The Gustavus Adolphus College women’s Nordic ski team ended its season at the CCSA Central Regional Championships on February 19-20. The Gusties compiled 128 team points to place third out of nine teams. The championships were hosted by Michigan Technological Institution at the Tech Trails in Houghton, Michigan. Northern Michigan University won the regional with 171 team points, while UW-Green Bay placed second with 137 points.
Gustavus was tied for third place with Division I program University of Alaska-Fairbanks after the first day of competition. Fairbanks is coached by former Gustavus coach Scott Jerome. The Gusties had four skiers place in the top twenty to compile 63 points in the 5k classical race. First-year Laura Edlund (Forest Lake, Minn.) led the Gusties by placing 16th with a time of 18:48.2. First-year Kathleen DeWahl (St. Paul, Minn.) was just three-seconds behind (18:51.8) to place 17th. Senior Kelly Damrow (Roseville, Minn.) and sophomore Kate Walker (Hastings, Minn.) were separated by nine-tenths of a second. Damrow placed 18th overall with a time of 19:05.0 while Walker placed 19th with a time of 19:05.9.
In the 10k freestyle race on Sunday, the Gusties compiled 65 points to place third overall. Junior Chandra Daw (Duluth, Minn.) and sophomore Nicole Olson (Elk River, Minn.) recorded top 20 finishes. Daw led the Gusties with a time of 34:47.2 to place 11th overall, while Olson placed 16th overall with a time of 35:07.8.
“The key to our success this year was the depth of the entire team,” Coach Friedrich stated. “Next season we will have four or five women with a legitimate chance to qualify for the national meet.”
Chandra Daw, Laura Edlund and Kelly Damrow finished the season ranked in the top 15 of the region in points. Daw ranked 12th with a point total of 47, Edlund ranked 13th with 40 and Damrow ranked 15th with 39. Daw’s point total was just five points away from qualifying for the national championships.
The Gustavus women’s nordic skiing team had its greatest performance of the season a week prior to the regional championships at the fourth NCAA Qualifier of the year. Head coach Jed Friedrich’s squad placed second at the qualifier with 141 team points to finish seven points ahead of Division I program UW-Green Bay. Northern Michigan University was the top team with 173 points. The qualifier took place at Camp Ripley near Little Falls, Minn. February 12-13.
In the 5k classic race on Saturday, Gustavus recorded 73 team points to place second overall. The Gusties had an impressive six skiers in top 20. Kelly Damrow, Chandra Daw and Laura Edlund finished in the top 10. Damrow led the Gusties by placing seventh with a time 14:37, Daw placed ninth just two seconds behind Damrow (14:39), while Edlund finished tenth just six seconds behind Damrow (14:43). The other top 20 skiers were Kathleen Dewahl in 13th place (15:07.8), Melissa Kittock in 19th place (15:40.8) and Nicole Olson in 20th place (15:44.8).
In the 10.6k freestyle race on Sunday, Coach Friedrich’s squad compiled 68 team points to place third overall. The Gusties pulled together another impressive performance with six skiers placing in the top 20. Chandra Daw paced the Gusties with a time of 30:16.2 to place sixth overall. Laura Edlund placed second on the team and 11th overall with a time of 31:35.9. A pack of Gusties rounded out the top 20. Kelly Damrow placed 14th (32:03.2), Nicole Olson placed 15th (32.18.1), Kate Walker placed 16th (32.26.3) and Kathleen Dewahl placed 17th (32:37.3).