Gustavus senior Kelly Chaudoin posted an impressive 40th place finish in the 5k freestyle race (16:34) at the U.S. National Cross Country Skiing Championships being held in Anchorage, Alaska. In a field that contained nearly all of the finest amateur skiers in the U.S., Chaudoin’s finish was the fourth highest among skiers from the Central Region to cross the finish line and the second highest among Division III competitors. The Championships, which were scheduled to begin on Saturday and end on Wednesday, were shortened due to severely cold weather in Alaska. Rules stipulate that racing cannot take place when the temperature is below -4 fahrenheit, which forced the cancellation of racing every day but Monday, January 5.
Coach Jed Friedrich stated, “Placing 40th at the US National Championships is pretty impressive considering the very best skiers in the country are competing for spots for this year’s World Championships, Junior World Championships, and even next year’s Olympics. In addition , placing fourth among racers in the Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA) makes Kelly a very legitimate contender for the NCAA Championships in Rumford, Maine.”
The Gusties will now have a two-week break before competing again at the second NCAA Qualifier event , which will take place in Coleraine, Minn. on January 24-25.