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Aaron Grzelak, Reagan Olli lead Northern Michigan University Alpine skiers in Minnesota

Erik Lundteigen

MARQUETTE — Members of the Alpine ski team at Northern Michigan University weren’t able to compete for their school this year, but still got in regional competition during this winter.

Wildcat skiers recently participated at the Mid-America FIS series race in Lutsen, Minnesota, that included U.S. Ski Team members and a number of skiers from Europe. This was the final race of the NMU-sponsored Mid-America series.

“This is an awesome race,” Northern head coach Erik Lundteigen said. “It brings in some fantastic skiers and the level of competition is incredible. Our athletes fared very well with some great results.”

For the men, Marquette Senior High School graduate Aaron Grzelak placed 14th and 17th in slalom and 27th and 17th in giant slalom.

Teammate Garrett Lundteigen was 16th in slalom and 17th and 27th in GS.

Aaron Grzelak

Other Wildcats men’s finishers were Andrew Truman in 21st, 21st, 33rd and 43rd; Mitch Makela in 23rd, 28th, 32nd and 33rd; Colin Dehart in 29th, 52nd and 56th; and Will Blackmer in 45th, 46th and 54th.

“(While) our collegiate season was shut down, many of our athletes were able to still get competitions racing USSA- and FIS-level events,” Coach Lundteigen said.

Northern’s women also took part. Reagan Olli was 16th and 19th in GS and 19th and 41st in the slalom, while MSHS graduate Jacey Johnson was 20th and 19th in GS and 36th in slalom, and another MSHS grad, Ainsley Kirk, was 18th and 26th in GS and 24th twice in slalom.

“Great year skiing for our women,” Coach Lundteigen said. “They have been working hard in practice, and the results show this. I can’t wait to see what they can do in the years to come.”

Overall results combined four race venues.

Reagan Olli

For the men, Grzelak won the overall title, Garrett Lundteigen was third, Truman sixth, Dehart 22nd, Makela 28th and Blackmer 37th.

Olli led NMU women in second, while Johnson was ninth, Kirk 11th, MSHS grad Sadah Scheidt 29th and Brynn Rowell 43rd.

“Our men just crushed it,” Coach Lundteigen said. “Lots of podium finishes.

“Our training has gone very well. Marquette Mountain has incredible terrain for practicing and racing.

“We always want to put ourselves in a position to be successful. When we do the right things, results will follow. Both our men’s and women’s teams are moving in the right direction.”

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

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