The Gustavus women’s nordic ski team placed seventh overall in the combined team standings for the NCAA Central Region Skiing Championships held Saturday in Houghton, Mich. The freestyle and classic races were both held on the same day due to blustery conditions that hit the competition site on Friday with winds in excess of 40 miles per hour.
The Gusties secured sixth place in the freestyle event of the season’s final NCAA Qualifier with their top three skiers combining to score 37 points. The University of Alaska-Fairbanks won the competition with 76 points.
Erica Hett led the Gusties in the 5k Freestyle with a 20th place showing in a time of 15:54.0. Marian Lund finished the course in 26th with a time of 16:17.0 and Cassandra Brady rounded out the trio of scorers by placing 37th in a time of 16:59.7. Danielle Burgmeier crossed the finish line just behind Brady for a 38th place finish in a time of 17:00.3, and Meredith Bache-Wiig finished in 45th place with a time of 17:10.8.
“On the women’s side, Erica and Marian had an even par day, but Cassandra raced very well to score as our third skier,” said head coach Jed Friedrich.
Gustavus tied the College of Saint Benedict for seventh place in the team standings for the classic race with 35 points. The University of Alaska-Fairbanks garnered top honors with a total of 81 points in the event.
Less than six hours later, the Gusties were back in action competing in the 10k Classic. Hett paved the way once again for the Gusties with a 16th place finish in a time of 35:24.0. Lund captured 21st place by finishing the course in 35:52.1, and Brady finished 34th in a time of 37:21.3. Bache-Wiig placed 39th with a time of 38:39.7 and Burgmeier rounded out the five-woman Gustavus squad with a 47th place finish with a time of 39:39.6.
“Our women skied better than they did in the morning. Erica and Marian both moved up compared to their morning races,” said Friedrich. “Cassandra Brady again had a very strong race as our third skier, which is impressive considering that she is currently student-teaching on the side.”