Michgan Tech announces additions to cross country ski team

Five states represented with recruits, assistant coaches
Michigan Tech Huskies
Michigan Tech Huskies(MTU)
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 5:57 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Tech Nordic Ski coaches Tom and Kristen Monahan Smith announce the addition of two men, two women, and two new staff members to the roster for the 2022-23 season. The incoming class is represented by student-athletes and staff from Utah, New Hampshire, Colorado, Minnesota, and Michigan.

The Huskies graduated four team members last spring including three members of the women’s team, one member of the men’s squad, and a graduate assistant coach. The 2022-23 Nordic Ski Team will be represented by eight women including six returners, and 12 men including 10 returners.

Coaches comments:

“Our outstanding 2022-23 recruiting class is represented by some of the very top prospective student-athletes across the U.S.! All four incoming student-athletes are All-Americans, and that is an awesome standard they have set for what it takes to make this team. Our program is drawing the attention of truly the top prospective student-athletes not only from our region but from the entire country. This is a big deal for the current success and the future trajectory of the MTU Nordic Ski Team as the best student-athletes choose to go to the team where the best student-athletes are! These top-notch new additions will help us continue to improve and realize regional and national competitive success as a team.

“Equally as important, all of our incoming student-athletes chose to come to Michigan Tech because of the incredible value we offer as an academic institution, and you will see from their academic accomplishments this is one outstanding group of students! That is so valuable in our recruitment considerations as we know through experience that a great balanced approach as both a student and athlete leads to being successful as a student and athlete at Michigan Tech. A focused approach on equal academic and athletic success is one of our top values in our recruitment considerations, as both academic and athletic success is the true measure of success for our team! It is simply awesome to continue to recruit student-athletes that have already proven academic and athletic success through their high school student-athlete career as we know this will continue to bring them success through their collegiate student-athlete career!

“All of these incoming student-athletes came to Michigan Tech for a recruiting visit, and although we realize this is not possible for every prospective student-athlete, we cannot say enough about how valuable a visit is to choosing the right team and University for you to be an NCAA student-athlete! Michigan Tech is one amazing and unique place to be a student-athlete, and we have utter confidence that when we have prospective student-athletes visit and they and we are ready to commit that Michigan Tech truly is the right fit!

“Since the day they came to Michigan Tech for their recruiting visit, we’ve been waiting for this moment to officially announce our new members of the team. Recruiting class of 2022-23, welcome to the Nordic Huskies!”

Recruiting Class

Wes Campbell - Hometown: Park City, Utah

Wes Campbell comes to us from Park City High School, the Park City Nordic Ski Club, and Team Soldier Hollow.

Athletic Highlights• 1st U18 Classic 15km, 2022 U.S. Cross Country Ski National Championships• 3rd U18 Classic 10km, 2022 U.S. Junior National Championships• 1st U16 Classic 5km, 2020 U.S. Junior National Championships

Academic Achievements• Graduated in the top 10 percent of Park City High School.

Intended Major• Computer Engineering

Interests/hobbies/cool facts• Wes is also a biathlete and has competed at multiple World Junior Championships for biathlon. He loves playing games, and his favorite place is Obertilliach.

Cat Stow - Hometown: Gilford, New Hampshire

Catherine “Cat” Stow comes to us from Gilford High School and the Gunstock Nordic Association.

Athletic Highlights• 1st U20 Mixed Relay, 2022 Junior National Championships• 2nd U20 Classic 10km, 2022 Junior National Championships• 3rd U20 Skate 5km, 2022 Junior National Championships• 4th U20 Classic Sprint, 2022 Junior National Championships• 2x Top 20 Overall in Craftsbury & Lake Placid SuperTours, 2022• Overall Winner of Cheri Walsh Easter Cup, 2021• New Hampshire State Champion, 8th-12th grade• 20th overall 2022 Craftsbury SuperTour freestyle 7.5k pursuit.• 20th overall 2022 Lake Placid SuperTour classic 10k mass start.• Overall winner of 2021 Cheri Walsh Eastern Cup (JNQ).• NH state champion 8th-12th grade.

Academic Achievements• New Hampshire Scholar, National Honor Society Officer, Class President

Intended Major• Management Information Systems

Interests/hobbies/cool facts• I also enjoy hiking and running, taking care of my succulents, and I love traveling when I get the chance.

Sarah Bivens - Hometown: Crested Butte, Colorado

Sarah Bivens comes to us from the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, and the Summit Nordic Ski Club.

Athletic Highlights• 5th U20 Skate 5km, 2022 U.S. Junior National Championships• 5th U20 Classic 10km, 2022 U.S. Junior National Championships• 5th U20 Team Relay, 2022 U.S. Junior National Championships• 20th overall junior ranking, 2022 U.S. Cross Country Ski National Championships• 5th U18 Classic 5km, 2020 U.S. Junior National Championships• 10th U18 Skate Sprint, 2020 U.S. Junior National Championships

Academic Achievements• Founder of the National Honor Society at Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy, 2021 Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy Student of the Year, President’s Award for Educational Excellence 6th-12th grade.

Intended Major• Undecided. Academic interests: Human Biology, Biological Engineering

Interests/hobbies/cool facts• I love to race mountain bikes, climb local 14ers, swim in the high alpine lakes and just adventure outside. I also have a passion for drawing and recently picked up the guitar.

Sam Stertz - Hometown: Grand Rapids, Minnesota

Sam Stertz comes to us from the Mt. Itasca Winter Sports Center, and the Sirdal Upper Secondary School in Tonstad, Norway.

Sam will also be a member of the MTU Cross Country Team as a dual-sport student-athlete for Michigan Tech!

Athletic Highlights• 10th U20 Skate 10km, 2022 U.S. Junior National Championships• 5th Youth Relay, 2021 IBY Youth/Junior World Ski Championships• 1st Youth Super Sprint, 2021 USBA National Championships• 21st Youth Sprint, 2020 IBU Youth/Junior World Ski Championships

Academic Achievements• Graduated high school with 3.75 cumulative GPA.

Intended Major• Economics

Interests/hobbies/cool facts• I spent the Fall and Winter of 2021 training for skiing and biathlon and racing in Norway.

Coaching Staff Additions

William Haapala - Hometown: Traverse City, Michigan

William “Will” Haapala will be the Student Manager of the MTU Nordic Ski Team for the 2022-23 season! Will comes to us from the Vasa Nordic Ski Club under the coaching of Tech alumni Sam Holmes and Ruth Oppliger. Will is a 2x Michigan State High School Ski Champion and multiple-time competitor at U.S. Junior National Championships. Will intends to study Mechanical Engineering and begins his freshman year at Michigan Tech this fall. We welcome Will as a new member of our staff for the 2022-23 season.

Mark Ousdigian - Hometown: Shoreview, Minnesota

Mark Ousdigian will be the Graduate Assistant Coach of the MTU Nordic Ski Team for the 2022-23 season! Mark competed as a student-athlete on the Tech Nordic Ski Team through the past four years and will serve as our GA while he completes his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. We’re psyched to have Mark transition into his new supportive role for the team.

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