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Two summers ago, with just five miles left of the Marquette Trails Fest 30-mile mountain bike race, all Ian Torchia could hear in his head was the voice of Krystof Kopal, his Northern Michigan University (NMU) teammate, snidely saying, “You drop out again?” Fifteen minutes earlier, Torchia had careened into a tree. After dusting himself off, he remounted his bike, but not before noticing his left wrist was badly injured. For a moment, Torchia considered...


Two-and-half months into her summer training last year, Kristen Bourne woke up in a cold sweat. Her temperature read higher than normal and no amount of lozenges could soothe her sore throat. The Central Collegiate Ski Association (CSSA) Distance Championships and also qualified for NCAA Skiing Championships. There in Jackson, N.H., she finished 17th in the 5 k classic and was the top NMU woman in the 15 k freestyle mass start two days later, placing 13th and