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CCSA Announces 2011 NCAA Championship Qualifiers

The CCSA announced the 15 student-athletes that will represent the region in next month’s NCAA Championships in Stowe, Vt.

All told, five different CCSA programs will send skiers to nationals, as athletes from Northern Michigan, Alaska, Michigan Tech, Gustavus Adolphus, and Green Bay will all take to the trails among the nation’s best.

On the men’s side, Northern Michigan and Alaska both qualified the full allotment of three skiers each. The Wildcats’ trio of Martin Banerud, Andy Liebner and Erik Soderman make the trip to Vermont, while the Nanooks’ David Norris, Lex Treinen and Tyler Kornfield all earned automatic berths after qualifying for international competition at U.S. Nationals.

Michigan Tech’s Mikko Harju qualifies for his first NCAA Championships; the Finn proving a solid addition for Joe Haggenmiller’s men this season. Gustavus’ Jens Brabbit returns to nationals for the second straight year as well, rounding out the eight-man CCSA field.

For the women, Northern Michigan will again field a full team, as Christina Turman, Marie Helen Soderman, and Monica Markvardsen all qualify for the NCAA’s. Alaska’s Raphaela Sieber finishes the season as the women’s top scoring skier, and she will be joined by teammate and fellow German Theresia Schnurr at the national championships.

Green Bay senior Carolyn Freeman looks to end her career on a high note in Stowe, qualifying as the region’s second-best scoring woman. Michigan Tech freshman Malin Eriksson completes a seven-athlete field for the region after a promising first season with the Huskies.

To determine who will represent the central region, the CCSA scores student-athletes in each of the six NCAA qualifier races that he or she competes in over the season. The skier’s top two freestyle scores are then averaged together, as well as his or her top two classical scores. Those two numbers are then averaged together as well to create the skier’s overall score. Those athletes with the lowest overall score are then selected for the NCAA Championships, though each school is limited to a maximum of three athletes per gender.

This season, the CCSA was allotted eight men’s spots and seven women’s spots for the NCAA races. Those spots are determined by a region’s performance in previous NCAA appearances. The better a region’s athletes perform in a season, the more likely the region will be to earn more allotted spots in the following year.

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