Marquette, Mich. - The Gustavus Adolphus men’s and women’s nordic skiing teams participated in the CCSA Championships relay event on Sunday afternoon in which three members of each team combined for a 15 km race for the women and 30 km race on the men’s side. The Gustie women finished eighth while the men finished in 11th place.
Marian Lund (Jr., Duluth, Minn.), Erica Hett (Sr., Burnsville, Minn.), and Mata Agre (Fy., Corcoran, Minn.) teamed up for the women. Lund started things off with a 15:29.6 opening leg. Hett followed her up with a 13:19.2 split and Agre finished things off with a time of 14:03.9 in the final 5 km for an overall time of 42:52.8 and an eighth place finish.
“Our women skied hard and had a tight battle with St. Olaf and UW-Green Bay, said head coach Jed Friedrich. “It was a back-and-forth battle between both teams mostly because we took different approaches in our line-ups. Erica skied a strong leg right in the middle that gave us a good chance to compete and Mata skied as hard as she could to hold off Green Bay’s top skier. I was proud of the way all three women competed.”
On the men’s side, the Gusties sent Josh Blankenship (So., Maple Grove, Minn.), Scott Williams (So., Maple Grove, Minn.), and Zach Wagner (Sr., Marquette, Mich.) to the starting line. Blankenship opened with a 25:31.1 first leg followed by a 23:56.5 second leg from Williams. Wagner anchored the Gusties with a time of 23:54.8 for a total time of 1:13:22.6 and an 11th place finish for the Gustie men.
“The men did a good job and fought hard throughout all three legs,” mentioned Friedrich of the men’s performance. “They were really gunning for UW-Green Bay and set themselves up for a good chance at the end. After the first leg, they had a sizable lead on us, but Scott skied really tough on the second leg to close the gap. Zach had a great race keeping in contact with one of the better skiers in the whole region.”
The Gusties will be back in action Feb. 16th and 17th when they compete in the second weekend of the CCSA Championships in Grand Rapids, Minn.
“We’re looking forward to a break and a chance to get some good skiing in before we finish the season with the last two weekends at the CCSA Championships and the NCAA Regions,” finished Friedrich.