NMU Nordic skiing: Fjeldheim named USCSCA National Coach of the Year

DENVER – Northern Michigan University Nordic skiing coach Sten Fjeldheim is the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association National Coach of the Year, the organization announced Wednesday.

“I am very proud and happy to receive the national coach of the year award and of course it would not have been possible without a group of dedicated athletes and my assistant Haakon Baanerud, the support of Northern Michigan University,” Fjeldheim said.

Fjeldheim led NMU to a seventh place finish at the NCAA Championships, the highest finish for a Central Collegiate Ski Association team in history. CCSA member schools don’t compete in alpine events and the Wildcats earned the second-most points in Nordic action at the NCAA Championships, just 11 points behind overall NCAA Champion Denver.

“Sten has done so much for Nordic skiing locally and nationally,” NMU athletic director Forrest Karr said. “He’s inspired countless intercollegiate and Olympic athletes, mentored numerous coaches and coworkers, and played a key role in the development of Nordic ski trails across the region.

“Perhaps even more important, Sten and Pam are great people that consistently make a positive difference in the lives of everyone fortunate enough to know them.”

Four of the six NMU skiers who participated in the NCAA Championships earned All-America honors. Senior Rosie Frankowski led the way with a runner-up finish in the 15-kilometer freestyle race and a sixth-place finish in the 5K classic. Fredrik Schwencke on the men’s side earned two All-America nods, finishing sixth in the 20K freestyle race and 10th in the 10K classical.