Matias Saari is the Sports Information Director for the CCSA. For more information about the Central Collegiate Ski Association, visit www.ccsaski.com.
The 2008 All-Central Collegiate Ski Teams were announced Thursday, with Northern Michigan University, Alaska (Fairbanks) and Michigan Tech University the big winners.
NMU placed eight Nordic skiers on either the first or second teams, while Alaska had five and MTU four. Gustavus Adolphus College had two skiers honored and Wisconsin-Green Bay one.
Of NMU’s tally, five of them â€” Morgan Smyth, Laura DeWitt, Maria Stuber, Martin Banerud and Phil Violett â€” were named to the first teams. Alaska had four skiers land on the first team â€” Marius Korthauer, Vahur Teppan, Aurelia Korthauer and Anna Coulter. The only other first-teamer was Santiago Ocariz of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Second-teamers included Michigan Tech’s Jesse Lang, Adam Airoldi, Kevin Heglund and Jenna Klein; NMU’s Justin Singleton, Gus Kaeding and Tanya Cook; Gustavus Adolphus’ Kathleen DeWahl and Laura Edlund; and Alaska’s Elisabeth Habermann.
An even bigger prize awaits most of the skiers honored Thursday, as following the NCAA Central Region Championships Feb. 16-17 in Biwabik, Minn., the conference’s NCAA qualifiers will be announced. Ten women and 11 women will qualify, with a maximum of three men and three women per school.
Meanwhile, Jed Friedrich of Gustavus Adolphus College was voted by his fellow coaches as the unanimous choice for women’s Coach of the Year.
Friedrich, a fourth-year coach at GAC, is a St. Cloud, Minn., native who skied at Northern Michigan University and graduated there in 2003. Three women for the Gusties are currently in position to qualify for the NCAA Skiing Championships, notable in that previously only one skier from GAC has ever done so.
Friedrich is also the head men’s and women’s cross country running coach at GAC.
Sten Fjeldheim of NMU won a close vote for men’s Coach of the Year, with Scott Jerome of Alaska and Joe Haggenmiller of MTU also receiving votes.
Fjeldheim, in his 21st season for the Wildcats, is a native of Norway who came to the U.S. in 1961 and received his U.S. citizenship in 1975. His NMU teams have produced 10 Olympians, five NCAA champions and more than 40 NCAA All-Americans.
Listed below are the 2008 All-CCSA ski teams:
FIRST TEAM WOMEN â€”
Morgan Smyth, NMU; Laura DeWitt, NMU; Maria Stuber, NMU; Aurelia Korthauer, Alaska; Anna Coulter, Alaska.
SECOND TEAM WOMEN â€”
Elisabeth Habermann, Alaska; Kathleen DeWahl, GAC; Laura Edlund, GAC; Jenna Klein, MTU; Tanya Cook, NMU.
FIRST TEAM MEN â€”
Marius Korthauer, Alaska; Phil Violett, NMU; Martin Banerud, NMU; Vahur Teppan, Alaska; Santiago Ocariz, UWGB.
SECOND TEAM MEN â€”
Justin Singleton, NMU; Gus Kaeding, NMU; Jesse Lang, MTU; Adam Airoldi, MTU; Kevin Heglund, MTU.