Huskies skiers third in relays

MARQUETTE – Both of Michigan Tech’s men’s and women’s teams finished third in the classic relays at the Central Collegiate Ski Association Championships Sunday.

After strong performances by the team’s first two skiers Sondre Sandvik and Matt Wong, anchor Luke Gesior started his leg of the 3×10-kilometer relay with a 20-second deficit. Gesior skied the fastest split of the day, 21 minutes, 43 seconds, but could not beat the Saints in a photo finish, finishing 0.2 seconds behind. The team finished in a time of 1:08:43.

“It would have been awesome to see Luke come all the way back and win, but that is how the ball bounces,” said Tech coach Joe Haggenmiller.

Tech’s second men’s team of Matt Dugan, Thomas Kendrick and Jay Woodbeck finished fourth in a time 1:10:45 edging out Alaska by 0.2 seconds.

The men’s third team of Kyle Hanson, David Joda and Sam Holmes finished eighth in 1:12:23.

Tech’s top women’s team of Deedra Irwin, Sarah Daniels and Rachel Mason finished third in a time of 40:38 over the 3×5-kilometer course.

The Huskies second team of Lynn Duijndam and redshirts Alice Flanders and Ruth Oppliger finished 10th in 44:09.

“We had strong performances from many of our skiers, not just from those on our number one teams,” said Haggenmiller.

Tech is second in the team standings 14 points ahead of St. Scholastica and Alaska who are tied for third.

Raphael Bechtiger finished third and Daniels was fourth in the freestyle sprints Saturday. Overall Tech had five men and three women qualify for the heats.

Gesior was a bright spot for the men’s team as well after winning the men’s “B” final to finish seventh overall.

Woodbeck was 10th, Wong 15th and Sandvik was 16th.

Lynn Duijndam finished second in the women’s “B” final, and Irwin was 12th overall.

The meet resumes with the league distance championships, to be held in two weeks in Coleraine, Minn.