Despite missing roughly a month of skiing after being sidelined by sickness in the middle of January, Gustavus Adolphus nordic skier Jens Brabbit got back on course with fresh legs in the month of February with a pair of strong showings at the CCSA Championships and the NCAA Region Championships. For his efforts, Brabbit has been named February Student-Athlete of the Month by the Gustavus Sports Information Department.
Brabbit’s first appearance back on the trails came at the Central Collegiate Ski Association Championships held at Al Quaal Ski Trails in Ishpeming, Mich. on Feb. 18-19. He placed ninth in the 10k freestyle with a time of 32:05.80, and ninth in the 20k
classic with a time of 59:37.80. Brabbit led the Gusties to a fifth place finish at the CCSA Championships, as he was the top finisher among Division-III competitors in the freestyle race.
At the NCAA Central Region Skiing Championships held Feb. 18-19 in Houghton, Mich., Brabbit battled through windy conditions to capture All-Region honors in the 10k freestyle with a time of 26:52.90. His 10k skate result was his second highest finish of the season, as he also placed 15th in the 10k classic with a time of 29:24.60. Brabbit was the top Division-III skier in both the free and classic races, leading the Gusties to a fifth place finish.
The Winona, Minn. native was just one of only eight male skiers from a Division III institution to qualify for the NCAA Championships held at the Trapp Family Resort in Stowe, Vermont, becoming just the second skier in Gustavus history to qualify in back-to-back seasons for the national meet. Brabbit entered the NCAA Championships as the eighth ranked skier in the Central Region.
Kelsey Lucia (St. Cloud, Minn.) – February Student-Athlete of the Month
First Year, Women’s Swimming and Diving
Gustavus Adolphus first-year swimmer Kelsey Lucia made a splash in February with two strong showings at the Minnesota Challenge and MIAC Championships. Lucia has been honored as February Student-Athlete of the Month by the Gustavus Sports Information Department for her performances.
Lucia kicked the month off by taking sixth in the 50 free (24.41) and 12th in the 100 free (54.33) against a contingency of Division I, II, and II schools at the Minnesota Challenge Feb. 4-5 in Minneapolis. She was the top Division III swimmer in the 50 free at the meet, setting the bar for the MIAC Championships yet to come.
The rookie swimmer from St. Cloud, Minn. was not fazed in her first appearance at the MIAC Championships on Feb. 17-19, taking home All-Conference honors in six events. Lucia became MIAC Champion in the 50 free after winning the race with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 23.30. Her time in the 50 broke Gustavus’ school (23.31, 2004) and first-year (24.06, 2010) records. Lucia also placed second in the 100 free with an NCAA B cut time of 51.57. She broke both the school (52.22) and first-year (53.57) records in the 100 free as well.
Lucia was also a member of the first place 200 free relay, 400 free relay, and 200 medley relay. The 200 free relay set a new meet, MIAC, and school standard when it touched the wall in 1:33.66, automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships. The 400 free relay won with a time of 3:29.21, setting a new meet mark and breaking the school record. The 200 medley relay took first with a time of 1:45.95, hitting the NCAA B cut. All three relay teams were selected to compete at the NCAA Championships held March 23-26 in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Trivent Financial Student-Athlete of the Month display can be found adjacent to the information desk on the lower level of the Lund Center.