The Gustavus men’s Nordic ski team earned sixth-place with 109 points at the NCAA Nordic Ski Qualifier in Cable, Wis. on January 26-27. The Gusties finished 72 points behind first-place Northern Michigan University (NMU), which turned in 181 points. Jens Brabbit was the top skier in the 10K freestyle and the 15K classic races as he continued to push for a qualifying spot in the NCAA Championships.
Brabbit (Fy., Winona, Minn.) crossed the finish line in 29:02.9 for 11th-place among collegiate skiers for his highest finish of the year in the 10K freestyle race on Saturday. Kevin Patzoldt (Sr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) finished in 16th-place with a time of 29:18.6. Three Gustie skiers, Andrew Tilman (Fy., St. Louis Park, Minn.), Eli Anoszko (Jr., Dousman, Wis.), and Logan Smestad (Fy., Northfield, Minn.), turned in top 50 finishes. Tilman finished in 43rd-place (32:21.5), while Anoszko finished in 45th-place (32:26.0) and Smestad finished in 47th-place (32:39.4). Andrew Poffenberger (Fy., Stillwater, Minn.) clocked a time of 33:14.0 for 52nd-place as two skiers finished within two seconds of each other. Dan Grannes (Fy., Apple Valley, Minn.) and Phil Cleary (Fy., Willmar, Minn.) finished 55th (34:05.3) and 56th (34:07.1), respectively. Adam Snyder (Fy., Plymouth, Minn.) rounded out the Gustavus finishers at 58th-place in 34:53.6. Marius Korthauer of the University of Alaksa-Faribanks won the race in 27:01.3, while NMU won the team competition with 89 points. Gustavus earned sixth place with 55 points.
Sunday’s 15K classic race produced similar results as Brabbit, Patzoldt, and Tilman turned in top 30 performances. Brabbit finished in 20th-place (43:03) with Patzoldt in 22nd-place (43:20) and Tilman in 30th-place at 45:00. Smestad joined Anoszko and Poffenberger in the top 50 as Anoszko was 44th (47:53), Poffenberger was 45th (47:55) and Smestad was 48th (48:30). Grannes finished in 53rd-place with a time of 50:23 and Cleary earned 56th-place (52:10). Korthauer clinched first-place with a time of 39:21, as NMU again took first-place with 93 points. The Gusties captured sixth with 54 points.
Brabbit is in contention for one of the ten spots given to CCSA skiers for the NCAA Championships. He is three skiers away from qualifying with two meets remaining. Gustavus will have this weekend off as it prepares for the Minnesota College Championships on Saturday, February 9 near St. Cloud, Minn.