HOUGHTON, Mich. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay men's and women's Nordic skiing teams opened up the 2010-11 season over the weekend at the Michigan Tech Husky Challenge. Phoenix senior Carolyn Freeman (Ely, Minn.) highlighted the weekend, placing first overall in the women's 5K skate race on Saturday.
The meet was moved from Marquette, Mich., to Houghton due to a lack of snow. The Phoenix women placed third as a team, while the men finished fourth, as Green Bay competed against skiers from Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan and St. Scholastica.
Freeman, who is a two-time NCAA Nationals qualifier, won her first-ever collegiate race on Saturday, crossing the finish line first in the 5K skate event. Freeman's time of 15:28.1 was 25 seconds faster than NMU's Christina Turman, who placed second.
Freeman turned around on Sunday to place fifth in the 5K classic race, cruising to a time of 19:36.7, less than 30 seconds off the leader.
Phoenix freshman Kailey Mucha (Soldotna, Alaska) had a strong showing in the first two races of her college career. Mucha finished the 5K skate in 16:47.8, good for 10th place. She also placed 10th on Sunday, finishing the 5K classic event in 20:06.4.
On the men's side, sophomore Edward Gurney (Brookfield, Wis.) was Green Bay's top finisher, placing 12th (30:03.3) in the 10K skate event on Saturday. On Sunday, senior Jeff Cook (Rhinelander, Wis.) led the way for Green Bay, placing 14th in the 10K classic race (34:49.2).
The Husky Challenge served as a preseason tune-up, as none of the results will count toward the final season standings.
The Phoenix teams are back in action next weekend at the USSA Junior Qualifier in Ironwood, Mich.