Nordic men fourth at Mt. Itasca
January 26, 2014
COLERAINE, Minn. - The St. Olaf men's Nordic ski team was fourth among its central region foes after three days of racing at Mt. Itasca this weekend.
Junior Jake Brown finished 17th in Friday's 10-kilometer individual start classic race to lead the Oles. Sophomore Evan Kendall continued his improvements this season, finishing 23rd in the field of 50, about 28 seconds behind Brown. Sophomore Liam John was the Oles' final scoring skier, finishing 32nd. Joel Bransky, continuing to struggle with illness this season, finished 36th and Nels Thompson finished 41st.
Saturday's 10-kilometer individual start freestyle race brought bitter cold and a fourth place finish for Brown. Showing improved speed in shorter races, Brown started hard and quickly caught eventual 5th place finisher Fredrik Schwenke of Northern Michigan. Brown was able to hold on through the second of two laps to finish 47 seconds behind race winner Paul Schommer of St. Scholastica.
The Oles' second skier on the day was Liam John, finishing 23rd, while Evan Kendall finished 29th to complete the Oles' scoring team. Nels Thompson finished 43rd, and first-year Sam Longenbach finished 50th out of 57.
Kendall, John, Longenbach, and first-year Graham Glennon stayed for an extra day to compete in Sunday's junior division (U20) 1.4 kilometer classical sprint race. Kendall, John, and Longenbach all qualified for quarterfinal knockout heats, where Kendall advanced to the semifinals and then to the consolation final, ultimately finishing 12th overall on the day.
The Oles' next competition is hosted by Northern Michigan University on Feb. 8-9 in Ishpeming, Mich.