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NMU's Fjeldheim named USSA Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year

Sat, Apr  23, 2016 - By NMU

PARK CITY, Utah — Northern Michigan's Sten Fjeldheim was named the Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA).

"I'm honored to receive this award," Fjeldheim said. "I will receive it knowing that all of our NMU skier's hard work was the reason I was selected. I want to also acknowledge that, without the support of the athletic department and university, this award would not have been possible."

This is the third time Fjeldheim has been honored by the USSA. He first earned Cross Country Coach of the Year accolades in 1991 and then received the Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year award in 2005.

"The university and community support for our ski program has helped it become nationally recognized," Fjeldheim said. "I accept this award on the behalf of everyone who contributed."

Sten Fjeldheim wins USSA Cross Country Ski Domestic Coach of the Year award

This season, Fjeldheim led the Wildcats to a third-straight College Cup at the U.S. Cross Country Championships, men's and women's titles at the CCSA Championships and men's and women's crowns at the NCAA Central Regional Championships.

Eight of Fjeldheim's Wildcats represented the U.S. at the World Junior and U-23 Championships in February. Three earned All-American accolades at March's NCAA National Championships, helping the Northern Michigan's men's team finish first among Nordic programs. 

Wildcat junior Adam Martin placed second in the USSA Grand Champion race, totaling 130 points based on his performance at the U.S. Cross Country Championships in January and the U.S. Long Distance Championships in March. Three of his teammates also finished in the top 25.

At the U.S. Cross Country Championships, Ian Torchia won the junior classic sprint and 10K freestyle. Wildcats placed in the top three in five other events, highlighted by Martin's third-place finish in the 15K classic on the first day.

Jake Brown and Sophie Schimpl captured individual titles at the NCAA Central Regional Championships in February. Brown won the 10K freestyle after clocking in at 24:36.6, more than a minute faster than the second-place finisher. Schimpl took the 5K freestyle crown with a time of 13:50.7, 10.2 seconds faster than the second-place skier.

Fjeldheim will be presented his award May 13 at the Chairman's Awards Dinner during the USSA Congress.