Wildcat Nordic skier Soderman rules 10K race

MARQUETTE – Senior Erik Soderman of Northern Michigan University captured the NCAA Central Region Nordic ski title in the men’s 10-kilometer freestyle race during the first day of the event Saturday at the Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming.

Soderman clocked a 23:24.0, finishing 33.3 seconds ahead of Alaska’s Logan Hanneman, the second place finisher.

Sophomore Fredrik Schwencke was next for NMU, placing fifth overall with a time of 24:18.0.

Freshman Ian Torchia finished in seventh overall with a time of 24:44.0 ahead of NMU sophomore Adam Martin, who rounded out the top 10 finishers for the Wildcats by coming in ninth overall with a time of 24:48.0.

On the women’s side, Wildcat senior Jordyn Ross finished second overall, just 3.4 seconds (15:12.5) behind Michigan Tech’s Alice Flanders, who picked up the win.

NMU junior Felicia Gesior finished fourth overall with a time of 15:35.2.

Wildcat sophomores Sophie Schimpl (15:49.8) and Kristen Bourne (15:50.5) finished in sixth and seventh place, respectively.

Freshman Vera Gruber rounded out the Wildcats’ top 10 finishers, coming in 10th with a time of 15:57.2.

The Wildcats lead both the men’s and women’s competitions after day one. The men had four skiers in the top 10 for 62 points; the women placed five skiers in the top 10 for 63 points.

“I thought the team competed well today,”NMU head coach Sten Fjeldheim said. “We had five women finish in the top 10 and our men skated solid.

It was impressive to see Erik win by 30-seconds, which really shows he’s a championship-type skier.”

The NCAA Central Region Championships will continue today, with the men’s 20K classic race beginning at 10 a.m.

The women will race the 15K classic race starting at 12:30 p.m.

Information compiled by Senior Sports Writer Craig Remsburg. He can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251, or via email at cremsburg@miningjournal.net.