. Carolyn Freeman, UWGB, 202.2
16. Jenna Dickinson, UWGB, 205.1
17. Jackie Pribyl, UWGB, 212.6
18. Laura Kangas, MTU, 214.8
19. Christi Nowak, CSB, 215.2
20. Sarah Willis, GAC, 218.5

Men:
1. Marius Korthauer, UAF, 117.6
2. Martin Banerud, NMU, 138.5
3. Phil Violett, NMU, 142.8
4. Vahur Teppan, UAF, 146.1
5. Jesse Lang, MTU, 157.1
5. Justin Singleton, NMU, 157.1
7. Santiago Ocariz, UWGB, 166.2
8. Gus Kaeding, NMU, 166.4
9. Adam Airoldi, MTU, 180.5
10. Kevin Heglund, MTU, 185.0
11. Bjorn Bakken, CSS, 188.6
12. Ray Sabo, UAF, 188.7
13. John Parry, UAF, 190.0
14. Craig Hertz, UWGB, 191.6
15. Jens Brabbit, GAC, 195.4
16. Andrew Joda, MTU, 195.5
16. Zach McGill, UAF, 195.5
18. Einar Often, UAF, 196.6
19. Chris Harvey, MTU, 198.4
20. Jason Kask, CSS, 200.3

Complete rankings: