The Gustavus men’s and women’s nordic ski teams finished competition at the Central Collegiate Ski Association Championships on Sunday in favorable fashion, improving on Saturday’s Freestyle results to secure fifth and sixth place, respectively, in the overall team standings for the two-day meet.
“Sunday was a challenging waxing day for all teams, and I think we weathered the storm better than most as both of our teams moved up from Saturday,” said head coach Jed Friedrich. “It was exciting to see our men and women combine on Sunday as the top program from Minnesota. That’s something we proved we’re capable of doing for an entire weekend, so hopefully we’ll make a strong push at Regionals.”
Jens Brabbit garnered ninth place honors in the men’s 20k Classic with a time of 59:37.8. Anders Bowman captured 14th place by completing the course in 1:01:03.0 while Gabe Hanson placed 25th by finishing in 1:03:28.0 as the men’s team placed fourth overall in the Classic event.
“Jens came back strong after not racing for a month and is among a solid group of skiers contending for one of the final NCAA slots in our region,” said Friedrich. “Right behind that group of bubble skiers is Anders, who had his most consistent weekend of racing all year. The way he is skiing makes me excited about next year. Also, Gabe is establishing himself as our third-scoring skier in both disciplines, which is great for a first year skier.”
Erica Hett led the women in the women’s 15k Classic with a 19th place finish and a time of 53:03.4. Marian Lund secured 22nd place with a time of 53:54.2, while Danielle Burgmeier finished in 33rd place with a time of 57:19.7. The women’s squad moved up to sixth place in the Classic after posting an eighth place finish the previous day in the skate event.
“Some of the girls weren’t as fortunate with waxing because the conditions became more challenging later in the day. Erica battled with her skis icing up a bit, but she gutted it out to remain in the top 20. She gritted her teeth and used whatever strength she could find to move up three places on the final lap,” said Friedrich. “Marian skied much better on Sunday, and she continues to be a crucial part of our team. Also, Danielle skied well again to put together her best overall weekend this season.”
The Gusties will now travel to Houghton, Mich. for the NCAA Central Region Championship to be held February 18-19.