Led by wins by senior Chandra Daw (Duluth, Minn.) in both the Classic and Freestyle races, the Gustavus women’s Nordic ski team captured the team title at the Minnesota College Nordic Ski Championships held at the Saint John’s Trails in Collegeville last weekend. Gustavus (133 points) finished ahead of St. Olaf (121) and UW-Green Bay (103). The event also served as the fourth of five CCSA/NCAA Regional qualifiers.
Daw captured the win in Sunday’s 12K Freestyle with a time of 36:15, finishing 1:17 ahead of teammate Laura Edlund (So., Forest Lake, Minn.). St. Olaf’s Linn Dale finished third with a 38:07 clocking, while sophomore Kathleen Dewahl captured fourth in a time of 38:24. Nicole Olson (7th, 38:32) and Sarah Wills (8th, 39:07) rounded out the Gustie contingent in the top ten. Gustavus picked up the team win, edging St. Olaf 68-61. UW-Green Bay finished third with 48 points.
Daw completed Saturday’s 5K Classic course with a winning time of 17:17.5, followed by Dale, who recorded a time of 17:42.0. Edlund was the second Gustie across the line, finishing third with a 17:48.7 clocking. Sophomores Sarah Wills (6th, 18:26.3), Kathleen Dewahl (7th, 18:29.3) and first-year Kelly Chaudoin (9th, 18:52.3) rounded out the list of Gustie skiers in the top ten. In the team race, the Gusties finished first with 65 points, ahead of St. Olaf (60) and UW-Green Bay (55).
The Gusties will travel to Houghton, Mich. this weekend for the Central Collegiate Ski Association Championships, the fifth and final qualifying event for the NCAA National Collegiate Skiing Championships to be contested in March in Colorado Springs, Colo. With the two first place finishes at St. Cloud, Daw strengthened her position for nationals. She currently holds down the seventh and final qualifying position that will advance to the national meet. Daw would be the first Gustavus skier – male or female – to qualify for the NCAA Championships.