Written by: Peyton Hilbert, Bailey Kestell, & Elsie McElroy
UWGB Nordic Ski Team is racing to the finish line for the 2022-23 season!
For a brief overview of what Nordic Skiing is, Grace Nemeth states that Nordic Skiing is “…the same thing as cross-country skiing, it’s just a different name. There are different techniques, skate, and classic, that we train for and race.”
The current roster is a strong line-up, including both women’s and men’s teams. With Sam Myers, a previous member and captain, as the head coach, the team has risen to the challenge during several competitions. This 2022-2023 season started out in Duluth, Minnesota, on December 10th through the 11th, with the GANC CXC Cup, the competition hosted by the Central Crossing Country Skiing organization. Since then, there have been several other meets and competitions.
Nemeth mentioned that training happens throughout the entire year, with nearly 2 to 4 hours of training per day. In a previous interview, provided for the Phlash News on Jan. 2023, with freshmen teammate Noah Straka, she mentioned the difficulties of training with the limited amount of snow, relying on “…rock skis, couldn’t even properly ski. Or [we] be roller skiing or running…”
On February 18th, the team competed in the CCSA Conference Championships/Wirth Super Tour in Minneapolis, Minnesota. According to a publication from the CCSA, the 2023 season has included ranks of all of the participating players within the Central Collegiate Ski Association. Among the women, UWGB skier Grete Engels is ranked 25th out of all with 40 points as of February 26th. In the men’s bracket, both Noah Erickson and CJ Young are tied for 22nd, with both having 57 points.
When the NCAA Central Regional Skiing Championships ended on February 26th, CJ Young placed 12th out of 29 skiers in the men’s championships, according to the official score sheets finishing in 27.59.4 minutes. CJ Young is a junior at UWGB, and his experience has shown in this event. That said, there have been other impressive scores in this event, with Noah Erickson placing 15th, Ryan Thieme 20th, and Myles Brown 23rd. It is also a feat to make it to the 2023 NCAA Central Regional Skiing Championships, and UWGB had many competitors this year.
Based on the roster, a large portion of the team is freshmen. According to the current score sheets, typically, older, more experienced students dominated the top of the scoreboard. For people who are interested in trying Nordic skiing, Nemeth stated that they have “...to be willing to fall and not get frustrated. Learning how to Nordic ski, especially with the right technique, takes years and takes a lot of patience and perseverance.”
The final competition for the 2022-2023 season that awaits this team is NCAA Skiing Championships, which is being held in Lake Placid, New York. The competition will start from Wednesday, March 8th, to Saturday, March 11th. For more information and updates, you can follow the UWGB Nordic Ski Team’s Twitter or Instagram pages!