HOUGHTON, Mich. - Senior Oskar Lund led the Michigan Tech ski team with a runner-up finish in the men’s 10-kilometer freestyle at the Michigan Tech Challenge Saturday (Dec. 14), then returned the next day to win the 10K Classic.
Lund, a Huskvarna, Sweden, native crossed the line in 30:33 fro second. Senior Jesse Lang, who earned All-American honors last season, finished fifth in 31:29. Sophomore Andy Keller also posted a top-10 finish after finishing eighth in 32:18.
Senior Santi Ocariz of Wis.-Green Bay won the race in a time of 30:02.
“Santi is skating really well this year,” said head coach Joe Haggenmiller. “Oskar has improved upon his skating technique from last year and we expect Jesse to make some improvements as the season progresses. I was really impressed with how Andrew skied today.”
Senior transfer Henna Riikonen-Purtsi was the top Michigan Tech women’s finisher with a fourth place finish in the five-kilometer freestyle race in 18:04. Red-shirt freshman Lynn Duijndam was one spot back in a time of 18:21.
A pair of seniors posted top-15 finishes for the Huskies. Jenna Klein finished 10th (19:23) and Liz Quinley was 12th (19:25).
Northern Michigan junior Christina Gillis won the women’s race in 17:28.
“I have to give credit to NMU’s women. They are skiing really well right now. Henna skied really well in her first college race. Lynn also turned in a great day with her finish. We do expect Jenna and Liz to make some improvements.”
Northern Michigan won the combined team-competition with 39 points (17 men, 22 women). Tech was second with 26 points (15 men, 11 women) and Wis.-Green Bay was third with 25 points (13 men, 12 women).
Michigan Tech senior Oskar Lund was the overall winner of the 10-kilometer classic race at the Michigan Tech Challenge Sunday (Dec. 13). The Huskvarna, Sweden, native crossed the line in 31:18.
The Huskies had two other skiers finish in the top-10. Senior Jesse Lang finished fourth (33:20) and sophomore Petter Sjulstad was eighth (34:23).
Tech had two other men finish in the top-15 on the day. Senior Charlie Keller was 11th (34:49) and red-shirt freshman Mac Brennan was 15th (35:49).
The men's team finished first with 18 points. Northern Michigan was second (16 points) and Wis.-Green Bay was third (11 points).
"Our guys enjoyed a pretty good day racing and it was nice to see them end up with the team win," said head coach Joe Haggenmiller. "I was happy to see Oskar earn the win. We will need the other guys to shrink the gap between the leaders and themselves."
For the second day in a row Henna Riikonen-Purtsi finished fourth to lead the women's squad. The Hantala, Finland, native finished the five-kilometer classic course in 19:13.
Two seniors finished in the top-ten. Elizabeth Quinley was fifth (19:18) and Jenna Klein was seventh (19:28).
Two skiers who will be red-shirting this season also turned in solid performances. Melanie Hoffman was 11th overall (20:12) and Lynn Duijndam was 12th (20:13).
"Henna turned in another good race today. Its good to see her near the leaders. Liz and Jenna also turned in good races."
Christina Gillis of Northern Michigan won the women's race in 18:37 to lead NMU to the women's team win with 20 points.
Tech was second with 14 points and Wis.-Green Bay was third with 11.
NMU also won the combined title with 36 points. Tech was second (32) and Wis.-Green Bay was third (22 points).
The next major competition for the Huskies will be the US National Championships in Anchorage, Alaska in early January. The team's next home appearance will be in the Keewenaw Nordic Ski Festival sponsored by The Library which will serve as a fundraiser for the team.