The Gustavus men’s and women’s nordic ski teams turned in fifth and eighth place team finishes, respectively, in the freestyle event on the first day of the Central Collegiate Ski Association Championships held at Al Quaal Ski Trails in Ishpeming, Mich. The meet serves as the Gusties’ conference championship, and precedes the NCAA Central Region Qualifier to be held the weekend of February 18-19.
Jens Brabbit competed for the first time since January 18th after coming down with a virus. The month-long hiatus didn’t seem to faze Brabbit on the 10k freestyle course Saturday as he took ninth place with a time of 32:05.8. Anders Bowman turned in a promising 16th place performance with a time of 32:48.5 and Gabe Hanson rounded out the Gustie scoring threat with a 35th place finish in 34:35.5.
“It was a pretty good day overall for our guys in the skate race, which has been our weaker discipline this year,” said head coach Jed Friedrich. “Jens returned to racing for the first time in almost a month and skied very well considering the layoff. Anders also skied his best skate race of the year.”
Erica Hett led the way for the women in the 5k freestyle, capturing 19th place with a time of 19:05.3. Marian Lund crossed the line in 28th place in 19:32.6 and Danielle Burgmeier completed the course in 20:39.5 to finish in 36th place.
“The women skied alright, but weren’t feeling quite at their best today,” said Friedrich. “Danielle had a much better skate race and it looks like she is finding her racing form as we expected her to do at this time.”
The CCSA Championships will conclude Sunday afternoon with both teams competing in the Classic event.