The Gustavus women’s nordic ski team turned in its finest performance in the program’s history, tying for third place at the NCAA Qualifying meet in Cable, Wisconsin on Saturday and Sunday. Senior Ingrid Olson placed 12th in the 10K classical race, while first year competitor Nicole Olson finished 13th in the 5K freestyle race. An ecstatic Scott Jerome (head coach) stated, “It was an awesome weekend. We have been working toward this kind of a team performance for the past three years.”
Jerome’s enthusiasm was due to a very strong overall team performance. The Gusties, who tied for third out of nine teams, scored a school record 105 points. Gustavus finished behind Division I programs, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (148) and Northern Michigan (146), while tying Division I foe University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (105) and finishing ahead of Michigan Tech (50). Jerome commented, “It was particularly sweet to beat teams that have had snow to train on all winter. It speaks to the character of our team to keep training hard through tough snow conditions.”
The complete team results were: Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks (148), Northern Michigan (146), Gustavus (105), UW-Green Bay (105), St. Olaf (73), St. Cloud State (51), Michigan Tech (50), College of Saint Benedict (45) and Macalester (33).
Individually, senior Ingrid Olson finished 12th in the 10K classical race. Jerome noted that Olson’s finish was very exciting, “Ingrid was battling Johanna Winters of UW-Green Bay throughout the entire race. She passed Winters right at end of the race in a very gutty performance. That point really helped us earn the tie with UW-Green Bay in the overall standings.” Other Gustie finishes in the classical race included junior Kelly Damrow finishing 13th, first year Nicole Olson placing 16th, sophomore Chandra Daw finishing 19th and sophomore Melissa Kittock placing 21st.
In the 5K freestyle race, Gustavus was led by Nicole Olson in 13th, followed by Ingrid Olson in 15th, Damrow in 20th, Daw in 30th, and Kittock in 32nd.