HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech Nordic ski team opened the 2017 CXC Junior Cup/FIS Open/Alumni Open Saturday, Dec. 16 with the freestyle sprint races on the Tech Trails. The U18, U20, collegiate, masters and seniors took part in a 1.5K sprint.
The MTU CXC Cup is the first of four Junior National qualifying race series in the Midwest Region that decide the Midwest and Great Lakes Division Teams to represent the region in the U.S. Junior Nationals Championships in Utah this March.
"The team raced very tough today and it showed in really strong team results, both overall and in the junior rankings," said head coach Tom Smith."We are excited about the confidence our team is carrying to the starting line and their willingness to lay their best effort on the course.
"Sprint races are probably the toughest day of competition for Nordic skiers because if they make it through each heat from the qualifying round to the final, they race four times around the 1.5km loop during the day."
Gabe Pfeiffer of MTU took second place in the CXC Junior Cup group with a time of 4:12.64. Three Huskies followed suit behind Pfeiffer; Tres Green (4th, 4:15.89), Aiden Truettner (6th, 4:20.60) and Josh Albrecht (10th, 4:16.41).
All three Tech women raced in the FIS Open freestyle races and made the top 20 for women's overall on the day. Freshman, Sarah Goble pulled off fourth place overall in the final heat. She finished with a time of 4:47.69. Teammate, Amanda Kautzer, hit the line at 4:38.82 in the semifinals heat, earning ninth place overall. Erin Lipp took 18th place with a time of 4:54.45.
Four Tech men cracked the top 10 in sprints of the FIS Open. Tom Bye led the men's team with a fourth-place finish in the final heat and third-place overall in the college field with a time of 3:47.55. Gaspard Cuenot hit the line in seventh place with a time of 3:43.85, followed by teammates Eric Houck (9th, 3:50.07) and Patrick Acton (10th, 3:57.17).
The winner for the men's overall today was the 2017 U.S. National Championship skier, Kevin Bolger of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Gold Team.
A complete listing of all of the results today can be found here.
"We look forward to tomorrow's mass start classic races on courses that we have already had the opportunity to compete on this season," said Tom Smith. "With this strong start, we are looking to have another great day of racing tomorrow."
Sunday's classic distance races begin at 9:00 AM at the Tech Trails.