MINNEAPOLIS--Michigan Tech’s Oskar Lund and Alaska-Fairbanks’ Aurelia Korthauer were the individual winners in Saturday’s freestyle race. The Central Super Tour event was held at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the CCSA teams were out in full force as a part of the conference’s second NCAA qualifying weekend.
Korthauer’s first place finish was strongly supported by three other UAF skiers in the top 10. She placed 3rd overall on the 5-kilometer course in a time of 12:54, just three seconds ahead of Northern Michigan’s Christina Gillis. UAF and NMU each put four skiers in the women’s top 10, with Korthauer receiving support from senior Julia Pierson (6th), sophomore Theresia Schnurr (9th) and senior Anna Coulter (10th). NMU’s Gillis, meanwhile, was closely followed by Marie Helen Soderman in 3rd place as well as Laura DeWitt (7th) and Monica Markvardsen (8th). Junior Ingrid Fjeldheim was just outside the top 10 in 12th place for Northern Michigan.
A domineering performance by the Nanooks and Wildcats, though, did not overshadow strong performances from several other schools. Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Carolyn Freeman was 4th, just 2 seconds off the podium, and Lindsey Marshall also posted a strong performance for UWGB with a 15th-place finish. Michigan Tech’s Henna Riikonen-Purts rounded out the top 10 finishers with her 5th-place result to lead the Huskies, who also received a 13th and an 18th from seniors Elizabeth Quinley and Jenna Klein, respectively.
Eleanor Magnusson led the College of St. Scholastica with her 11th-place finish. The College of St. Benedict got a 17th from senior Christi Nowak to lead her team. Hannah Sanborn made it into the top 25 to lead St. Cloud State, and Erica Hett in 27th was the first Gustavus Adolphus finisher. Sarah Fleming led the St. Olaf women.
For the men, Michigan Tech’s Oskar Lund managed a 12-second victory over Green Bay’s Santiago Ocariz. Lund completed the 10-kilometer course in 23:24 to lead his Huskies to a strong day. Senior Jesse Lang, an All-American last year, finished in 4th, while Jesse Smith’s 14th finished up the MTU top 3. Ocariz posted some impressive results at the U.S. Nationals races in Anchorage earlier this month and led the UWGB Phoenix from 2nd place.
No one team dominated the top of the leaderboard in the men’s race, though, with six different schools placing an individual in the top 10. Northern Michigan freshman George Cartwright led his squad with a 3rd-place finish and was helped by Tim Cook (8th), Chris Bowler (13th), and Kevin Cutts (15th). Jens Brabbit completed the top 5, leading the Gustavus Adolphus team.
Although UAF did not place a skier in the top 5, the Nanooks took 4 of the next 6 spots. Junior John Parry took 6th place and was closely followed by Henri Soom, Ray Sabo, and Alex Morris in places 9-11. Mason and Kasey Bacso (7th and 12th) led the College of St. Scholastica to an impressive display of depth, as the team placed 5 skiers in the top 20.
Bob Gerten led St. John’s from 18th place, and Tom Jorgensen of St. Olaf was not far behind in 22nd. Anders Bowman in 26th was the top Gustie.
The overall race winners were Matt Liebsch and Rebecca Dussault, each of CXC Vertical limit. Sunday brings another day of racing in the form of the Super Tour’s classic race, another NCAA qualifying race for the CCSA schools.
For Saturday's Freestyle complete results: