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CCSA struggles at NCAA Ski Championships classic race

Fri, Mar  13, 2009 - By Matias Saari

The Central Collegiate Ski Association had a tough outing on Thursday at the NCAA Skiing Championships in Rumford, Maine, as it recorded just three top-15 results and earned no All-American certificates in classic races that kicked off the Nordic portion of the championships.

“I don’t know what happened,” Alaska Fairbanks coach Scott Jerome said. “It certainly was not a good day for our conference. We’ve got to go out and do better on Saturday.”

For the men, the conference’s top three classic skiers — Martin Banerud of Northern Michigan, Oskar Lund of Michigan Tech and Phil Violett of NMU — placed 15th, 17th and 25th, respectively.

Banerud was actually leading the interval-start race after 2 1/2 kilometers but struggled on the second of two 5-kilometers loops and finished the 10K just over a minute behind winner Juergen Uhl of the University of Vermont.

The top female performer was freshman Theresia Schnurr of UAF in 13th. Her time of 14 minutes, 50 seconds over 5 kilometers was just under a minute behind champion Antje Maempel of Denver University. “Thirteenth was a very good result,” Jerome said. “She’s young and has got three more NCAAs. It was a good way to start her career.”

The CCSA’s top two classic skiers this season, Marie Helen Soderman and Laura DeWitt of NMU, placed 15th and 17th, respectively. Julia Pierson of UAF was 21st.

After rain on Wednesday, the temperature dropped Thursday, providing for icy — but fast — tracks and stable waxing conditions. “I don’t think anybody won or lost on wax today,” Jerome said, adding that his team used klister covered with hard wax.

Other conference male results included Oyvind Watterdal of UAF in 26th; Santiago Ocariz of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 27th; Petter Sjulstad of Michigan Tech in 29th; Jesse Lang of MTU in 31st; Justin Singleton of NMU of 35th; and Tyler Kjorstad of the College of St. Scholastica in 37th. Thirty-nine men and women started each race.

Other conference female results included Ingrid Fjeldheim of NMU in 28th; Kelly Chaudoin of Gustavus Adolphus in 33rd; Carolyn Freeman of UWGB in 35th; Elizabeth Quinley of MTU in 36th; Jenna Klein of MTU in 37th; Anna Coulter of UAF in 38th; and Jill Smith of MTU in 39th.  

The championships conclude on Saturday with mass-start freestyle races of 20K for men and 15 for women. The top 10 skiers in each race will earn All-American status.

Complete men’s and women’s results can be found here: