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Montana State University announced July 11 that Kristina Trygstad-Saari will be taking over as head nordic ski coach at the university for the 2014/2015 season. The position opened in May when MSU announced that former head coach, Grethe-Lise Hagensen’s contract would not be renewed for the coming season. Trygstad-Saari was one of four finalists for the position including two former MSU assistant coaches, Chad Anderson and Dan Campbell, in addition to the University of New Hampshire’s assistant coach Stephen Monsulick.

In May, Trygstad-Saari officially accepted a position as elite/post-graduate team coach for the Bridger Ski Foundation in Bozeman, but has left the position to become head coach at MSU.

(Press Release)

Montana State Sticks Close to Home in Nordic Ski Coach Hire

July 11, 2014 – BOZEMAN, Montana – Montana State didn’t have to look far for its next Nordic ski coach. Kristina Trygstad-Saari, a 2002 Bozeman High graduate, Bridger Ski Foundation standout and Dartmouth coach, will take over the Bobcat program, announced MSU Director of Athletics Peter Fields, Friday morning.

Trygstad-Saari, who is presently serving as Elite/Post-Graduate Team Coach and Head Masters Ski Coach for BSF, honed her skills on the trails of Bohart Ranch in her youth. As a nationally ranked junior and senior cross country skier from 1999-2010, she was a nine-time Junior National Champion. Trygstad-Saari also finished sixth in the World Juniors; had 2001 World Cup starts; and was the 2002 National Junior Skier of the Year.

In addition, she was a member of the United States Development Ski Team from 2002-03 and was part of the World Championship qualifying squad.

“We’re fortunate to live in one of the best ski towns in the United States,” Fields said. “And, to be able to tap into our local community for our Nordic ski coach is exciting. Coach Trygstad-Saari has competed at the highest levels; raced and coached collegiately at Dartmouth; and knows the challenges of being a student-athlete. We feel she is a great fit for our program and look forward to her taking over the reins of the Bobcat Nordic program.”

Trygstad-Saari served as interim men’s Nordic coach at Dartmouth from Oct. 2012 – April 2013. She helped guide the Big Green to a No. 1 and 2 ranking throughout the season and saw two racers earn All-America status. As a member of the Dartmouth ski team from 2003-07, she was a 2006 NCAA team member and a first-team All-East performer.

“I’m really excited to be stepping up as the Head Nordic Coach and joining the Bobcat Athletics staff,” Trygstad-Saari said. “I’ve followed this team for years, and I see tremendous potential. We have such a talented group of student-athletes, and I couldn’t be more excited to help bring the team to the next level.”

Trygstad-Saari earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Dartmouth in 2007 and is on course to complete a Master of Arts degree in English from Middlebury College in 2015.

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University of Northern Michigan head coach Sten Fjeldheim received the 2014 National Coach of the Year award from United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association as a result of the receiving the highest number of votes from his coaching colleagues.

“It was truly an honor,” Fjeldheim said in a press release. “I’ve won awards in the past but never anything quite like national coach of the year, and when the award is voted on by other coaches across the country, it’s something special that you won’t ever forget.”

NMU finished seventh overall and second place in nordic skiing at the 2014 NCAA Championships at Soldier Hollow, Utah, led by senior Rosie Frankowski and junior Kyle Bratud. The result was one of the program’s top finishes at the championships.

The coaching award was celebrated by NMU skiers, who respect the knowledge that Fjeldheim has shared with them over the years.

“It wasn’t that big of a surprise to me that he won the award,” junior Felicia Gesior said in a press release. “He has a great amount of knowledge for the sport, and everyone knows about his dedication for it and his team, and his success over the years has shown that.”

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Gustavus Adolphus College announced in late March that the Minnesota school would no longer fund the its varsity nordic ski team. The move by the administration, which came as a shock to both participants in the program as well as onlookers, ended a program that had produced several NCAA competitors as well as many accomplished student-athletes.

