The Gustavus men’s and women’s nordic ski teams opened their 2010-11 seasons at the Grandview Classic in Ironwood, Michigan. No team scores were kept, however both teams turned in solid performances against a strong field. Jens Brabbit led the men’s team with an eighth place finish in the freestyle race on Saturday and a fifth place finish in the classic race on Sunday. Erica Hett led the women’s team with a 12th place finish in the freestyle race and a 10th place finish in the classic race. The teams will break for the Christmas holiday and then return to action on January 2 in Rumford, Maine at the U.S. Nordic Skiing Championships.
“Overall, the weekend was about what I expected,” stated Head Coach Jed Friedrich. “It was good to see Jens competing with the other top skiers in our region. We aren’t looking for him to set the world on fire in December, but it showed that he is going to have another strong year.” Friedrich also recognized the performance of sophomore Zach Wagner stating “Zach had a really good day on Sunday placing in sixth among his age group after placing 17th on Saturday. He should be a strong third skier for us in the classic races this year.”
On the women’s side, Friedrich highlighted the performances of first year Marian Lund and sophomore Erica Hett. He said, “Marian skied very well in her first full weekend racing in college, while Erica raced better than last year at these races especially in freestyle.”
Saturday’s results in the 10k freestyle for the men included Brabbit placing eighth with a time of 25:15.8, Wagner placing 17th in a time of 28:19.1, John Stingle finishing 24th in a time of 28:51.2, Tony Squillace placing 27th in a time of 29:23.6, and Gabe Hanson finishing 32nd in a time of 30:12.2.
The women’s results on Saturday in the 5k freestyle included Lund finishing 12th in her division with a time of 15:26.1 and Hett finishing 12th in her division with a time of 15:38.5. Following Lund and Hett were Danielle Burgmeier who finished 29th in a time of 17:36.7 and Annika Ferber who placed 30th in a timeof 17:39.8.
In Sunday’s 10k classic race, Brabbit led the way once again with a fifth place finish in a time of 28:52.5. Next across the line for the Gusties was Wagner who finished 23rd overall and sixth in his division with a time of 30:39.0. Other finishes for the Gustie men included Hanson who placed 48th overall and 15th in his division with a a time of 31:57.9, Stingle who finished 62nd overall and 19th in his division with a time of 32:34.2, and Squillace who placed 70th overall and 22nd in his division with a time of 32:51.4.
In the women’s 10k classic race, Hett was the first to cross the finish line as she placed 23rd overall and 10th in her division with a time of 36:10.5. Hett was followed by Lund who finished 33rd overall and 12th in her division in a time of36:42.9. Other finishers for the women included Burgmeier who finished 77th overall and 27th in her division with a time of 41:27.7 and Ferber who finished 82nd overall and 28th in her division with a time of 42:05.3.