Collegiate Racing Season Preview
Midwest skiers have fanned out across the college skiing world and are ready to leave their mark this season. Rollerskis are packed away, man-made or authentic snow blankets ski trails, and racing suits are ready to be donned.
For those freshmen who transitioned to college skiing after rumbling and tumbling at Giants Ridge, this fall was most likely filled with a lot of new. Leah Rudd (Montana State, Robbinsdale-Armstrong) summed it up simply saying, “I’ve enjoyed getting to know a new team and training in a new environment.” Indeed, it is often those two things, a different elite training group and a variation in training plan or place that propel high school skiers to the next level. And while usually not easy, collegiate skiing often smiles upon the dedicated skier who perseveres. We raise our glasses to those Midwest skiers who have made that next step
Here is a look at who will be putting their toe to the line, their sweat to the start, their boots to their boards, this season. And while our home-body Midwest hearts tend to cheer for those individuals who were cut from cabin-smoked flannel cloth, college skiing often keeps the spirit of the TEAM alive. For in the immortal words of Herb Brooks to the 1980 Olympic Hockey Team, “The name on the front of the jersey is a [heckuva] lot more important than the one on the back.”
On the men’s side, the historically dominant Northern Michigan University (NMU) should once again prove the best of the conference but look for Saint Scholastica (CSS) and Michigan Tech (MTU) to challenge.
NMU graduated Ian Torchia and Zak Ketterson has opted to red-shirt this year so will not be racing in the Wildcat uniform. Others hoping to fill that void include Patrick Action (MTU, Eagan), Reid Goble (MTU, Harbor Springs, MI), Xavier Mansfield (NMU, St. Anthony), and Tamer Mische-Richter (CSS, Bloomington Jefferson).
Matthew Bourne (NMU, Mounds Park Academy) and Wisconsin State Champ Jackson Adler (UWGB, Green Bay) are the freshman to keep an eye on. St. Scholastica received an influx of Midwest freshmen including All-State recipients Lars Dewall (CSS, Stillwater) and Jack Meinert (CSS, Robbinsdale-Armstrong).
For the women, it could be a tight battle between Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech. Amanda Kautzer (MTU, Benilde-St. Margarets) is heading into her last year as the highest returner on the 2019 CCSA points list. Sarah Goble (MTU, Harbor Springs, MI), and Sadie Peterson (UWGB, Mora) should be vying for NCAA qualifying positions.
Mae Barnes (Robbinsdale-Armstrong) takes the leap into the college racing scene as a first-year at St. Scholastica. Many more Midwest freshmen are getting ready to race for both men and women and we’ll keep you updated about who is on the rise as the results roll in.
Look for action to start this weekend, December 14-15 as the CCSA teams race at either the Duluth CXC Cup or in Ishpeming, Michigan. Ski Nationals in Houghton the first week of January will be the first official NCAA qualifying races for the conference.
Related: CCSA Official Season Preview
The College of St. Scholastica (CSS)
- Anders Braaten (Minnesota City, WInona HS), Jr.
- Jack Christianson (ARden Hills, Mounds View HS), Sr.
- Ty Christianson (Minneapolis, Mountain View HS), Fr.
- Matthew Clarke (Bloomington, Jefferson HS), Fr.
- Lars Dewall (Lakeland, Stillwater HS), Fr.
- Drake Hacker (Lisbon, WI), Fr.
- Bjorn Larson (Duluth, Duluth East), So.
- Joe Lynch (St. Anthony), Fr.
- Jack Meinert (Plymouth, Robbinsdale-Armstrong), Fr.
- Tamer Mische-Richter (Bloomington, Kennedy), Jr.
- William Omodt (Plymouth, Armstrong HS), Fr.
- Gabe Raguse (Brainerd) Jr.
- PJ Rubin (Edina), Fr.
- Gus Schatzlein (Savage, Prior Lake HS), So.
- Cody Schneider (Arbor Vitae, WI, Lakeland HS), Fr.
- John Schwinghamer (Mora, South Dakota State), So.
- Ryan Steger (Eagan), Jr.
- Jake Stiele (Prior Lake), Jr.
- Evan Storbakken (Brainerd), Fr.
- Mae Barnes (New Hope, Robbinsdale-Armstrong), Fr.
- Nicole Gilman (Manitowish Waters, WI, Lakeland HS), Sr.
- Courtney Gregory (Blackhoof)
- Mackenzie Hollman (Waukesha, WI, Mukwonago HS), FR.
- Rana Kraftson (Bayport, Stillwater HS), So.
- Brita Mowers (Duluth, Esko HS), Fr.
- Emma Stertz (Grand Rapids), Fr.
- Violet Tessier (Lakeville, Lakeville South HS), Fr.
- Annika Viren (Grand Rapids), Fr.
Northern Michigan University (NMU)
- Xavier Mansfield (Minneapolis, St. Anthony HS), Jr.
