NMU Cross Country Skiing wins College Cup at U.S. National Championships

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HOUGHTON, Mi. Northern Michigan University Nordic Skiing came away with the College Cup at the L.L. Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships and saw freshman Molly Miller (Kimberley, British Columbia) win two National Championships.

Junior Kjetil Baanerud (Oslo, Norway) led the men's squad by finishing the race in fourth place with a time of 3:15.17, which was second among college skiers. Freshman Tobias Moosmann (Kossen, Australia) crossed the finish line at 3:16.11 for third place in college skiing and ninth overall while senior Mathias Aas-Rolid (Redalen, Norway) was right behind for tenth place overall and fourth among college in 3:16.32.

Junior Daniel Streinz (Hersey, Maine) took 14th as he finished in 3:13.56, eight in college skiing, while freshman Maurus Grond (Davos Monstein, Switzerland) rounded out the NMU finishers with a time of 3:18.56 for 16th place and ninth for college skiers.

Freshman Molly Miller (Kimberley, British Columbia) was the top junior finishers on the women's side and finished tenth overall as she posted a finished time of 3:55.21 and fourth among all college skiers By winning the juniors division, she earned her first National Championship. Sophomore Katerina Hyncicova (Liberec, Czech Republic) came in at 3:56.03 to take 19th overall and tenth for college skiers.

Freshman Hilde Eide (Beitostoelen, Norway) took 23rd overall and was the 12th skier at 3:54.50, while the 14th college skier was sophomore Savanna Fassio (Park City, Utah), 4:00.24, 22nd college skier, and sophomore Nadine Matter (Engelberg, Switzerland) 4:00.74 for 23rd in college skiers also competed for NMU.

In the 15K race that consisted of 231 competitors, Baanerud again led the men's squad as he posted a time of 39:13.8 and finished 10th and 33rd overall. Aas-Rolid was 14th and 44th overall at 39:40.3. Grond, 15th and 45th overall, came in at 39:41.1 and Moosmann came in at 40:00.00 for 17th and 47th overall. Streinz came in at 40:50.1 and freshman Matt Bourne (Lake Elmo, Minn.) crossed at 44:00.6 to round out the men's skiers.

Eide paced the women's team with a time of 30:12.4 for 23rd place in a field of 186 racers. Fassio completed the course in 30:51.0 to take 38th and Miller's time of 30:58.2 put her 42nd. In 45th was Hyncicova, 30:59.8, while Matter took 57th at 31:27.9. Freshman Pauline Forren (Snillfjord, Norway) was the final NMU skier as she finished in a time of 33:26.2.

The Wildcats ended the first two days by winning the College Cup. NMU finished with a total of 538 points, defeating Michigan Technological University and the University of Vermont who both tallied 514 points. On the men's side, NMU finished second with 281 points, falling to Vermont's 306 points. The women were third with 257 points.

Sunday featured the 30K Classic and saw Baanerud lead the men's squad by timing in at 1:20:15.0 to finish in eighth place overall and was the top college skier to finish. Moosmann was the second Wildcat to finish the race as he came across in 33rd place with a time of 1:23:19.5 and 14th in college skiing. In 19th among college skiers, Grond came across at 1:25:20.3 for 42nd overall.

The women's 20K Classic race featured two Wildcats. Leading the team was Hyncicova who took 26th overall and 12th in college sking with a time of 1:09:25.9. Matter notched a time of 1:15.38.4 to take 47th overall and 27th in the college division.

On Tuesday, the team competed in the Classic Sprint. Baanerud again led the squad with a time of 3:52.83 to take third among college skiers and overall finished 16th. Moosmann was the fifth college skier to finish and was 22nd overall at 3:53.48, while Grond came in at 27th, posting a time of 3:53.77, which was ninth for college skiers.

Bourne rounded out the men's finishers by coming in at 4:13.49.

In the women's sprint, Boerjesjoe was among the top three college skiers and finished eighth overall when she posted a time of 4:30.54.

Miller was 11th overall and fourth among college skiers while winning the FU20 Division, juniors, with a time of 4:38.75. As a result of winning the juniors, Miller earned her second National Championship after winning the Freestyle Sprint as well.

Matter reached quarterfinals as her finishing time of 4:41.33 placed her 28th. Hyncicova was 34th at 4:45.70.

In the men's freestyle race, Northern Michigan's success was prominent as three of the top five finishers are former Wildcats. Kyle Bratrud won the race after crossing the finish line at 36:47.9. Ian Torchia captured third place in 37:22.2 while Adam Martin finished in 37:41.6 to take fifth place.

The trio then repeated the same feat in the Classic startwith Bratrud in second, 1:19:37.5, Torchia in third, 1:19:51.0, and Martin in fifth, 1:20:01.9.

The Wildcats return to action January 18 and 19 and will head to Grand Rapids, Michigan's Mt. Itasca Ski Center for the St. Scholastica CXC/CCSA Qualifier.