While the varsity program lost its funding, the ski team will still be able to exist as a club program and possibly continue to compete in Central Collegiate Ski Association. To compete in NCAA races, members of the team would need to fundraise for travel and race entry. Another key factor in the allowance of Gustavus Adolphus to participate at the collegiate level will be its NCAA eligibility, which the school’s administration is currently debating.

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Northern Michigan’s Rosie Frankowski and Fredrik Schwencke have been voted the Central Region’s Women’s and Men’s Athlete of the Year, respectively, by the CCSA coaches, the conference announced Monday. In addition, St. Olaf coach Tom Jorgenson collected the Women’s Central Region Coach of the Year recognition, while NMU head coach Sten Fjeldheim earned the same honor on the men’s side.

Frankowski earned the region’s top honor after writing a magnificent final chapter to her Northern Michigan career. The one-time walk-on was the national runner-up in the 15K skate race at the NCAA Championships, earning first-team All-American status. Frankowski also took sixth in the 5K classic race at nationals (good for a second-team All-American trophy), and also landed the top spot in both the regional and CCSA Championship skate events.

Schwencke, meanwhile, exceeded all expectations with his stellar first season with the Green and Gold. Like Frankowski, the freshman also collected a pair of All-American spots at the NCAA Championships, taking 10th in the 10K classic before finishing sixth as part of a massive lead pack in the 20K freestyle race. Schwencke found his best form at the right time of the season, helping the Wildcats to both CCSA and regional team championships by landing podium places at both events at the CCSA Championships.

The region’s Women’s Coach of the Year, Jorgenson has overseen a steady growth in St. Olaf’s skiing programs over his two-year tenure at the helm, culminating in an NCAA berth (and subsequent All-American finish) for Paige Schember this season. Schember took seventh place in the 15K freestyle at the NCAA Championships, and finished the season as the region’s fourth-ranked skier on the CCSA points list.

“I’m surprised, honestly, to win this award,” Jorgenson said. “I’m very honored, and I’m grateful to the other coaches for recognizing the improvements our program has made, as well as grateful for the high standards they have set that I can follow and work towards as a coach.”

Not far removed from CCSA competition himself – he skied for the Oles before graduating in 2011 – Jorgenson believes that experience has helped shape and inform his coaching. “It helps me to connect with my skiers a little bit more, and understand what they are going through as students and athletes,” he said. “For example, I know Paige so well at this point that the NCAA Championships was almost easy; we both knew what we needed from each other.”

Fjeldheim, meanwhile, continues to add to his impressive trophy cabinet, guiding his men’s team to team titles at both the CCSA and NCAA Central Region championships this season. Fjeldheim sent a full compliment of three men to the NCAA Championships earlier this month, where he helped the team ring up a total of three All-American places.

In addition, Fjeldheim, who earned the region’s men’s and women’s Coach of the Year honors a year ago, was also named the CCSA’s Coach of the Year following the regional championships in February.

 

Source: CCSA

 

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SL of TUNA’s Kirk Nichols posted the following videos from last week’s NCAA distance races at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah.

“The men’s 20km rolled out like a fast peloton feeling out who wanted to bust open the race,” Nichols writes. “No one did for 3 laps when finally the pack opened up.”

“The women’s 15km race had again a cautious first lap before blowing off the front doors; one great climber and one great downhiller yoyo-ed with each other up and down the hills of Soldier Hollow,” Nichols explains. “Third, 4th, 5th, and 6th each skied alone.”

Trouble viewing videos above? Click here: NCAA Men’s 20km video | NCAA Women’s 15km video

 

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Colorado skiers Mads Strøm and Rune Ødegård lead the pack in the second lap of the 20 k mass start at the 2014 NCAA Championships. Strøm won the 20 k after breaking away from the pack in the last lap. (Photo: NCAA Live)

Mads Strøm broke away from the field to win the 20 k freestyle mass start in the 2014 NCAA Championships this Saturday. The freshman from Oslo, Norway rocketed into the lead after a conservative first three laps to take the win.

