Wildcats Sweep Top Spots at UP Opener

Wildcats Sweep Top Spots at UP Opener

HOUGHTON, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Nordic Skiing opened their 2017-18 season with a pair of classic races at the UP Opener hosted by Michigan Technological University Sunday afternoon. 

In the women's 10-kilometer classic race, the Wildcats swept the top four sports and took six of the top-10 places. NMUP was led by senior Kristen Bourne (Lake Elmo, Minnesota) who was the top overall finisher with a time of 35 minutes, 43.07 seconds. Bourne defeated the field by nearly 30 seconds in the victory.

Senior Vivian Hett (Burnsville, Minnesota) and junior Nicole Schneider (Plymouth, Minnesota) rounded out the top-three finishers with times of 36:12.49 and 36:33.41, respectively. Sophomore Anikken Gjerde-Alnaes (Frogner/Akershus, Norway) was not far behind with a time of 33:43.44 and fourth-place finish.

Also finishing in the top-10 were junior Sarah Bezdicek (Osseo, Minnesota) and junior Sophie McDonald (Park City, Utah) placing sixth and ninth, respectively. Bezdicek finished with a time of 38:06.68, while McDonald crossed the finish line in 38:27.78.

On the men's side, sophomore Zak Ketterson (Bloomington, Minnesota) won the 15-kilometer classic race for NMU with a time of 45:30.59. The time was over one-and-a-half minutes better than the rest of the field.

The Wildcats also swept the top-three in the men's race with sophomore Lars Soensterud (Oslo, Norway) and freshman Kjetil Baanerud (Oslo, Norway) placing second and third, respectively. Sonsterud finished with a time of 47:09.74, while Baanerud crossed the finish line in 47:13.95

Freshman Daniel Streinz (Hersey, Maine) rounded out the field's top five-finishers with a time of 47:40.80. Junior Leo Hipp (Forest Lake, Minnesota) and senior Krystof Kopal (Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic) earned top-10 finishes, placing seventh and ninth, respectively. Hipp finished with a time of 49:02.86 while Kopal had a time of 49:16.48 in the season opener. 

No official team scores were kept at the meet.

The Wildcats are scheduled to compete in Houghton, Michigan again next weekend at the UP Opener. Michigan Tech will host the MTU Open Saturday and Sunday with the sprint style events taking place on Saturday and the freestyle races on Sunday.