Distance competition concluded Thursday with freestyle races at the United States Cross Country Skiing Championships at the Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center in Houghton, Mich. Laura Edlund recorded the highest finish by a Gustie women’s skier with a 58th place finish overall (third among Division III skiers) in the 10K women’s race, while Scott Kyser paced the Gustavus men with a 151st place finish, 13th-best among skiers from NCAA Division III schools. Weekend competition will see four Gustie skiers race for national sprint titles.
Laura Edlund (Jr., Forest Lake, Minn.) led the Gustie women with a 58th place finish. Her 10K time of 31:50.1 ranked 22nd best among collegiate skiers and third-best among Division III skiers. Kelly Chaudoin (So., Ely, Minn.) finished 66th overall in a time of 32:32.1, while Sarah Willis (Jr., Willmar, Minn.) posted a 88th place time of 33:30.6. Kathleen DeWahl (Jr., St. Paul, Minn.) and Brynden Manbeck (Fy., Grand Rapids, Minn.) finished just inside the top 100 with 98th- and 99th-place finishes, respectively. DeWahl recorded a time of 34:13.9, while Manbeck stopped the clock in 34:15.5. Ritva Taipale (Sr., St. Paul, Minn.) was the sixth Gustavus woman across the line, finishing 125th in a time of 35:20.3. Alexa Turizan of the Sun Valley Ski Team picked up the title with a winning time of 27:49.5.
Scott Kyser (Sr., St. Paul, Minn.) posted the best finish for the Gustavus men, finishing 151st overall and 13th best among skiers from NCAA Division III schools, with a time of 48:04.4 over the 15-kilometer course. Freshman Michael Paulson (Fy., Bloomington, Minn.) finished 163rd overall (15th among Div. III skiers) with a 48:25.0 clocking, while Elias Anoszko (Jr., Dousman, Wis.) rounded out the Gustavus men’s effort with a time of 48:43.3. Kris Freeman of the U.S. Ski Team finished with a 39:34.7 clocking to win by 47 seconds.
While competition drew to a close for most of the Gustavus team Thursday, four individuals – Anoszko, DeWahl, Paulson, and Willis – registered to compete in the weekend’s sprint races. Following a training day on Friday, the Gustie quartet attempted to qualify for the quarterfinals in Saturday’s 1.3K classic sprint competition.
Willis posted the highest Gustavus finish, placing 53rd overall with a time of 3:52.82. Her time was good enough for 18th in the female U23 division, but only 12 skiers advanced. DeWahl placed 85th overall (29th in the U23 division) with a time of 4:00.59. On the men’s side, Anoszko and Paulson, both competing in the men’s junior division, were unable to advance. Anoszko finished 162nd overall (69th in the men’s junior division) with a time of 3:26.26, while Paulson was six spots back in 168th place overall (75th in the men’s junior division) with a time of 3:26.99.
The U.S. Cross Country Skiing Championships will conclude Sunday with team sprint competition.