The NCAA officially announced the seven men and six women that will represent the Central Region at this year’s NCAA Championships, to be held March 6-9 in Middlebury, Vt.
Northern Michigan leads the way after qualifying the full allotment of six skiers, earning the maximum of three berths on both the men’s and women’s side. Scott Jerome’s Alaska side wasn’t too far behind, as the Nanooks will send five skiers (three men, two women) to nationals, and St. Scholastica qualified two skiers for the second consecutive year.
On the men’s side, the region’s contingent will be made up of NMU’s Erik Soderman (the defending national champion in the free technique), George Cartwright and Kyle Bratrud, Alaska’s Michael Fehrenbach, Jonas Loffler and Logan Hanneman, and St. Scholastica’s Jeremy Hecker, making his second straight appearance at the NCAAs.
For the women, the region will send Northern Michigan’s Rosie Frankowski, Jordyn Ross and Mary Kate Cirelli, Alaska’s Aly McPhetres and Crystal Pitney, and St. Scholastica’s Sharmila Ahmed – the sophomore becoming the school’s first woman skier to qualify for nationals.
This year’s NCAA Nordic events will be held at Rikert Nordic Center, with a men’s 10K and women’s 5K interval start classic to be held March 7, and a mass start free (20K for men, 15K for women) taking place on March 9.