ISHPEMING, Mich. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay men's and women's Nordic skiing teams competed in the Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA) Championships over the weekend, hosted by Northern Michigan University at Al Quaal Recreation Center in Ishpeming, Mich. The women's squad placed fourth in the nine-team field, while the Phoenix men placed sixth out of eight teams.
Leading the way once again for the Phoenix women was senior Carolyn Freeman (Ely, Minn.), who earned a first-place finish in Saturday's freestyle race (17:23.4), followed by a runner-up finish in Sunday's classic event (49:29.9). Freeman finished with a five-second margin of victory in the freestyle race, while on Sunday the senior was edged by Michigan Tech's Malin Eriksson in a close finish.
"I'm continually impressed with Carolyn race after race," Green Bay assistant coach Steve Teclaw said. "Carolyn displayed some of the smartest racing I've seen at Sunday's classic mass start. She is constantly aware of her ability and stamina on the course. The tactics she used in the lead pack were textbook. I was ecstatic when (the lead group) entered the stadium for the sprint to the finish."
Eriksson ended up beating the Green Bay senior by a half of a ski, as the MTU standout crossed the finish line just three tenths of a second ahead of Freeman.
"What an exciting race," Freeman said. "The five of us in the lead pack worked so hard together every step of the way. Racing with them has helped me become a better skier."
Freeman's win on Saturday was her sixth individual victory of her career, each of which has been this season. For her efforts, she was recognized as the CCSA Skier of the Week.
Also having a strong weekend for the Phoenix women was freshman Kailey Mucha (Soldotna, Alaska). The newcomer placed 14th on Saturday in the freestyle race (18:54.1) and 21st on Sunday in the classic event (53:15.7). Junior Steph LaFrance (Duluth, Minn.) had a solid race on Sunday, placing 28th in the classic race with a time of 55:12.0.
On the men's side, seniors Kyle Fredrickson (Hayward, Wis.) and Nick Maki (Aurora, Minn.) took turns leading the Phoenix squad, as Fredrickson was Green Bay's top finisher on Saturday and Maki led his team on Sunday.
Fredrickson earned a 12th-place finish on Saturday in the freestyle competition, finishing in 32:23.3, while Maki finished 29th in 34:07.4. Maki led the way the following day with a 17th-place finish in the classic race (1:01:22.2), closely followed by Fredrickson in 19th (1:01:48.2).
For complete results from the CCSA Championships, click here.
Green Bay is next in action at NCAA Central Region Championships, hosted by Michigan Tech in Houghton, Mich., Feb. 18-19.