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Northern Michigan University skiers earn College Cup, Molly Miller a 2-time national champ

HOUGHTON — The Northern Michigan University Nordic ski team won the College Cup at the U.S. Cross Country Championships held at Michigan Tech in Houghton over six days that wrapped up on Tuesday.

And Wildcats’ freshman Molly Miller finished up with two national championships, too.

She was the top junior finisher in the women’s freestyle sprint race on Jan. 2 and was fourth among collegiate skiers and 10th among all competitors in 3 minutes, 55.21 seconds. Her top junior finish earned her a national title.

Then in the women’s classic sprint on Tuesday, Miller was 11th overall, fourth among collegians and won the Female Under-20 division for juniors in 4:38.75, giving her a second national championship.

NMU won the College Cup after the first two days of racing, Jan. 2-3. NMU totaled 538 points, defeating co-runners-up Michigan Tech and Vermont, each with 514. Northern’s men were second overall with 281 as Vermont had 306, while the Wildcat women were third on their side with 257.

Northern was led in the men’s 30-kilometer classic race on Sunday by junior Kjetil Baanerud in eighth place in 1:20:15.0, which also made him the fastest collegian. Freshman teammate Tobias Moosmann was next in 33rd overall and 14th collegiately in 1:23:19.5, while NMU freshman Maurus Grond was 42nd overall and 19th among college skiers in 1:25:20.3.

In the women’s 20K classic, also Sunday, Northern sophomore Katerina Hyncicova was 26th overall and 12th collegiately in 1:09:25.9, while sophomore teammate Nadine Matter was 47th overall and 27th collegiately in 1:15:38.4.

On Tuesday, Baanerud again led the NMU men, this time in the men’s classic sprint. He clocked 3:52.83 for 16th overall and third among college racers. Moosmann was 22nd overall and fifth collegiately in 3:53.48, while Grond came in 27th overall and ninth collegiately in 3:53.77. In addition, Northern freshman teammate Matt Bourne finished in 4:13.49.

For the Wildcats’ women, freshman Malin Boerjesjoe was eighth overall and third collegiately in 4:30.54, with Miller 11th overall and fourth among college racers in 4:38.75. Matter was 28th overall in 4:41.33 and Hyncicova 34th overall in 4:45.70.

Three former NMU skiers placed highly in the men’s 30K classic as Kyle Bratrud was runner-up in 1:19:37.5, Ian Torchia third in 1:19:51.0 and Adam Martin fifth in 1:20:01.9.

The Wildcats return to action Jan. 18-19 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, at the Mt. Itasca Ski Center for the St. Scholastica CXC/CCSA Qualifier.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.