- Leo Hipp (Forest Lake), Sr.
- Matthew Bourne (Lake Elmo, MPA), Fr.
- Erin Moening (St. Paul, St. Paul Highland Park HS), Jr.
- Ben Alcorn (Stillwater), Sr.
- Peter Carlen (St. Paul), So.
- Sean Daly (Duluth, Duluth East), So.
- Ian Derauf (Duluth), Fr.
- Tor Hanson (Minneapolis, Armstrong HS),
- Noah Johnson (St. Paul), Fr.
- Kris Johnson (St. Paul, St. Paul Highland Park HS), Jr.
- Kieran Mullen (Hazelhurst, WI), So.
- Brian Olson (Lakeland, Stillwater HS), So.
- Matthew Paal (Minneapolis, Benilde-St. Margaret’s), Sr.
- Tyler Radtke (Lakeland, Minnehaha Academy), Sr.
- Spencer WareJoncas (St. Paul, St. Paul Central), Sr.
- Henry Wortman (St. Paul, St. Paul Highland Park HS), Jr.
Stephanie Balas (Manitowish Waters, WI, Lakeland HS), Jr.
- Erica Meyers (St. Paul, St. Paul Highland Park HS), Jr.
- Dana Pflughoeft (Traverse City, MI), Jr.
- Amanda Susnik (Duluth, Duluth East), Jr.
- Lucia Wyland (Grand Rapids), Fr.
University of Wisconsin Green Bay (UWGB)
- Sadie Peterson (Mora), Jr.
- Maria Schoening (Plymouth, Armstrong HS), Jr.
- Anna Zajakowski (Stevens Point, WI), Jr.
- Jackson Adler (Green Bay, WI), Fr.
- Quinn Duffy (Wyoming, Forest Lake HS), Sr.
- Ian Ivens (Champlin Park), So.
- Shad Kraftson (Bayport, Stillwater HS), Jr.
- Ryan MEad (Forest Lake), So.
- Sam Myers (White Bear Lake, Minnehaha Academy), Jr.
- Cory Rouw (St. Cloud, St. Could Tech HS), Sr.
- TOM WOOLHOUSE (Mora), Jr.
Michigan Tech University (MTU)
- Patrick Acton (Eagan), Jr.
- Emma Albrecht (Stillwater), Fr.
- Josh Albrecht (Stillwater), Jr.
- Brad Baas (Elkhorn, WI), Jr.
- Mitch DeLong (Houghton, MI), So.
- Hunter Dercks (Sun Prairie, WI), Jr.
- Reid Goble (Harbor Springs, MI), Jr.
- Sarah Goble (Harbor Springs, MI), Sr.
- Tres Green (Chanhassen), Jr.
- David Jaszczak (Hancock, MI), Sr.
- Amanda Kautzer (Plymouth), Sr.
- Mary Lyon (Traverse City, MI), So.
- Anabel Needham (Houghton, MI), Fr.
- Mark Ousdigian (Shoreview, Moundsview HS), Jr.
- Somer Schrock (Grand Rapids), Jr.
- Daniel Wood (Houghton, MI), Sr.
Saint Cloud State University (SCSU)
- Jamie Herridge (Mendota Heights, Henry Sibley HS), Jr.
- Anna Stockinger (Cedar, Forest Lake HS), So.
- Cheresa Bouley (Zimmerman, Elk River HS), Fr.
The EISA racing circuit is a like a carnival. Actually, it is made up of carnivals - that’s just what they call their race weekends. But perhaps that can give you an idea of the energy, excitement, and exorbitant amount of skiers at each EISA event. Put simply, it’s fun.
In the last few years, the Dartmouth women have battled with the University of Vermont for the top ranking. Don’t expect anything different this year.
Margie “Freedom” Freed (UVM, Apple Valley) has gained speed and strength every season but obviously remembers what Herb Brooks said, focusing on the team. She says, “The UVM team is looking to be a force this season. Coming off a strong fall of training, recent time trials have promises of deep talent this season.”
Minnesota State Champ Mara McColler (Wayzata) will put on the Big Green uniform for Dartmouth joining senior Abby Drach (Eden Prairie). Luci Anderson (Robbinsdale-Armstrong) steps onto the UNH squad. Regan Duffy (Forest Lake) and Isabel Seay (Sussex, WI) join the Midwest-infused Colby team.
For the guys, the University of Vermont has developed a deep and formidable team and will be looking for challengers yet to be determined.
Minnesota State Meet Champ, Peter Moore (SPA) is skiing for Bowdoin College and State runner-up, Alex Nemeth (St. Cloud Cathedral), joins the Dartmouth squad.
Some EISA teams will be racing December 14 and 15 at the Craftsbury Opener and many will travel to Nationals in Houghton. Official EISA racing starts at the Harvard Carnival, January 17-18.
