Northern Michigan University and the University of Alaska Nanooks qualified a full squad of six skiers to the NCAA Skiing Championships March 7-10 in Jackson, N.H. Other representatives from the Central Collegiate Ski Association include Michigan Tech University with five skiers and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and St. Olaf College with one apiece.
On the women’s side, NMU, Alaska-Fairbanks, and MTU each qualified three women while St. Olaf College garnered the other spot allotted the Central Region. NMU’s trio of Lindsey Weier, Lindsay Williams, and Morgan Smyth, all seniors, took the top three spots in Central Region rankings devised from four qualifying sets of races that culminated with the Central Region Championships in Ishpeming, Mich., Feb. 17-18. Weier, a two-time Olympian who just returned from the 2007 Sapporo World Championships, won the bronze medal in the 2006 NCAA 5-kilometer classic race.
Alaska-Fairbanks qualified sophomore Aurelia Korthauer (4th in qualifying rankings), and the Coulter twins, Julia (7th & 9th, respectively). Michigan Tech, meanwhile, saw senior Kristina Owen, a 2006 All-American ranked 6th this season, Elizabeth Quinley (14th) and Jenna Klein (17th) qualify. St. Olaf will be represented by Norwegian senior Linn Dale, the first female representative from the school since 2002. Klein was the final qualifier, finishing not far ahead of four skiers from Gustavus Adolphus College, who ranked 19th though 22nd. NMU actually had nine skiers ranked among the top 16, but each school is only permitted to send three female and three male Nordic skiers to the NCAA Championships.
On the men’s side, Alaska-Fairbanks is sending top-ranked Marius Korthauer â€” a double 2006 NCAA All American from Bonndorf, Germany â€” plus third-ranked Estonian Vahur Teppan and ninth-ranked Henri Soom, also of Estonia.
NMU counters with Norwegian Martin Banerud (2nd), Bill Bowler (4th) and Phil Violett (5th). MTU has qualified Jesse Lang and Kevin Heglund, while the final qualifier is Santiago Ocariz of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Tyler Kjorstad and Jason Kask of the College of Saint Scholastica just missed out.
The Nordic races at the 2007 NCAA Championships consist of freestyle races (5K for women and 10K for men) March 7 and a classic event (15K for women and 20K for men) March 9.
Despite not fielding Alpine teams, the Alaska Nanooks placed 10th, NMU was 14th and MTU placed 19th at the 2006 NCAA Skiing Championships.
Colorado University is the defending 2006 NCAA national champion.
In other Central Region news, the All-CCSA team was also announced. Northern Michigan University claimed half the spots on the 2007 All Central Collegiate Ski Association team.
For the men, the first team consists of Marius Korthauer of the Alaska Nanooks (175 points); Vahur Teppan of Alaska (126); Martin Banerud of NMU (125); Bill Bowler of NMU (112) and Jesse Lang of Michigan Tech (102) and Phil Violett of NMU (102).
Earning second-team honors are Justin Singleton of NMU (84); Adam Airoldi of MTU (57); Ben Cline of NMU (57) and Kevin Heglund of MTU (53).
For the women, first-team honors went to Aurelia Korthauer of Alaska (123); Maria Stuber of NMU (123); Lindsey Weier of NMU (115); Lindsay Williams of NMU (105) and Kristina Owen of MTU (97).
Making the second team were Anna Coulter of Alaska (84); Kelly Ahern of NMU (76); Morgan Smyth of NMU (72); Paula Daabach of Alaska (70); Julia Coulter (67).
The list was compiled using â€œContinental Cupâ€ scoring for the conference’s first six NCAA-qualifying races this season.
Source: Matias Saari, Sports Information Director for CCSA.