RUMFORD, Maine – Northern Michigan men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams continued to post impressive finishes at the 2012 U.S. Cross Country National Championships on at Historic Black Mountain.

Both teams competed in the classical mass starts on Friday, Jan. 6.

In the men’s 20k classical, freshman Kjell-Christian Markset was the first to cross the finish line for NMU, finishing inside the top 15. Sophomore Erik Soderman was the next Wildcat skier to finish, coming in 30th place with a time of 1:32:08.8. Sophomore George Cartwright and junior Chris Bowler were close behind, finishing in 33rd and 34th place respectively with times of 1:33:29.9 and 1:33:29.8.

“We managed to get the guys on good skis and it was the first 30k for most guys,” said head coach Sten Fjeldheim.” “Kjell was leading for parts of the race and that was exciting. It was a really good showing overall for the men’s squad.”

In the women’s 20k classical, junior Monica Markvardsen continued her strong week on the mountain with a 16th place finish and a time of 1:08:20.5.

“This was Monica’s top finish at the U.S. Nationals and she skied really well,” said Fjeldheim. “She was competing with some of the top skiers in the country through the first 10k.”

Junior Rosie Frankowski was the next NMU skier to cross the line, coming in 34th place with a time of 1:12:26.6. Sophomore Jordyn Ross was close behind in 39th place with a time of 1:14:19.2.

On Jan. 5 the men’s and women’s freestyle events were held. In the men’s 15k freestyle, freshman Kjell-Christian Markset was the first NMU skier to cross the finish line, coming home in 17th place with a time of 31:18.20. Soderman finished just four places behind Markset, coming in 21st place with a time of 31:32.20.

In the women’s 10k freestyle, Markvardsen finished 21st with a time of 27:41.90. Frankowski was the next ‘Cat to cross the finish line, coming in 55th place with a time of 29:04.00.

The men's squad finished second out of 19 colleges, while the women finished fifth out of 19.

“I’m happy with how we finished over the three days,” said Fjeldheim. “We only had the one race before this week, so it’s good to see that the dry land training has paid off and we look forward to getting back to the college race next weekend.”