MARQUETTE - The Northern Michigan University men's and women's Nordic ski team returns to the trails starting today for the NCAA Championships in Bozeman, Mont.
The Wildcats qualified the maximum number of six Nordic skiers with freshman Kjell-Christian Markset, sophomore Erik Soderman and junior Chris Bowler representing the men and sophomore Molly Burger, junior Monica Markvardsen and senior Marie Helen Soderman representing the women.
Erik Soderman swept the freestyle and classic races during the NCAA Central Region meet at Al Quaal in Ishpeming in February while his sister Marie Helen Soderman won the women's freestyle race.
Northern Michigan?University sophomore Jamie Roberts of Iron?Mountain competes in the pole vault during the NMU Challenge at the Superior Dome on Feb. 18. Roberts is one of three Wildcats competing in the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend in?Mankato, Minn. (Journal file photo by Matt Keiser)
Markvardsen won the women's classic race at regionals.
"We're really excited for the NCAA Championships this week," NMU coach Sten Fjeldheim said. "Coming off of the sweep of the NCAA Central Regional three weeks back, we feel well prepared for the competition."
Northern spent Monday and Tuesday training at the Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center.
Today, the women compete in the five-kilometer freestyle starting at 9 a.m. followed by the men in the 10K freestyle at 11 a.m.
The men's 20K and women's 15K mass-start classic races will be held Friday morning.
NMU has qualified for 34 NCAA Championships, including 21 straight. NMU has four individual national champions and 68 All-Americans.
"We have such a great tradition at NMU and it's so exciting to see these athletes excel not only in college but at the future level as well," Fjeldheim said. "I can remember how exciting it was back in 2007 when our three female athletes swept the podium in both the classic and freestyle races."
NMU can't capture a team national title because it does not sponsor an NCAA alpine ski team as there are no regulation NCAA alpine hills in the Midwest.
Track team sending
three to national meet
While six Wildcats chase NCAA ski championships, three NMU women's track and field athletes will go for titles in Mankato, Minn., at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday and Saturday.
Senior Bailey Franklin will compete in the high jump, sophomore Jamie Roberts of Iron Mountain will compete in the pole vault and redshirt freshman Sherice Hewett will represent NMU in the triple jump.
All three Wildcats were named all-region by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for their respective events.
Franklin was also named all-region in the triple jump, senior Catherine Angeli of Marquette was named all-region in the 200-meter dash and freshman Angelina Howard was selected as all-region in the 60-meter dash.
Coreau nominated for
Sophomore goaltender Jared Coreau, an accounting major, is the Wildcats' nominee for the annual CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.
Nominees are selected by each team's head coach and NCAA faculty representative and must hold a cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 through the fall term.
The winner will be announced March 15 during the CCHA Awards at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
A Wildcat has never won the award since it was created in the 2004-05 season to replace the all-academic team.
NMU freshman defenseman Jake Baker was named an honorable mention for the league's all-rookie team on Monday.
The CCHA will announce its all-conference team today and nominees for its other major awards on Thursday.