In the women’s 15 k mass start New Mexico’s Eva Severrus of Logatec, Slovenia skied a tough race, narrowly evading Rosie Frankowski of University of Northern Michigan, for the win.

Unofficial results are currently unavailable, they will be posted here when they become accessible. As always, check FasterSkier later today for a full race report.

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A shot taken from the live NCAA stream of the conditions at the 2014 NCAA Championships. Recent warm weather has plagued Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah, but thanks to excellent snowmaking and planning the 5 k course was skiable. (Photo: NCAA Live)

In the midst of what looked like a cloudy April day, Anja Gruber of the University of Vermont won the women’s 5 k individual classic at NCAAs in Midway, Utah this Thursday with a time of 13:38.4. The senior from Germany bested Denver University’s Sylvia Nordskar by slightly less than nine seconds to take the lead in the culmination of the 2014 collegiate season. University of New Mexico’s Eva Severrus of Slovenia took third (+22.6), completing the European sweep. Nicole Bathe of the University of Alaska Fairbanks was the first American, finishing fourth (+29.0).

The trend continued with Europeans from western schools taking the top five spots in the men’s 10 k individual classic. Norwegian Rune Ødegaard claimed the win for the University of Colorado with a time of 24:34.5. He was followed by Frenchman Pierre Guedon of the University of Denver in second (+11.3) and Swede Niklas Persson of the University of Utah in third (+26.4). Kyle Bratrud of Northern Michigan University was the top American, finishing sixth (+49.9).

Denver has taken the overall lead with 301 points, followed by the event’s host, Utah with 246, and Colorado with 240.

Check back later for more on the action at the NCAA Championships, as we report the details of today’s races.

Women’s results

Men’s results

 

 

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The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Skiing Committee announced on Monday the 74 men and 74 women selected to participate in the 2014 National Collegiate Men’s and Women’s Skiing Championships, to be held March 5-8 at Park City Mountain Resort and Soldier Hollow Resort in Park City and Midway, Utah. The championships will be hosted by Utah.

Participants are selected on a regional basis from two designated regions for Alpine skiing (East and West Regions) and three designated regions for Nordic skiing (Central, East and West Regions). Bids are awarded to regions using a formula determined by the skiing committee. A maximum of 12 student-athletes (three per gender per discipline) may participate from an institution.

Alpine events will run at Park City Mountain Resort. The men’s and women’s giant slaloms will be held March 5, with the men’s and women’s slaloms conducted March 7.

Nordic events will be held at Soldier Hollow Resort. The men’s 10-kilometer and women’s five-kilometer classical cross-country races will be conducted March 6. The women’s 15-kilometer and men’s 20-kilometer freestyle races will be held March 8.

This year’s championships will be webcast live on NCAA.com. Visit http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule to watch all the action.

 

PARTICIPANTS BY DISCIPLINE AND REGION (listed alphabetically by name):

ALPINE

East Region – Men
Nick Bailey, Middlebury
Michael Boardman, Colby
Dylan Brooks, Dartmouth
Travis Dawson, Vermont
Kevin Drury, Vermont
Brad Farrell, St. Michael’s
Kris Hopkins, New Hampshire
Max Martin, Plymouth State
Chris McKenna, Middlebury
Ben Morse, Dartmouth
Jonathan Nordbotten, Vermont
Jay Ogle, New Hampshire
Coley Oliver, New Hampshire
Robert Overing, Dartmouth
Hig Roberts, Middlebury
Graham Scott, St. Lawrence

