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Five-CCSA skiers make NCAA All-American in Freestyle

Fri, Mar  7, 2008 - By Matias Saari

The Central Collegiate Ski Association racked up five All-American performances Wednesday as the NCAA Skiing Championships kicked off in Bozeman, Mont. he All-Americans came from the top two schools in the conference — two by Northern Michigan University and three by Alaska (Fairbanks).

Marius Korthauer of Alaska led the way with a second place in the men’s 10-kilometer interval-start freestyle at Bohart Ranch. His time of 30 minutes, 48 seconds was 11 seconds off the pace of surprise titlist Glenn Randall from defending champion Dartmouth.

The result was the fifth All-American performance for Korthauer, a senior from Germany who landed on the NCAA podium for the fourth time.

“Until 5.5K it felt easy. Then it started hurting,” Korthauer said. “The downhills were not really downhills. I had to work the whole time. The conditions were kind of slow.”

With former champions like Rene Reisshauer and John Stene competing, Randall came in under the radar.

“He was probably the underdog,” Korthauer said. “He was not on my list at all, so I was really surprised that he won. I’m glad for him. He’s a humble guy.”

The top 10 finishers earn All-American status, with the top five making the first team and the next five landing on the second team.

Alaska’s Vahur Teppan of Estonia placed eighth in 31:27.

In the women’s 5K freestyle, Morgan Smyth of NMU — a double podium finisher in 2007 — took fifth in 18:01. Teammate Laura DeWitt, participating in her first NCAA’s, was seventh in 18:06, followed by Anna Coulter of Alaska, ninth in 18:09.

Maria Moe Grevsgaard of Colorado dominated the women’s race in 17:10, 24 seconds faster than teammate Lenka Palanova.

Conference results from the men’s field, which had 39 starters, were: Bjorn Bakken of St. Scholastica,15th in his first NCAAs; Martin Banerud of NMU, 16th; Phil Violett, NMU, 20th; Gus Kaeding, NMU, 26th; Santiago Ocariz, Wisconsin-Green Bay, 28th; Jesse Lang, Michigan Tech, 36th; Ray Sabo, Alaska, 37th and Adam Airoldi, MTU, 38th.

The rest of the CCSA women’s results were: Maria Stuber, NMU, 13th; Aurelia Korthauer, Alaska, 21st; Elisabeth Habermann, Alaska, 28th; Jenna Klein, MTU, 31st; Kelly Chaudoin, Gustavus Adolphus College, 34th; Kathleen DeWahl, GAC, 36th; Laura Edlund, GAC, 37th; Ashley Pletcher, UWGB, 38th.

The overall standings after one day of competition have Colorado leading with 186 points, followed by NMU with 153. Alaska is seventh with 135 points, followed by Saint Scholastics, 16th with 25 points; Michigan Tech, 18th with 15 points; UWGB, 19th with 14 points and Gustavus Adolphus, 20th with 13 points.

The combined score from two Alpine and two Nordic events determine the national championship team. Because the CCSA does not field Alpine teams, it is at a major disadvantage in the team standings.

While no Nordic national championship is awarded, Nordic standings are informally tracked.

The final Nordic race will be mass-start classic events of 20K for men and 15K for women on Friday morning. There are also Alpine races on Thursday and Saturday at Bridger Bowl.

“The mass-start is also about tactics,” said Korthauer, who turns 24 on Friday. “It can happen that not even the fittest guy wins the race.”

Related:

Complete team and invidividual freestyle results (PDF).