MTU has good results at U.S. Cross Country Skiing Nationals

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CRAFTSBURY, Vt. The Michigan Tech Nordic Ski team concluded their first competition of the 2019 calendar year in Craftsbury, Vermont at the 2019 U.S. National Ski Championships. Sophomores Reid Goble and Patrick Acton finished in the top five of Tuesday's (Jan. 8) Freestyle sprint final on the men's side, while freshman Oda Hovland narrowly missed out on racing in the women's Freestyle sprint final.

Goble and Acton both finished first in their respective quarterfinal brackets, with Reid finishing the course in 3:04.72 in the second bracket and Acton recording a time of 3:05.71 in the fifth bracket. The two were joined in the semifinals by sophomore Mark Ousdigian, who finished second with a time of 3:09.06 in the fourth bracket. Acton and Goble both advanced to the final, with Acton finishing second at 3:04.08 and Goble finishing third at 3:01.04. In the final, Goble finished second with a time of 3:00.06, and Acton took third with a time of 3:00.23.

For the women, Hovland placed second in her bracket with a time of 3:42.69, and just narrowly missed advancing to the final with a time of 3:40.15 in her semifinal group. Hovland's time placed her fourth, just 1.48 seconds behind Abigail Jarzin of Northern Michigan.

In the Classic races on Tuesday (Jan. 3), senior Gaspard Cuenot was the highest-placing Husky on the men's side as he placed 49th with a time of 45:03.4. Freshman Kristoffer Vollset finished 64th (45:51.9) and 31st in Wednesday's (Jan. 4) Classic Sprint with a time of 3:30.01. Cuenot finished the Classic Sprint race with a time of 3:31.03 to place 34th. In the 30k Skate mass start race on Sunday (Jan. 6), Vollset and junior David Jaszczak were the top finishers for the Michigan Tech men, as Vollset placed 59th (1:27:03.8) and Jaszczak took 67th (1:30:53.4).

Senior Amanda Kautzer and junior Sarah Goble were consistently among the top finishers for the Black and Gold women. Goble finished 28th in the 20k Skate race on Sunday (1:04.47.1), 33rd in the Freestyle Sprint (3:45.04), and 56th in Friday's (Jan. 4) 10k Classic Individual race (34:58.9). Kautzer, meanwhile, finished 29th in the Freestyle Sprint (3:41.59), 39th in the 20k Skate race (1:06:10.4), 74th in the Classic Sprint (4:20.26), and 106th in the 10k Classic (36:37.8).

"We had a bit of a slow start to the Championships with the classic sprint and distance races," said head coach Thomas Smith. "But we certainly finished strong as a team with the last two skate races. We know that we're a bit stronger in skating races, and that we need to improve in the distance races."

Michigan Tech will hit the trails again at the UW-Green Bay Invitational on January 26-27 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.