Markvardsen
NMU

HOUGHTON, Mich. --  Northern Michigan women’s team captured the 2012 Central Collegiate Ski Association Championship with the men taking second place at the Michigan Tech Ski Trails.

The women’s team opened the day for the Wildcats with the 3x5 kilometer freestyle relay race. The team of Marie Helen Soderman, Molly Burger and Monica Markvardsen crossed the finish line in first place, capturing the race with a combined time of 44:42.4. Soderman started the race with a time of 15:59.1, followed by Burger, who clocked in at 14:18.1. Markvardsen brought the team home with a time of 14:25.2.

Markvardsen also captured yesterday’s 15k classic, capping off a perfect weekend.

“We had a solid effort today from the relays,” head coach Sten Fjeldheim said. “We had great skis and fast races all weekend long.”

NMU’s B-team, anchored by freshman Felicia Gesior came home in fifth place with a time of 46:18.8. Junior Libby Ellis led the team off with a time of 16:01.1 followed by Junior Rosie Frankowski, who crossed the line with a blazing time of 14:16.9. Frankowski’s time was the second best of any skier during the race. Gesior rounded out the race for the ‘Cats with a time of 16:00.8.

The ‘Cats finished with 250 total points, netting 87 points in both the classic and relay races during the weekend. NMU also captured 76 points from the sprint event which took place back on Jan. 15 at the Mayor’s Invitational.

The men’s A-team capped off the weekend with a dominating effort. The team of sophomore Erik Soderman, freshman Kjell-Christian Markset and sophomore George Cartwright combined for a time of 37:27.7. Soderman led the race off with a time of 13:10.2 before tagging Markset, who set the fastest time of the day, clocking in at 12:00.8. Cartwright finished his leg with a time of 12:16.6.

“Erik (Soderman) skied great today and led the whole way, skiing away from the pack early on,” Fjeldheim said.”

NMU’s B-team anchored by freshman Kyle Bratrud came home in third place. Junior Chris Bowler started the team off with a time of 13:43.8 followed by senior Kevin Cutts, who clocked in at 12:11.5. Bratrud came home with a time of 12:11.8.

“Kyle had a great weekend for us,” Fjeldheim said. “He was right up there the whole race with the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Taylor Kornfeild, who is a two-time national sprint champion.”

The ‘Cats finished in second place with 240 total points, eight points behind first place UAF. NMU captured 81 points from the classic race yesterday and 87 points from todays relay event. The ‘Cats also netted 72 points from the sprint event at the Mayor’s Invitational.

“The athletes are on top of their game and peaking at the right time,” Fjeldheim said. “We look forward to hosting the NCAA Regional next weekend.”