RHINELANDER, Wis. – The Michigan Tech Huskies Nordic Ski Team competed in the Central Collegiate Ski Association Conference Championships Saturday, Feb. 10th and Sunday, Feb. 11th hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Huskies had several competitors file into the top-10 in each ski event over the weekend and Gaspard Cuenot clinched his second 1st place title of the season in the freestyle event Sunday.
"Overall we are really proud of the team," said Nordic skiing head coach Tom Smith. "Even when our student-athletes aren't having their best day out on the courses they are really showing that they have the ability to stay tough and compete.
I think the biggest thing is that they are just such strong student-athletes overall and I think that speaks testament to our university and the character that these individuals hold."
The men's team finished with 177 total points combined from Saturday and Sunday's events to finish second overall in the competition. Gaspard Cuenot, Tom Bye, Reid Goble and Mitch DeLong were the key point leaders.
The women wrapped up the weekend with 149 points to finish third on the weekend, just one-point shy to tie with the College of Saint Scholastica for second place. All three women's skiers contributed to the total.
In the field of 37 skiers, junior Gaspard Cuenot hit the finish line in 5th place overall in Saturday's 10-kilometer classic style race. Tom Bye followed securing 6th place. Cuenot finished with a time of 28:29 and Bye was just two seconds behind in 28:31.8.
Junior Amanda Kautzer led the women's team in 9th place and freshman skier Sarah Goble immediately followed for 10th place in the women's 5-kilometer classic race. Kautzer crossed the finish line with a time of 17:16.1 and Goble finished with a time of 17:18.5. Erin Lipp was 22nd in the field and clocked in at 18:51.2.
In Sunday's 20-kilometer mass start, five racers on the men's team made the top-10, with Cuenot leading the pack taking first place overall. Cuenot earned his first title on the podium in the 20-kilometer race last weekend (Feb. 4) at the MTU CCSA races and has now captured his second. Cuenot's winning time was 50:25.4.
"It was a great day on the men's side with Gaspard finishing first overall and it was exciting to see five of our guys make it into the top-10," added Smith.
Teammates, Bye (5th, 51:25.6), DeLong (6th, 52:16), Goble (7th, 52:17.0) and Patrick Acton (9th, 52:20.7) set the tempo in the distance freestyle.
Goble led the women's 15-kilometer mass start skate race in 7th place with a time of 46:22.7 and Kautzer followed closely for 8th place. Kautzer hit the line at 47:40.3 and Erin Lipp cracked the top-20, finishing 19th with a time of 50:45.5.
"We are looking forward to next weekend's regional championship races in Ishpeming," said Smith. "I would also like to thank our entire coaching staff for working tirelessly every weekend to make sure our team is successful."
Next up for MTU will be the Ishpeming SuperTour and NCAA Regional at the Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming, Mich. Classic races will take place on Saturday with freestyle races to follow on Sunday.