Wildcats are Top NCAA Finishers in All Four Ishpeming Races

Wildcats are Top NCAA Finishers in All Four Ishpeming Races

ISPHEMING, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's and Women's Nordic Ski teams captured the team titles over the weekend with perfects scores at the Ishpeming NCAA Regionals. All four races were held at the Al Quaal Recreation Area on Saturday and Sunday.

The Wildcats swept the top-three scoring positions in all four races to ear perfect scores. The women's 222 points bested five other NCAA teams in the field. The NMU women defeated runner-up Michigan Technological University by 65 points. The men also scored a perfect 222 points on the weekend. Their total was enough to defeat the field by 50 points, with MTU finishing second.

Senior Kristen Bourne (Lake Elmo, Minnesota) turned-in a top-five performance as the fastest Wildcat women's skier in Saturday's 15-kilometer freestyle race. Her time of 44 minutes, 36.90 seconds was the fourth-fastest overall but she was the top NCAA skier.

Two more Wildcats earned top-10 finishes with junior Nicole Schneider (Plymouth, Minnesota) and sophomore Anikken Gjerde-Alnaes (Frogner/Akershus, Norway) placing seventh and eighth, respectively. The two finished less than five seconds apart with Schenider finishing in 44:39.60 and Gjerde-Alnaes crossing the finish line in 44:44.60.

Junior Ian Torchia (Rochester, Minnesota) was the top Wildcats in the men's 20-kilometer freestyle race. His time of 50:11.60 was less than 10 seconds off the top time and made him the top NCAA skier in the race.

Also scoring for the Wildcat in the race were freshman Kjetil Baanerud (Oslo, Norway) and sophomore Lars Soensterud (Oslo, Norway). Baanerud finished in 12th and Soensterud was 15th

Three more NMU women's skiers earned top-10 finishes in Sunday's five-kilometer classic race with senior Vivian Hett (Burnsville, Minnesota) finishing as the top NCAA skier. Hett's time of 15:30.40 was good enough for sixth and less than a minute off the top time.

Bourne was the second-fastest Wildcat on Sunday earning a seventh-place finish in the classic race. Not far behind her was Gjerde-Alnaes who finished ninth. Bourne crossed the finish line in 15:52.40, while Gjerede-Alnaes finished with a time of 15:59.20.

Sophomore Zak Ketterson (Bloomington, Minnesota) rebounded on Sunday to finish the men's 10-kilometer classic race as the fastest NCAA skier. Ketterson finished in eighth-place with a time of 25:25.30. His performance was less than 45 seconds off the top time in a field of 62 skiers.

Torchia rounded out the top-10 individual finishers on Sunday with his time of 25:45.00. Soensterud rounded out the scorers for NMU with a 14th-place finish and a time of 26:04.50. Not far behind was Baanerud who finished in 15th, less than one second behind Soensterud.

Super Tour events were held on Thursday with a number of Wildcats competing in the sprints. Gjerde-Alnaes took the top-spot in the women's sprints defeating nine other skiers in the field.

The events in Ishpeming conclude the regular season for the NMU ski teams. The Wildcats now get a break before finishing their 2017-18 season at the NCAA Championships March 8 and 10 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The selections for the NCAA Championships will be announced February 26 at 8 p.m. on NCAA.com