BOZEMAN, Mt. The Michigan Tech Nordic skiing teams wrapped up their 2019-20 season at the NCAA Championships on Thursday (March 12). Sarah Goble had an All-America performance in the 5-kilometer skate after finishing seventh with a time of 14:11.7.
"Finishing as an All-American today was a surreal experience, as it has been a dream of mine for many years," Goble said. "To achieve my goal with my coaches, teammates, and family by my side was incredible, and I'm so proud to have accomplished this as a Husky.
"I paced the race really well knowing my strengths and how altitude can make you feel. By staying in control for the first half of the race I was able to find that next gear that allowed me to finish strong and powerful up and over the final climb of the race and into the finish."
Goble wrapped up her Michigan Tech career with a time of 14:11.7. She was 50.1 seconds behind race winner Eveliina Piipo of Denver.
"We are so proud of our senior, Sarah Goble who seized her opportunity today in the final race of her career as a Husky, earning All-American honors with an amazing seventh-place finish!" Tech coaches Kristen Monahan Smith and Tom Smith said. "Sarah skied arguably the best-paced race out of anyone in the field moving from 16th place at the 2K mark, to 10th place at 3.5K, to 7th at the finish! The course had a grueling 1.5K climb to the 3.5K mark that Sarah absolutely charged up. She executed the perfect race on the perfect day. She has been working toward this All-American goal relentlessly since her first day as a Husky.
"This has been at the core of all of our motivation as a team, and it is the greatest moment when it all comes together at the NCAA Championships. This is the greatest moment for Sarah, and what we love most about coaching, to have our student-athletes achieve their ultimate goal."
Also racing in the women's 5K for Michigan Tech were Amanda Kautzer (15:43.1) and Oda Hovland (15:49.6) who finished 38th and 39th.
The men's team was led in the 10K skate by Reid Goble in 24th place with a time of 25:34.2. He was 1:44 off the lead. Aleksi Leino (26:10.4) was 31st and Patrick Acton (27:01.6) placed 36th.
The classic races scheduled for Saturday were canceled as the NCAA canceled its remaining winter and spring championships shortly after Thursday's events ended due to concerns over the COVID-19 health situation.
"It was hard to find words to express how sad we were to hear the NCAA canceled the remainder of our NCAA Skiing Championships after the skate race," added Kristen and Tom. "We know our best race day as a team was going to be the classic mass start day on Saturday. Amanda Kautzer and Oda Hovland have shown their strengths as classic skiers all year, and we know Sarah would have backed up her lights out skate performance in the classic race as well with all the confidence in the world. Reid Goble showed his strength this season in the classic mass start races as well, ranking seventh among the collegiate men in the 30K classic mass start race at U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships. Aleksi Leino has been stronger in the classic races all season, and Patrick Acton was hungry to get in the mix in the mass start field and prove he can compete with the NCAA Championship student-athletes.
"Above all, our hearts go out to all of the student-athletes that achieved the honor to race in the Championships but didn't get the opportunity to compete. However, we understand the decision that had to be made due to COVID-19, and now our focus is getting everyone home safely."