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CCSA skiers battling for NCAA spots

Fri, Jan  9, 2009 - By Matias Saari

After five of nine qualifying races, the 20 spots allotted to the NCAA’s Central Region for the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Ski Championships are being heavily contested.

The standings released Friday are based on the top two freestyle and top two classic scores from qualifying events so far this season.

Laura DeWitt of Northern Michigan University (120.2 points) narrowly leads the women’s Central Collegiate Ski Association standings over teammate Marie Helen Soderman (121.3). Kelly Chaudoin of Gustavus Adolphus holds down the third spot (143.7) while NMU’s Anna Bergland (145.5) and Ingrid Fjeldheim (147.8) round out the top five.

However, the standings are likely to change substantially once the University of Alaska Fairbanks and other select skiers have competed in the necessary four races to generate a score. 

In the men’s rankings, Santiago Ocariz from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is first with 135.7 points. He is followed by Phil Violett of NMU (137.9), Kevin Cutts of NMU (143.9), Jens Brabbit of Gustavus Adolphus (150.0) and Justin Singleton of NMU (151.8).

All-American Martin Banerud of NMU has no score yet because he has only participated in one freestyle race (in which he took first) and one classic race (second place).

Eleven women and nine men will earn slots for the 2009 NCAA Championships March 11-14 in Rumford, Maine. A maximum of three skiers from each gender per school can qualify.

The qualifying races factored into the standings so far are the freestyle event from the U.S. Ski Championships in Anchorage, Alaska (a classic race there was canceled due to cold); a pair of SuperTour races (classic and freestyle) in Coleraine, Minn.; and a pair of SuperTour races in Cable, Wis.

The remaining qualifiers are a pair of races Feb. 14-15 at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, Minn., and the Central Region Skiing Championships Feb. 28-March 1 in Houghton, Mich., after which the NCAA qualifiers will be announced.   

The top 20 men and women are listed below. Complete rankings, with a race-by-race tabulation )ODF):

For more information, contact Matias Saari, Sports Information Director for the CCSA, at matiasalaska@hotmail.com or 907-347-9192.

CCSA points (after five of nine qualifying races)

WOMEN

1. Laura DeWitt, NMU, 120.2

2. Marie Helen Soderman, NMU, 121.3

3. Kelly Chaudoin, GAC, 143.7

4. Anna Bergland, NMU, 145.5

5. Ingrid Fjeldheim, NMU, 147.8

6. Elizabeth Quinley, Michigan Tech, 151.5

7. Jenna Klein, MTU, 152.7

8. Carolyn Freeman, UWGB, 156.2

9. Shaina Short, St. Olaf, 164.1

10. Erin Eppler, GAC, 179.6

11. Lindsey Marshall, UWGB, 186.7

12. Jill Smith, MTU, 188.3

13. Christina Mishica, MTU, 196.0

14. Christi Nowak, College of Saint Benedict, 199.0

15. Randi Vermelid, NMU, 200.1

16. Caitlin Marine, St. Olaf, 208.8

17. Jaclyn Pribyl, MTU, 209.5

18. Julia Curry, College of St. Scholastica, 214.9

18. Caitlin Cassidy, NMU, 214.9

20. Kristen Monahan, MTU, 215.7

MEN 

1. Santiago Ocariz, UWGB, 135.7

2. Phil Violett, NMU, 137.9

3. Kevin Cutts, NMU, 143.9

4. Jens Brabbit, GAC, 150.0

5. Justin Singleton, NMU, 151.8

6. Jesse Lang, MTU, 154.9

7. Tim Cook, NMU, 155.5

8. Tyler Kjorstad, St. Scholastica, 158.3

9. Oskar Lundberg, MTU, 159.5

10. Petter Sjulstad, MTU, 160.2

11. Erik Mundahl, MTU, 162.0

12. Craig Hertz, UWGB, 167.7

13. Waylon Manske, St. Scholastica, 173.6

14. Chris Harvey, MTU, 179.1

15. Jesse Smith, MTU, 183.9

16. Andrew Joda, MTU, 194.3

17. Tom Jorgenson, St. Olaf, 197.1

18. Jason Kask, St. Scholastica, 199.2

19. Grant Cook, St. John’s, 199.3

20. Charlie Keller, MTU, 202.9