The Gustavus men’s and women’s nordic ski teams wrapped up competition at the Hilltop Invitational in style on Sunday with several noteworthy races landing the teams in third and fifth place, respectively, in the overall standings for the classic event.
The two day meet served not only as one of several NCAA qualifying competitions on the docket for the team this winter, but also as a state championship for Minnesota-based colleges. Both the Gustie men and women’s squads took home second place overall finishes among Minnesota colleges in the team scoring for their performance this weekend. The College of St. Scholastica captured the men’s title in the Minnesota state championship, while St. Olaf emerged with the women’s title.
Anders Bowman paved the way for the Gustie men in the second day of competition with a third place finish in the 10K classic race, crossing the finish line in 31:36.5. Teammate Jens Brabbit took eighth place with a time of 32:17.4 and Zach Wagner captured 23rd place with a time of 33:49.1 to complete the trio of Gusties earning points toward the team’s third place finish in the event.
“The story of the day was the race put in by Anders Bowman. He turned some heads today in what was a career best result for him,” said head coach Jed Friedrich. “I have always thought that Anders could potentially be an NCAA contender if he skis like I know he can, and he skied like a contender today, no doubt about it. When Anders skis like this, it gives us a pretty tough 1-2 punch with Jens.”
Erica Hett led the Gustavus women’s scoring threat for the second consecutive day; this time with an eighth place finish in the women’s 5K classic with a time of 18:47.9. Marian Lund ended her weekend with an 18th place finish in the event with a time of 19:46.0, and Danielle Burgmeier placed 26th with a time of 20:19.0. The women’s team finished fifth overall in the event, just three points behind a strong Michigan Tech squad.
“Erica Hett had one of her best races yet this year by placing 8th,” said Friedrich. “Marian skied strong as our second, and Danielle Burgmeier bounced back from yesterday to round out our team scoring.”
Gustavus will compete in another NCAA qualifier in Minneapolis on January 22-23 at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis, Minn.