ISHPEMING, Mich. – The Michigan Tech Huskies wrapped up their regular Nordic ski season in the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame Super Tour Regional Competition at the Al Quaal Recreation Area hosted by Northern Michigan University.
Saturday's events consisted of the 20-kilometer and 15-kilometer freestyle events and Sunday concluded with the 10-kilometer and 5-kilometer individual start classic races. Both the men's and women's teams secured second team honors from their strong performances in the events.
"We gave all of our athletes one simple goal this weekend and that was to go out there and lay their best efforts out on the course," said Michigan Tech head coach Tom Smith." We really believe that all of our student-athletes were able to do that this weekend and we are extremely proud of them."
The regional championship concluded the Huskies last weekend of competition earning the athlete's their final opportunity to qualify for NCAA competition within the central region. Michigan Tech clinched three qualification spots on the men's team with Gaspard Cuenot, Tom Bye, and Reid Goble.
"It was incredibly tight coming down to this last weekend between Mitch DeLong and Reid Goble," said Smith. "It came down to just a one ranking difference in the final rankings with Reid taking 6th and Mitch falling into 7th place. We are really excited to be taking a squad of five off to the NCAA Championships as well."
Tech's junior Gaspard Cuenot led the Black and Gold as the fastest skier in the field Saturday with a 6th place college finish and took 21st place overall. Cuenot finished the 20K race with a time of 52:18.8.
Freshman Reid Goble was 8th in the college rankings and 23rd overall. He finished with a time of 52:51.4 to score a top-10 finish.
Cuenot and Goble earned All-Region honors for their top-10 performances of the day.
Teammates Tom Bye (11th, 53:26.5), Mitch DeLong (12th, 53:54.0) and Daniel Wood (13th, 54:48.4), Patrick Acton (15th, 54:52.6), Olav Vestol (16th, 55:02.9), David Jaszczak (17th, 55:06.7) and Somer Schrock (19th, 55:20.4) all clocked in the top-20 of the college rankings.
"With two guys and gals in the top ten receiving honors and nine guys in the top 20 results, it was a big accomplishment for our team," said Smith. We didn't have stellar results on the podim and NMU came out strong on their home course but I'm proud we filled the rankings from there on. I believe that speaks to the depth of our overall team."
In a field of 43 athletes, Freshman Sarah Goble proceeded to lead the women's team in the 15K skate race in 8th place. Goble finished 17th overall with a time of 46:59.1. Kautzer finished 10th with a time of 49:08.9 followed by Erin Lipp in 14th place with a time of 50:33.8.
Finishing in the top-10 earned Goble and Kautzer All-Region honors from their performances in the skate race.
Setting the pace for Tech during Sunday's men's 10K individual classic start was Bye. He hit the line in 5th place and with a final time of 26:29.9. Joining him in the top-10 was Cuenot in 6th place just 10 seconds shy of Bye's time at 26:29.9. Reid Goble managed to pull into the top-10 as well, finishing 8th with a time of 26:45.0 along with David Jaszczak in 10th place with at time of 26:53.2.
Bye, Gaspard, Goble and Jaszczak all earned All-Region honors for their elite performances in the classic race.
Sarah Goble finished in 6th place in the 5K individual start classic race Sunday and earned All-Region honors. Goble finished with a time of 16:28.9. Kautzer finished with a time of 16:50.8 in 11th place followed by Erin Lipp in 20th place cracking the line at 17:50.8.
The ski races held in Ishpeming close the regular season for the MTU Nordic ski teams. The Huskies will now get a break before finishing their 2017-18 season at the NCAA Championships March 8th and 10th in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.