GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. â?? Northern Michigan University junior Kyle Bratrud and freshman Fredrik Schwencke were the top two finishers in the men's classic race as the Wildcat Nordic skiing team began competition at the the Mt. Itasca Distance Friday.
Bratrud won the 10K event with a time of 26:46.0 while Schwencke was second with a time of 26:59.8. Senior George Cartwright was fifth with a time of 27:17.5 rounding out the top 10 finishers for the Wildcats. Sophomore Sam Elfstrom was 11th (28:24.1) followed by senior Ben Hugus in 18th (28:59.0) and freshman Krystof Kopal 19th (29:06.1).
Sophomore Mary Kate Cirelli led the women's team finishing in fourth completing the 5K course in a time of 16:19.5. Junior Felicia Gesior was fifth finishing just behind Cirelli at 16:19.8. Sophomore Hannah Boyer was eighth at 16:24.7 while freshman Kristen Bourne was 16th finishing in 16:52.0. Sophomore Sophie Schimpl was 20th with a time of 17:03.2.
"Our men's team had a solid day," said NMU head coach Sten Fjeldheim. "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."
As a team, the Wildcats lead the competition entering day two with 143 total points. The men currently sit first with 76 points and the women are second with 67.
The Wildcats complete action on Saturday at the Mt. Itasca Distance competing in the freestyle races.