Tech women third, men fourth at conference ski championships

ISHPEMING – The Michigan Tech Nordic ski teams raced the freestyle on Sunday to wrap up the CCSA Championships at Al Quaal. The women’s team finished third and the men placed fourth. Alice Flanders, Deedra Irwin, Raphael Bechtiger and Matt Dugan all had top-10 finishes on the day.

“We had a little bit better day today, especially on the men’s side,” Tech coach Joe Haggenmiller said. “The women raced well but we had some setbacks.”

The women’s team was three points shy of second place St. Scholastica (95) after the 15-kilometer skate race. Flanders (37:09.5) and Irwin (37:14.1) placed seventh and eighth to pace the Huskies. Lisa Koenig (38:44.6) rounded out scoring for Tech in 19th place.

Bechtiger (41:33) led the men’s team in eighth place in the 20K freestyle. Dugan was 6.5 seconds behind Bechtiger in ninth.Matt Wong(41:46.2) also scored for Tech with a 12th place finish.

Race host Northern Michigan won both team titles.

Tech began the CCSA Championships on Saturday with the classic races. Irwin and Axelsson led the Huskies with top 10 finishes.

The women’s team finished third with 49 team points. Northern Michigan (66) and St. Scholastica (50) defeated the Huskies (49) on the day.

Irwin placed fourth in 12:15.6 in the women’s 5-kilometer race. Axelsson skied to a seventh place finish with a time of 12:32.2. Koenig (12:48.2) also scored for Tech in 18th.

“We were a little flat today,” Haggenmiller said. “Deedra had a really good day and Ulrika skied well but ran out of gas late. She left it all on the course.”

Bechtiger led the men’s team with a 15th place finish in the 10K race. He crossed the line in 22:12.5.

Tech hosts the NCAA Central Regional next Saturday and Sunday.

“After a little bit of a down week, we look forward to bouncing back on our home course next weekend,” said Haggenmiller.