JACKSON, N.H. – The Michigan Tech Nordic skiers battled in the bitter cold conditions to the finish line in the freestyle races. Huskies closed their 2016-17 season at the NCAA Championship Races hosted by the University of New Hampshire.
The Tech men earned 10th overall in the championship races, while the women, Sonja Hedblom and Carolyn Lucca completed their last career races as Huskies. This will also be Tomi Mikkonen's last round with the Huskies, as his exchange program will come to an end.
Tom Bye cracked the top 20 in the 20K freestyle event, finishing in 14th place with a time of 47:48.1. Gaspard Cuenot and Tomi Mikkonen experienced some hardships in the field this afternoon. Gaspard pulled through the course with a time of 48:56.4 in 31st place. Tomi Mikkonen followed in 39th, with a time of 52:12.9.
"We had a mixed bag with results, today," said head coach Joe Haggenmiller. "Tom Bye faced some adversity and did a really good job dealing with it. After being in dead last and breaking a pole, he moved all the way to 14th, which is just outstanding. Gaspard had some back issues causing him to fall behind."
Sonja Hedblom and Carolyn Lucca fought all the way to the end to wrap up their careers in the 15K freestyle. Hedblom placed 35th with a time of 44:21.2. Lucca trailed behind to secure 38th place with a time of 47:06.8.
"Tomi, Carolyn and Sonja all persevered this afternoon and finished the race," said coach Haggenmiller. "Carolyn and Sonja will be graduating and we wish them the best of luck in the future. We are fortunate to cap off their careers here with a trip to the NCAA Championships. Carolyn may be looking into graduate school at MTU," added Haggenmiller. "We will see what the future holds with that. Tomi had a good season with the Huskies for his year of exchange, and we were so happy to have him. The three of them will definitely be missed."
The men's and women's teams combined earned a total of 28 points in the competition that includes alpine and Nordic skiing. The University of Utah took first place overall.