HOUGHTON - Both the Northern Michigan University men's and women's nordic skiing teams are a close second to fellow Central Collegiate Ski Association member Alaska after the first day of the NCAA Central Region Championships held in Houghton on Saturday.
Today's races at Michigan Tech - a 15-kilometer freestyle for men and 10K freestyle for women - will wrap up the event and determine not only the regional champions, but who will represent the region at the NCAA Championships in March.
On Saturday, the Nanooks picked up individual wins in the men's 10K classic and women's 5K classic to build a five-point lead in the men's standings and three points in the women's.
The Wildcats' Erik Soderman finished third in the men's race, while teammate Kyle Bratrud was fourth, Chris Bowler sixth and George Cartwright eighth.
The Nanooks' Michael Fehrehbach earned his first CCSA win with teammate Logan Hanneman runner-up. Alaska's Lex Treinen edged Bowler for fifth place by a tenth of a second, a two-point swing in the standings.
In the women's race, NMU's Jordyn Ross was third, teammate Rosie Frankowski fourth, Mary Kate Cirelli sixth and Hannah Boyer eighth.
Alaska's Aly McPhetres won and teammate Theresia Schnurr was runner-up in a race that was tricky for competitors and their coaches for the kind of wax to use due to warmer, sunny conditions.