East Region – Women
Jeanne Barthold, Colby
Shannon Campbell, Williams
Katie Farrow, New Hampshire
Abigail Fucigna, Dartmouth
Mardene Haskell, Colby
Maisie Ide, Dartmouth
Lizzie Kistler, Dartmouth
Yina Moe-Lange, Middlebury
Rebecca Nadler, Harvard
Kristina Riis-Johannessen, Vermont
Laura Rozinowicz, New Hampshire
Kate Ryley, Vermont
Elise Tefre, Vermont
Randa Teschner, New Hampshire
Allison Visconti, St. Lawrence
Paige Whistler, Colby

West Region – Men
Joergen Brath, Utah
Sebastian Brigovic, Denver
Mark Engel, Utah
Cedrik Gagnon, Alaska-Anchorage
Henrik Gunnarsson, Colorado
Niko Harmanen, Alaska-Anchorage
Andreas Haug, Colorado
Kasper Hietenen, Colorado
Sean Horner, New Mexico
Espen Lysdahl, Denver
Ryan McConnell, Montana State
David Neuhauser, Montana State
Hughston Norton, Alaska-Anchorage
David Owsley, Montana State
Trevor Philip, Denver
Joonas Rasanen, New Mexico
Armin Triendl, New Mexico
Andy Trow, Utah

West Region – Women
Courtney Altringer, New Mexico
Isabella Andreini, Alaska-Anchorage
Anna Berecz, Alaska-Anchorage
Vanessa Berther, Alaska-Anchorage
Tianda Carroll, Denver
Emily Danza, Montana State
Devin Delaney, Denver
Chloe Fausa, Utah
Thea Grosvold, Colorado
Kristine Haugen, Denver
Jessica Honkonen, Colorado
Stephanie Irwin, Montana State
Ana Kobal, Utah
Kelly McBroom, Montana State
Karoline Myklebust, New Mexico
Mateja Robnik, New Mexico
Kristiina Rove, Utah
Brooke Wales, Colorado

NORDIC

Central Region – Men
Kyle Bratrud, Northern Michigan
Michael Fehrenbach, Alaska-Fairbanks
Logan Hanneman, Alaska-Fairbanks
Adam Martin, Northern Michigan
Max Olex, Alaska-Fairbanks
Fredrik Schwencke, Northern Michigan
Paul Schommer, Saint Scholastica

Central Region – Women
Nichole Bathe, Alaska-Fairbanks
Hannah Boyer, Northern Michigan
Mary Kate Cirelli, Northern Michigan
Alice Flanders, Michigan Tech
Rosie Frankowski, Northern Michigan
Paige Schember, St. Olaf

East Region – Men
Rogan Brown, Vermont
Jordan Buetow, Bates
Patrick Caldwell, Dartmouth
James Crimp, Bowdoin
Eirik  Fosnaes, New Hampshire
Jorgen Grav, Vermont
Eli Hoenig, Williams
Per Lindgren, New Hampshire
Ben Lustgarten, Middlebury
Akeo Maifeld-Carucci, Harvard
Scott Patterson, Vermont
David Sinclair, Dartmouth
Chris Stock, Harvard
Silas Talbot, Dartmouth
Will Wicherski, Williams

East Region – Women
Olivia Amber, Colby
Amy Bianco, Colby
Isabel Caldwell, Dartmouth
Hannah Cole, Williams
Linda Danvind-Malm, Vermont
Hallie Grossman, Bates
Anja Gruber, Vermont
Annie Hart, Dartmouth
Stella Holt, Middlebury
Stephanie Kirk, Vermont
Katrin Larusson, New Hampshire
Kaitlynn Miller, Bowdoin
Heather Mooney, Middlebury
Jennifer Rolfes, Harvard
Corey Stock, Dartmouth
Annika Taylor, New Hampshire

West Region – Men
Andrew Arnold, Alaska-Anchorage
Noé Bellet, Utah
Kevin Bolger, Utah
Arnaud Du Pasquier, Colorado
Lukas Ebner, Alaska-Anchorage
Pierre Guedon, Denver
Sayer Kesselheim, Montana State
Patrick Madden, Montana State
Moritz Madlener, Denver
Trygve Markset, Denver
Aku Ninkader, New Mexico
David Norris, Montana State
Rune Oedegaard, Colorado
Niklas Persson, Utah
Aljaz Praznik, New Mexico
Mats Resaland, New Mexico
Etienne Richard, Alaska-Anchorage
Mads Stroem, Colorado

