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60 degree temps for UofM Nordic at USCSA Collegiate Club Nationals

Fri, Mar  11, 2016 - By Ellen Wiitala

Days two and three of USCSA Collegiate Club Nationals are now in the books. On Wednesday, athletes competed in a 7.5km Skate interval start. The UM Ladies were led by senior Ellen Wiitala, who nabbed the podium with a 3rd place in an extremely tight race - only five seconds separated 2nd through 4th places. Wiitala was followed by Senior Erica Dombro and sophomore Abby Potts, who finished 21st and 23rd, respectively, out of a field of 48 women. The race was won by the University of Wyoming's Elise Sulser with a time of 25:50. Overall team standings after Day 2 showed the University of Wyoming, Clarkson University, and the University of Michigan, in first, second, and third, respectively.

For the men's 7.5km Skate, UM was led by senior Doug Watts, placing 30th, followed by freshman Mike Wiitala in 39th. There were 52 athletes in the Men's race. The race was won by Will Timmons of the University of Wyoming with a time of 24:26. UM was tied with Colorado Mesa University for the 7th Men's team after Day 2, with the University of Wyoming, Western State Colorado University, and the United States Airforce Academy in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively.

University of Michigan Sandy Mouch racing in the Men's 7.5km skate

The University of Michigan's Sandy Mouch racing in the Men's 7.5km skate

On Day 3, athletes competed in a 1.3km Skate sprint. Originally, the sprint was set to be Classic, but 60+ degree temperatures and persistent rain made it impossible to set a track. The course was slushy and wet, but, in the end, it was still a great day of competition. On the women's side, UM was led by senior Ellen Wiitala in 12th, followed by sophomore Abby Potts in 13th, and senior Erica Dombro in 24th. The race was won by St. Olaf College's Nora Gilbertson.

UM Men saw their best performances of the week in the Skate sprint, led by senior Doug Watts in 18th, freshman Mike Wiitala in 25th, and sophomore Matt Villalta in 39th. The race was won by Clarkson University's Charlie Maitland.

The University of Michigan women in 3rd place overall after the second day of competition

The University of Michigan women in 3rd place overall after the second day of competition

Tomorrow, UM will compete in the final event of the week - a team sprint relay (Skate). The ladies will be vying for the bronze medal in the overall team category, and the men have a chance to climb up to 5th overall. Live streaming can be found at broadcast.uscsa.com, and a full results list can be found at http://www.uscsa.com/conferences-events/uscsa-results/.