The Gustavus women’s Nordic ski team is trying to do something that has never been done before by a NCAA Division III school. Three skiers are in the midst of a battle for 11 spots to compete at the NCAA Collegiate Championships, which includes all schools from Division I, II, and III, in Bozeman, Mont. on March 5-8, 2008.
As of the CCSA standings released on January 29, Laura Edlund (Sr., Forest Lake, Minn.), Kathleen DeWahl (Sr., St. Paul, Minn.), and Kelly Chaudoin (Jr., Ely, Minn.) are ranked eighth, ninth, and tenth, respectively, since one institution may only send three skiers to compete at the NCAA Collegiate Championships. If all three athletes qualify for nationals, Gustavus will be the first Division III school to send a full team. Standings are based on results in numerous races throughout the season and include freestyle and classic races. Prior to this season, the Gusties have had one skier, male or female, qualify for the national championships.
Gustavus competes in the Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA) which features perennial Nordic skiing powers such as Division II Northern Michigan University and University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Despite all divisions competing together in Nordic skiing, Division I and II schools are allowed to provide athletic scholarships, whereas Division III schools do not have this ability.