The Gustavus Adolphus men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams swept the team titles at the Minnesota Collegiate Championships Saturday at the Woodland Trails near Elk River, Minn. The tandem of Laura Edlund (Jr., Forest Lake, Minn.) and Kelly Chaudoin (So., Ely, Minn./Memorial) took the women’s race as Gusties teams occupied the top four spots. The best placed Gustavus men were Kevin Patzoldt (Jr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) and Scott Kyser (Sr., St. Paul, Minn./Highland Park) in fourth.
The championships format called for two-person, single-gender teams skiing a continuous relay following a mass start. The first two legs of the relay were contested on a 4-kilometer classic course, while the final two legs were contested on a separate 5-kilometer freestyle course, with the top two teams counting toward team points.
The Gustavus women’s team skied extremely well, led by Edlund and Chaudoin, who stopped the clock in a winning time of 1 hour, 5 minutes, 46 seconds. Sarah Willis (Jr., Willmar, Minn.) and Brynden Manbeck (Fy., Grand Rapids, Minn.) placed second with a time of 1:07:05, followed by Kathleen DeWahl (Jr., St. Paul, Minn./Central) and Kathryn Ladig (So., Bemidji, Minn.) in third with a time of 1:09.14. Allison Bohn (So., Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) and Ritva Taipale (Sr., St. Paul, Minn./Central) were the final Gustavus duo across the line, placing fourth in a time of 1:09.35. With the Gusties taking the top four spots overall, they easily won the team title with 99 points. St. Olaf and St. Ben’s tied for second with 93 points apiece, followed by St. Cloud State (85 points) and St. Scholastica (44 points).
Although the Gustavus men’s team wasn’t the first school to get its first men’s team across the line, it was the first to get its second team across the line, providing just the edge needed to capture the team title. Jason Kask and Tyler Kjorstad of St. Scholastica won the men’s title with a time of 56:26, while Patzoldt and Kyser stopped the clock in 57:26 to place fourth. Michael Paulson (Fr., Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) and Elias Anoszko (Jr., Dousman, Wis./Kettle Moraine) placed ninth overall with a time of 1:00:16, but were just the sixth collegiate entry across the line. Mark Hartman (Fy., White Bear Lake, Minn.) competed as an “odd-skier out” with St. Olaf’s Sam Manning, finishing 17th with a time of 1:05:09. The Gusties finished with 92 points, edging St. Scholastica (91 points), Saint John’s (90), the University of Minnesota (89) and St. Olaf (89). Minnesota-Duluth (44) and St. Thomas (39) rounded out the field.
The Gustavus Nordic ski teams will close out their regular season at the Central Collegiate Ski Association Regional Championships next Saturday-Sunday, February 17-18 at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich. The CCSA Regional Championships serves as the fourth and final NCAA qualifying event for the Central Region. Sarah Willis currently holds down the tenth and final qualifying position for the NCAA Championships in New Hampshire in March and three teammates (Chaudoin, Edlund, and DeWahl) are currently the second, third and fourth alternates.