The Gustavus Adolphus Nordic ski team continued their season Wednesday at the opening day of competition at the United States Cross Country Skiing Championships at the Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center in Houghton, Mich. The Gusties competed in classic technique races with siblings Brynden Manbeck (Fy., Grand Rapids, Minn.) and Kevin Patzoldt (Jr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) capturing the top Gustavus finishes in their respective races. Competition continues Thursday with freestyle races (10K-women; 15K-men).
Manbeck stopped the clock in the 5K women’s classic race with a 55th-place time of 16 minutes, 42.1 seconds, while teammate Sarah Wills (Jr., Willmar, Minn.) was not far behind. Wills crossed the line with a 16:50.2 clocking to finish 63rd. Sophomore Kelly Chaudoin (Ely, Minn.) finished 76th in a time of 17:05.9, followed by juniors Kathleen DeWahl (97th place, 17:23.3) and Laura Edlund (100th place, 17:24.0). Senior Ritva Taipale (St. Paul, Minn.) rounded out the Gustavus women’s effort with a 18:08.7 clocking.
Patzoldt was the highest placed Gustie skier in the 10K men’s classic race, covering the course in a time of 32 minutes, 31.5 seconds and placed 148th in the field of 251 skiers. The three other Gustie men competing finished within 30 seconds of each other – Michael Paulson (197th; 34:16.8), Eli Anoszko (201st; 34:28.7), and Scott Kyser (206th; 34:46.8).
The Gusties will compete in the freestyle race on Thursday. The women will take to a 10-kilometer course in 30-second intervals beginning at 9 a.m. CT, while the men will attack a 15-kilometer course in 30-second intervals beginning at noon CT.