West Region – Women
Kate Backstrum, Montana State
Silje Benum, Denver
Camilla Brautaset, Colorado
Synnove Bruland, Alaska-Anchorage
Makayla Cappel, Denver
Marine Dusser, Alaska-Anchorage
Anna-Lena Heynen, Utah
Mackenzie Kanady, Alaska-Anchorage
Andrea Lee, New Mexico
Anne Liotta, Montana State
Lucy Newman, Colorado
Anni Nord, New Mexico
Sylvia Nordskar, Denver
Eva Severrus, New Mexico
Maja Solbakken, Colorado
Sloan Storey, Utah
Anna Svendsen, Utah
Jessica Yeaton, Montana State

 

PARTICIPANTS BY INSTITUTION

2014 NCAA Participants by institution

 

Source: NCAA

 

 

 

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For their contributions at the NCAA Central Region Championships last weekend, Northern Michigan’s George Cartwright and the College of St. Scholastica’s Sharmila Ahmed have taken home the season’s final CCSA Skier of the Week honors, the conference announced Saturday.
A fifth-year senior for the Wildcats, Cartwright played a vital role in helping NMU to secure the men’s and overall team titles over the weekend. The Wyoming native opened his stay in Houghton with a fifth-place finish in the men’s classic race (second-best on the team) before finishing as the top collegiate skier the mass start skate race, topping the rest of the CCSA field by more than 21 seconds. Cartwright’s efforts helped Northern Michigan to overturn a three-point deficit heading into the final day of regionals, lifting the Wildcats to a comfortable seven-point team victory.Likewise, Ahmed contributed crucial points to her squad as well, helping the St. Scholastica women claim their best-ever finish at regionals, as the Saints took second just behind perennial powerhouse Northern Michigan. Ahmed saved her best race of the season for when it mattered most, taking second place in the women’s skate race to score 23 important points for her team. The junior also scored for her team in Saturday’s classic event as well, taking 11th place overall in the event. Her points helped St. Scholastica claim its first-ever podium in the NCAA Central Region Championships combined team scores; the Saints placing third for the weekend, behind just NMU and Alaska.Northern Michigan head coach Sten Fjeldheim, meanwhile, collected the CCSA Coach of the Year honors for both the men’s and women’s side. Now in his 25th year at the helm for the Wildcats, Fjeldheim guided his team to a clean sweep at both the CCSA Championships and the NCAA Central Region Championships as NMU claimed the men’s, women’s and overall team titles at both events.

“It is a real honor to receive the CCSA Coach of the year award for both the men’s and women’s team, especially since it is all of the CCSA coaches who vote on this award,” Fjeldheim said. “It’s a real be honor to be selected by a group of coaches who we compete against all season long.”

Fjeldheim, however, was quick to praise his student-athletes for the team’s success.

“Much of the credit goes to the NMU ski team athletes and the way that they have supported one another all season, not just with their racing, but also their fall dry-land training and respecting one another as individuals. The team has depth and talent and most of all a very competitive atmosphere exists within this group, they pushed one another during the intense training sessions all fall and were ready to train no matter what the weather was, rain, shine, sleet or storm”.

Source: CCSA
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It was a green and gold final day of the CCSA season, as Northern Michigan not only saw two of their skiers — George Cartwright and Rosie Frankowski — top the podium in both the men’s 15K and women’s 10K mass start freestyle events, but the Wildcats also swept the men’s, women’s and overall team titles at the NCAA Central Region Championships in Houghton, Mich.
“It was a great team effort,” Northern Michigan head coach Sten Fjeldheim said. “We’ve got everyone healthy, had good skis, so everything worked out. I think it says a lot about our team depth on both sides: everyone really pushes one another to get better.”There was plenty of pressure in the build-up to Sunday’s start, since the races represented the final chance for CCSA skiers to improve their standing in the regional points list and stake their claim for a coveted spot at the NCAA Championships next month.

