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CCSA names NCAA Ski Championships team

Thu, Mar  5, 2009 - By Matias Saari

Twenty skiers from the Central Collegiate Ski Association will represent the conference at the upcoming NCAA Ski Championships, with full squads from Northern Michigan University and Michigan Tech leading the way.

In addition to NMU and MTU, four skiers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, two from Wisconsin-Green Bay and one apiece from Gustavus Adolphus College and the College of Saint Scholastica will participate in the NCAA Ski Championships March 11-14 in Rumford, Maine.

The NCAA qualifiers were decided after last weekend’s final set of qualifying races, the Central Region Championships. An average of the top two classic and top two freestyle races determined the rankings.

The Central Region is allotted nine male slots, and NMU’s Martin Banerud led the points standings with 116.4 points, followed by teammate Phil Violett with 120.0 and Oskar Lund of MTU with 124.1.

Because each school can only qualify three skiers per gender, and NMU had six skiers among the top 11, Tyler Kjorstad of CSS was the final qualifier in 12th place. A year ago, Kjorstad finish one spot shy of qualifying.

CCSA women were allotted 11 NCAA spots, and NMU’s Laura DeWitt (98.1 points) and Marie Helen Soderman (103.9 points) nailed down the first two positions. Theresia Schnurr and Julie Pierson of UAF were third and fourth, respectively.

Then came Ingrid Fjeldheim of NMU, whose strong performance in the regional freestyle race gave her the edge by 0.1 points over teammate Christina Gillis. Because Gillis, despite ranking sixth in the CCSA, was the fourth-rated skier from NMU, she will be left off the NCAAs roster unless she is needed as an alternate.

Jill Smith of MTU, in 13th place, was the final qualifier.

A full Central Region NCAAs preview will be distributed next week.

Below is the list of the top 15 in the CCSA points rankings.

The complete points lists:

1. Martin Banerud, NMU, 116.4
2. Phil Violett, NMU, 120.0
3. Oskar Lund, MTU 124.1
4. Santiago Ocariz, UWGB, 126.2
5. Jesse Lang, MTU, 135.7
6. Petter Sjulstad, MTU, 137.3
7. Justin Singleton, NMU, 138.1
8. Tim Cook, NMU, 141.1 (not a qualifier)
9. Oyvind Watterdal, UAF, 141.3
10. Sindre Stokke, NMU, 144.0 (not a qualifier)
11. Kevin Cutts, NMU, 144.2 (not a qualifier)
12. Tyler Kjorstad, CSS, 144.8 (*Final Qualifier)
13. Jens Brabbit, GAC, 150.3
14. Erik Mundahl, MTU, 156.0
15. Craig Hertz, UWGB, 160.2

1. Laura DeWitt, NMU, 98.1
2. Marie Helen Soderman, NMU, 103.9
3. Theresia Schnurr, UAF, 109.1
4. Julia Pierson, UAF, 120.0
5. Ingrid Fjeldheim, NMU, 120.2
6. Christina Gillis, NMU, 120.3 (not a qualifier)
7. Elizabeth Quinley, MTU, 120.8
8. Carolyn Freeman, UWGB, 122.3
9. Anna Bergland, NMU, 123.9 (not a qualifier)
10. Jenna Klein, MTU, 125.2
11. Kelly Chaudoin, GAC, 126.6
12. Anna Coulter, UAF, 129.5
13. Jill Smith, MTU, 137.7 (*Final Qualifier)
14. Christi Nowak, CSB, 143.2
15. Allison Bohn, GAC, 143.8