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      Tech skiers begin US Nationals with Classic Race on Saturday

      SOLDIER HOLLOW, Utah â?? The Michigan Tech Nordic ski team began competition at the US Cross Country Skiing Championships on Saturday (Jan. 4) with the classic races. Jay Woodbeck was the top finisher on the day for the Huskies with a 39th place finish in the men's 15-kilometer race.

      "The race of the day was turned in by Jay," Tech coach Joe Haggenmiller said. "He had an awesome day and beat a ton of good skiers. He was fifth in the CCSA region and I just can't say enough about his performance today."

      Woodbeck finished in 42:23.9. Kyle Hanson was 57th in 43:11.6. Matt Wong (68th/43:46.6) and Thomas Kendrick (91st/44:47.3) rounded out Huskies in the men's race.

      "Kyle had a pretty good day, finishing eighth in the region and seventh in the junior division," added Haggenmiller. "He has potential to be named to the junior worlds. Matt had a respectable race and Thomas was in the top half of the field with a good start to racing at US Nationals."

      Alice Flanders led the women's team in 53rd place. She finished the 10K race in 33:41.6. Sarah Daniels (33:55.9) was six spots and 14 seconds back in 59th. Lynn Duijndam (73rd/34:35.1) and Deedra Irwin (91st/35:29.0) also skied in the women's race.

      "Alice had one of her better classic days at US Nationals and was the sixth woman in our region," said Haggenmiller. "Sarah was the seventh in the region and had a pretty good day today as well. Lynn was ninth in the region and skied well considering the course was pretty tough and her shoulders were very sore."

      The Huskies race in the freestyle sprint on Sunday (Jan. 5), the freestyle on Jan. 8 and the classic sprint on Jan. 10.

      "We look forward to sprint racing tomorrow and building on today's results," Haggenmiller said. " Lisa Koenig will debut tomorrow in the sprints."