MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Nordic Skiing will make the trip to Alaska this week to compete in the 2018 U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships.
NMU has seen great individual success in the first month of the season with a number of top finishes in-hand. In the season opener, the women swept the top for spots, while the men took the top three spots at the U.P. Opener classic events.
A week later, sophomore Anikken Gjerde-Alnaes (Frogner/Akershus, Norway) earned a victory in the women's sprints at the MTU Open. Senior Vivian Hett (Burnsville, Minnesota) junior Sarah Bezdicek (Osseo, Minesota) and junior Sophie McDonald (Park City, Utah) also placed in the top-five. The following day, five Wildcats placed in the top-10 of the 10-kilometer classic race to close the weekend.
NMU's men were lead sophomore Zak Ketterson (Bloomington, Minnesota) and junior Ian Torchia (Rochester, Minnesota) in the sprints at the MTU Open, finishing second and third. In the 15-kilometer classic race the next day, the duo took the top two spots en route to an NMU sweep of the top-five. Sophomore Lars Soensterud (Oslo, Norway) rounded out the top-three, while freshman Kjetil Baanerud (Oslo, Norway) and sophomore Mathias Aas-Rolid (Redalen, Norway) placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
The schedule of competition for the U.S. Nationals will begin Wednesday with the women's 10-kilometer and men's 15-kilometer freestyle races with the freestyle sprints taking place on Friday. Classic style races will be held Sunday with the women competing in a 20-kilometer race and the men competing in a 30-kilometer race. The event will end with the classic style sprints on Monday, January 8.