With the upcoming NCAA skiing championship being held in Jackson, New Hampshire, the Central Region is sending its top athletes to compete along with the top collegiate skiers in the country. The Nordic events will take place on March 9 and 11, starting with classic interval races and followed by skate mass start. The skiers who qualified, has been officially announced by NCAA and the Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA) will be represented by the total of 13 athletes.
Northern Michigan University will deploy two full teams. On the men’s team, Adam Martin and Fredrik Schwencke will be accompanied by freshman Zak Ketterson. The women’s team consists of Kristen Bourne, Vivian Hett and Nicole Schneider. Shane MacDowell commented: “We are very excited to be going to the NCAA championships. I think our team is ready to compete at a very high level and go above and beyond how they performed last year.”
Michigan Technological University will be represented by Tom Bye, Gaspard Cuenot and Tomi Mikkonen on the men’s side and by Sonja Hedblom and Carolyn Lucca on the women’s side. “We have a good mix of first-time NCAA competitors who have worked hard to get to the championships and returning athletes. For men, we will look for Tom Bye and Gaspard Cuenot to continue their strong skiing from qualifying, where they have mixed it up with the best in our region. We will also look for Tomi Mikkonen to ski well, especially in his stronger technique of classic. For women, Sonja Hedblom and Carolyn Lucca have come a long way in their skiing development and have likely surprised a few by skiing consistently to qualify for the championships. They will continue their hard work and hopefully continue to surprise the competition,” said Joe Haggenmiller, MTU’s head coach.
The College of Saint Scholastica sends Reitler Hodgert to compete in the men’s field and Kelsey Dickinson in the women’s. “We are excited to have Kelsey and Reitler representing us this year. They are both NCAA veterans and definitely have enough experience to perform well in New Hampshire. Reitler is getting fitter and stronger every week and is really looking forward to the Jackson courses. Kelsey is back from her mid-winter illness and has been gaining fitness and made some big technical improvements. She is confident and ready. Jackson, New Hampshire is a very special venue for me as the last time I was there, the NMU women’s team swept the podium in both races. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. Certainly, CCSA teams know how to race and win in Jackson and I’ve got a great feeling going into this championship,” added Maria Stuber, head coach of Saint Scholastica.