The Gustavus women’s Nordic ski team turned in its second consecutive third-place finish with 157 points at the NCAA Nordic Ski Qualifier in Cable, Wis. on January 26-27. The Gusties finished 33 points behind first-place Northern Michigan University (NMU), which turned in 190 points. Three female Gustavus skiers turned in top 10 performances in the 5K freestyle and 10K classic races to solidify positions in the NCAA qualifying standings.
Laura Edlund (Sr., Forest Lake, Minn.) crossed the finish line in 16:47.3 for seventh-place among collegiate skiers in the 5K freestyle race on Saturday. Kathleen DeWahl (Sr., St. Paul, Minn.) and Kelly Chaudoin (Jr., Ely, Minn.) continued to ski well this year as DeWahl finished in ninth-place (17:03.8) and Chaudoin finished in tenth-place (17:04.7). Three Gustie skiers, Sarah Willis (Sr., Willmar, Minn.), Erin Eppler (So., Salt Lake City, Utah) and Kathryn Ladig (Jr., Bemidji, Minn.), turned in top 35 finishes. Willis finished in 23rd-place (18:02.6), while Eppler finished in 25th-place (18:14.7) and Ladig finished in 35th-place (18:49.4). Other Gustie finishers included Cassandra Brady (Fy., Apple Valley, Minn.) in 47th-place (19:17.6), Allison Bohn (Jr., Plymouth, Minn.) in 48th-place (19:31.2), and Olivia Karns (Fy., Fairbanks, Ala.) in 56th-place (20:58.7). Maria Stuber of NMU was the first collegiate skier across the finish line in 15:44.8, while NMU won the team competition with 96 points. Gustavus earned third place with 76 points.
Sunday’s 10K classic race produced similar results as Edlund, DeWahl, and Chaudoin turned in top 10 performances. Edlund finished in fifth-place (32:42) for her highest placing of the year with DeWahl in sixth-place (32:43) and Chaudoin in 10th-place at 32:44. Ladig joined Willis and Eppler in the top 25 as Willis was 12th (33:09), Eppler was 20th (35:01) and Ladig was 24th (35:24). Bohn finished in 46th-place with a time of 37:28 and Karns earned 52nd-place (38:07). Brady rounded out the Gustavus skiers in 53rd-place at 38:10. Morgan Smyth of NMU was the first collegiate skier across the finish line in 30:12, while NMU won the team competition with 94 points. Gustavus earned third place with 81 points.
DeWahl, Edlund, and Chaudoin are currently positioned to compete in the NCAA Championships as all three skiers sit in the top 12 of the NCAA qualifying standings with two meets remaining. Gustavus will have this weekend off as it prepares for the Minnesota College Championships on Saturday, February 9 near St. Cloud, Minn.