NMU skiing: Bratrud leads Wildcats in Minnesota

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Northern Michigan University junior Kyle Bratrud won the 10-kilometer men’s classic race and freshman teammate Fredrik Schwencke was runner-up on Friday as the Wildcats nordic ski team finished the first of two days at the Mount Itasca Central Collegiate Ski Association Invitational in Minnesota.

Bratrud completed the course in 26 minutes, 46.0 seconds, while Schwencke came in at 26:59.8. NMU senior George Cartwright was fifth in 27:17.5, sophomore Sam Elfstrom 11th (28:24.1), senior Ben Hugus in 18th (28:59.0), and freshman Krystof Kopal 19th (29:06.1).

Sophomore Mary Kate Cirelli led the Northern women’s team with a fourth-place finish on the 5K classic course in 16:19.5, while junior teammate Felicia Gesior was on her heels in fifth in 16:19.8. Sophomore Hannah Boyer was eighth (16:24.7), freshman Kristen Bourne 16th (16:52.0) and sophomore Sophie Schimpl 20th (17:03.2).

“Our men’s team had a solid day,” NMU head coach Sten Fjeldheim said. “It started snowing very hard for the women’s race, which made for some tricky waxing, but they still skied well and had a solid outing.”

The Wildcats lead the overall team competition with 143 points, the men in first on their side with 76 points and the women in second with 67.

Today’s competition at Mount Itasca features freestyle races.