Cartwright, however, refused to be rattled and skied an intelligent, composed race, sticking within the lead pack for the first couple laps before teaming with the redshirting Erik Soderman to pull away in the final 5K. Cartwright would finish as the top collegiate skier with his time of 40:57.9 to successfully defend his NCAA Central Region skate title from last year.

“It takes a lot to rattle George’s cage,” Fjeldheim said. “He’s at his best when he can sit with the pack and then take off at the end. He’s always been a good skate skier and a good sprinter, so he’s tough to beat when he does that. It was really fun, as a coach, to watch a fifth-year senior go out and win regionals today.”

Fellow Wildcat Kyle Bratrud was next across the line, the in-form skier earning his second podium spot of the weekend with a second-place finish in 41:19.7. St. Scholastica junior Paul Schommer collected the bronze podium spot, finishing third in 41:21.0. A pair of Alaska skiers, Michael Fehrenbach and Logan Hanneman, were next across the line; Fehrenbach taking fourth in 41:22.5, while Hanneman just edged the Wildcats’ Fredrik Schwencke across the line by seven-tenths of a second.

Schwencke, Northern Michigan’s third scoring skier, took sixth in 41:24.3, followed closely by teammate Adam Martin in seventh. St. Olaf’s Jake Brown produced a solid performance to take eighth and boost his chances of NCAA qualification with his time of 41:28.8, while Michigan Tech’s Matt Dugan and Kyle Hanson rounded out the top ten.

On the women’s side, the rest of the CCSA field had no answer for Frankowski. The senior from Minneapolis, Minn. set the pace early, then pulled away on the second lap before eventually cruising to a 38-second victory. Frankowski has now won back-to-back mass start skate events since returning from the U23 World Championships last month.

“Having Rosie back has just given our whole team a boost of confidence — I think she decided to see just how fast she could ski in that second lap today,” Fjeldheim laughed.

St. Scholastica’s Sharmila Ahmed turned in one of her best performances of the season on Sunday, earning a regional silver medal with her time of 33:00.9 — good enough for second place. Northern Michigan’s Hannah Boyer wrapped up a solid weekend for herself as well, landing her second third place finish and second podium spot in as many days by taking third in 33:07.4.

St. Olaf’s Paige Schember strengthened her case for an NCAA berth with her fourth-place finish on Sunday, followed closely by Michigan Tech’s Alice Flanders, another skier who will be eyeing the points lists earnestly when the final standings are announced later this month. Northern Michigan’s Mary Kate Cirelli took sixth to wrap up the scoring for the Wildcats, and St. Scholastica’s Sarah Allen wrapped up a solid season for herself with a seventh-place finish. Alaska’s Nichole Bathe, Northern Michigan’s Kristen Bourne and Alaska’s Aly McPhetres complete the women’s top ten.

Sunday’s results mean that Northern Michigan successfully overturned the three-point deficit they faced on the men’s side after yesterday’s classic event. The Wildcats leapfrogged Alaska to claim the men’s team title by seven points, 129 to 122. St. Scholastica took third with 93 points.

It was a similar story on the women’s side, with the Wildcats’ women taking the crown with 128 total points for the weekend, topping second place St. Scholastica (109 points) and third-place Alaska (99 points) by a comfortable margin.

With the CCSA season now behind them, the region’s student-athletes now can do nothing but wait for the final points to be tallied and the official selections for next month’s NCAA Championships to be announced. The Central Region will send seven men and six women to this year’s national championships, to be held at Soldier Hollow Resort in Midway, Utah on March 6 and 8.

Source: CCSA
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