Dartmouth College (DAR)
- Alex Nemeth (Sartell, St. Cloud Cathedral-Sartell), Fr.
- Luc Golin (Wayzata), So.
- Abby Drach (Eden Prairie), Sr.
- Mara McCollor (Wayzata), Fr.
Williams College (WIL)
- Siri Bohacek (Afton, Stillwater High School), So.
- Ingrid Thyr (Minneaplolis, Breck), Sr.
University of Vermont (UVM)
- Margie Freed (Apple Valley), Sr.
Harvard University (HAR)
- Mackinley FitzPatrick (Minocqua, WI, Lakeland Union)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
- Will Bodewes (Lakeland Union), Sr.
- Anders Sonnesyn (Wayzata), So.
- Kristine Keller-Miller (Plymouth, Wayzata HS)
- Luci Anderson (Golden Valley, Robbinsdale-Armstrong), Fr.
Colby College (CBC)
- Torsten Brinkema (Minneapolis, Southwest), So.
- Ben Gustafson (Ely, Ely Memorial School), So.
- Foss Kerker (Minneapolis, Southwest), Jr.
- Adlai Sinkler (Minneapolis, Southwest), Jr.
- Ben Theyerl (Eau Claire, WI, Altoona High School), Sr.
- Erin Bianco (Ely, Ely Memorial School), Jr.
- Regan Duffy (Wyoming, Forest Lake), Fr.
- Annika Martell (Eagan, Eastview), Sr.
- Skylar Tupper (Minneapolis, Washburn), Sr.
- Isabel Seay (Sussex, WI, Hamilton), Fr.
- Christian Gostout (Rochester, Century), Sr.
- Russell O'Brien (Madison, WI, West), Sr.
- Peter Moore (St. Paul, SPA), Fr.
- Renae Anderson (Golden Valley, Hopkins), Jr.
- Triana Willmert (Edina), So.
St. Lawrence University (SLU)
- Charlie Reinhardt (Spring Park, Mound Westonka), Fr.
- Jordan Schuster (Deephaven, Minnetonka HS), Jr.
St. Michael’s College (SMC)
- Joey Del Toro (Woodbury, East Ridge), Fr.
- Kevin Jeter (Eden Prairie), Sr.
- Grace Erholtz (Baxter, Brainerd HS), Fr.
- Cecelia Schmelzle (Saint Louis Park), Fr.
University of Maine at Presque-Isle (UMPI)
- Conner Nilsen (Waukesha, WI), Fr.
Utah, Colorado, Denver, Montana State, Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks: The Rocky Mountain Division teams often include high level European athletes but are dotted with Americans and Midwesterners.
Utah, Colorado, and Denver often trade NCAA championships. With NCAA championships in the West this year, we except one of these teams to take the overall title again.
The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) has stepped up in recent years: a senior at UAA, Michaela Keller-Miller (Wayzata) is looking to capitalize on a strong junior season in which she qualified for NCAAs and was voted the most improved skier for UAA. Hannah Rudd (UAA, Robbinsdale-Armstrong) is also heading into her senior year.
Junior Anja Maijala (UAF, Cloquet) qualified for NCAAs last year and will look to do more damage this year.
Freshmen in the hunt include Sarah Olson (UAF, Blaine) and Leah Rudd (MSU, Robbinsdale-Armstrong).
RMISA teams raced the Canmore Norams last weekend and many are headed to the upcoming Supertours in Sun Valley, Idaho. But official action kicks off at the Colorado Invitational, January 18 and 19.
Montana State University (MSU)
- Kelly Koch (Burnsville), So.
- Leah Rudd (Plymouth, Robbinsdale-Armstrong), Fr.
University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)
- Michaela Keller-Miller (Plymouth, Wayzata HS), Sr.
- Hannah Rudd (Plymouth, Robbinsdale-Armstrong), Sr.
University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)
- Anja Maijala (Wrenshall, Cloquet HS), Jr.
The CCSA, EISA, and RMISA will go head to head to head at the end of the college season at NCAA Championships. The Nordic races (5/10k Skate Individual and 15/20k Classic Mass Start) will be held March 11-14 at the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center in Bozeman, Montana.
Looking to boost the quality and popularity of club racing, the Midwest Conference of the USCSA has planned a more robust race schedule for this season. Ten Midwest club teams are separated into Northern and Southern divisions. The season will culminate in Regional Championships February 29-March 1 and USCSA Champs in Lake Placid, NY March 8-14. For more information reference this press release.
We will be covering the MCSA more in depth as their races begin.
Related: MCSA Season Scheduled Announced
About the author...
Luke Brown, a graduate of Minnehaha Academy and Dartmouth College, is a skier and biathlete for the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center and the US Biathlon X-Team. He enjoys running in the mountains, writing, and eating cereal with whole milk. He lives in Bozeman, MT.