Biwabik, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s and women’s nordic skiing teams completed their second day of competition Sunday afternoon in the second of three NCAA qualifiers. Both teams finished fifth in Sunday’s Freestyle race. The men racked up 48 team points while the women tallied 47 points.
For the men, Josh Blankenship (So., Maple Grove, Minn.) led the way with an eighth place finish in a time of 55:51.8. Tony Squillace (Jr., Duluth, Minn.) was the second Gustie to cross the finish line in 13th place with a time of 56:39.5. Zach Wagner (Sr., Marquette, Mich.) rounded out the top three racers for Gustavus as the final Gustie skier to finish in the top 20. Wagner placed 19th with a final time of 58:11.7.
“It was a very good day for the men,” said head coach Jed Friedrich. “We had three racers in the top 20, led by Josh who had one of the best races of his college career. Tony and Zach both had good races as well. Overall, the entire team skied really well on a challenging course.”
On the women’s side, Erica Hett (Sr., Burnsville, Minn.) led the Gusties for the fourth consecutive race. Hett finished ninth in a time of 51:01.7. Marian Lund (Jr., Duluth, Minn.) followed Hett with a 14th place finish with a final time of 52:16.6. The third Gustie woman to finish in the top 20 was Meredith Bache-Wiig (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.). Bache-Wiig crossed the line in 20th place with a time of 54:26.1.
“Our women also had a solid day,” said Friedrich. “Erica had another outstanding race with a ninth place finish. Marian and Meredith also skied well. We are happy with the results today and are excited heading into next weekend at Marquette.”
Both teams will compete next weekend in Marquette, Mich. for their final NCAA qualifier.