Central region

Huskies win NCAA Central Region Championship

DULUTH, Minn. (WLUC) — Michigan Tech’s Nordic ski teams combined to win the NCAA Central Region Ski Championship on Sunday at the Grand Avenue Nordic Center. The women’s team placed first, the men’s second, and the Huskies tied Northern Michigan for the combined tag team title. The Huskies had a pair of regional champions and 15 performances in all regions with the top 10 results.

“Both teams really came out to ski today, and it was inspiring,” said technical coach Tom Monahan Smith. “It was a historic result for the program and an incredibly impressive comeback for the team after trailing NMU by seven points to start the day.”

Nea Katajala was the Central Region champion in the 5K Classic on Saturday, winning for the second week in a row. She crossed the line in 12:13.0, more than 30 seconds ahead of her teammate Henrietta Semb who placed second. Marie Solverud Wangen (5th), and Oda Hovland (8th) also took all-region honors in the individual start race.

Skylar Pattern was back on the 10K classic podium with a third place finish. Henry Snider placed fifth while Colin Liberated (12th), Cedric Keller (12th), Adam Witkowski (16th), Jasper Johnson (18th), and Parker Courte Rathwell (19th) were also in the top 20.

Henrietta Semb was the Central Region champion in the 15k mass start on Sunday with a photo-finish against NMU’s Hilde Eide. Nea Katajala was two seconds off third place with Olivia Lavender placing fourth. Marie Solverud Wangen (7th) and Oda Hovland (10th) were also in the top 10.

Skylar Pattern was less than a second from first place in the 20 km mass start on Sunday, finishing on the podium for the fourth race in a row and the sixth time in the last four weekends. Colin Liberated was eight tenths of a second off the podium in fourth position. Tryg Solberg (6th) and Henry Snider (10th) were also all regions. Felix Cottet-Puinel and Parker Courte Rathwell finished 13th and 14th.

“We are so proud and inspired by what this team and these athletes have accomplished this season,” added Monahan Smith. “We wanted to make sure we produced our best results of the season this weekend, and I believe we did. This team continues to improve and improve with every race.

“We’ve never had a team that works so well together, supports each other so much and really helps lift each other up. I think that’s why they skied so well this year.

The Huskies are now focused on the NCAA Championships on March 9-11 in Soldier Hollow, Utah. Anabel Needham, Henrietta Semb, Nea Katajala, Skylar Pattern, Colin Liberatedand Henry Snider will represent Black and Gold. Felix Cottet-Puinel and Olivia Lavender will be alternates.

Seniors Mary Lyons, Oda Hovlandand Marc Ousdigian wrapped up their Michigan Tech Nordic skiing career on Sunday.

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