Wildcats Earn Team Crowns to Open 2018-19 Season

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ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) — Northern Michigan University Nordic Skiing opened up their 2018-19 season by hosting the NMU Open at the Al Quaal Recreation Area. The Wildcats took team victories in all four races and earned the individual crown in both men's races.

WOMEN'S FREESTYLE
The NMU Women opened up the weekend with their freestyle race Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats were led by senior Nicole Schneider (Plymouth, Minnesota) who was runner-up for the five-kilometer race after crossing the finish line in 14 minutes, 42.70 seconds. She led for Wildcats that finished in the top-five, including senior Sarah Bezdicek (Osseo, Minnesota) who also turned-in a top-three finish. Rounding out the top-five finishers were freshmen Abigail Jarzin (Green Bay, Wisconsin) and Nadine Matter (Engelberg, Switzerland).

MEN'S FREESTYLE
Junior Zak Ketterson (Bloomington, Minnesota) recorded the first Wildcat victory of the season when he took the top spot in Saturday's 10-kilometer freestyle race. He defeated the field by nearly 30 seconds when he crossed the finish line in 24:41.00. Two more Wildcats earned top-five finishes with sophomore Kjetil Baanerud (Oslo, Norway) finishing third and junior Mathias Aas-Rolid (Redalen, Norway) placing fourth.

MEN'S CLASSIC
It was the men who skied first in Sunday's classic races but it was Ketterson who again picked up the victory in the 15-kilometer event. He recorded a time of 41:05.40 to pace the field after being one of the last skiers to take the course in the interval start. The Wildcats swept the top-five placed with Aas-Rolid and Baanerud finishing second and third, respectively.

WOMEN'S CLASSIC
Three more Wildcats finished in the top-five on Sunday's 100kilometer classic led by Matter. She was the second-fastest skier in the field with a time of 33:20.10, less than four seconds off the top time. Bezdicek and Jarzin also turned in their second top-five performances of the weekend, finishing third and fifth, respectively.

TEAM RESULTS
NMU took the team crown in all four races including a perfect score in the men's classic race. The men recorded 105 points on Saturday before sweeping the top-five on Sunday and recording 111 points. The women placed four in the top-five on Saturday to earn 102 points. In Sunday's classic race, they were the top team with 100 points.

OTHER RESULTS
Julie Ensrud | 5K Freestyle | 15:06.50 | 7th
10K Classic | 34:34.70 | 7th
Leo Hipp | 10K Freestyle | 27:36.70 | 15th
15K Classic | 43:52.60 | 8th
Katerina Hyncicova | 5K Freestyle | 16:56.90 | 14th
10K Classic | 36:14.60 | 9th
Xavier Mansfield | 10K Freestyle | 26:15.50 | 6th
15K classic | 44:26.50 | 11th
Sophie McDonald | 5K Freestyle | 15:13.70 | 8th
10K Classic | 34:31.10 | 6th
Lars Soensterud | 10K Freestyle | 26:38.40 | 8th
15K Classic | 43:14.10 | 5th
Daniel Streinz | 10K Freestyle | 26:35.40 | 7th
15K Classic | 43:09.60 | 4th

NEXT UP
The Wildcats will be back in action next weekend when they travel to Houghton, Michigan for the MTY CXC Cup. The Classic races are set for Saturday with the freestyle races to follow on Sunday at the Tech Trails.