Teppan takes third In freestyle sprint at U.S. Nationals
Submitted by Tom Myrick
HOUGHTON, MI- Fresh off a strong 15th place performance in the 15K Classic race, Vahur Teppan continued his excellent showing at the U.S. Cross Country Championships by placing third in the 1.35-kilometer freestyle sprints Saturday. Teppan finished behind only U.S. Ski Team competitors Andy Newell (who won the competition with a 2:36.94 time in the final heat) and Torin Koos.
The Nanook men had three men in the top 15 during the qualifying heat, as Teppan, Marius Korthauer, and Andreas Schnitzer all impressed in their early runs. Korthauer and Schnitzer both feel short of making the semifinal heats, however, bowing out in the quarterfinals.
Alaska also had a strong showing in the men's under-23 race, as both sophomore Einar Often and freshman Robert Pakk earned spots in the final race. Often placed third with a time of 2:43.57, while Pakk finished sixth.
On the women's side, only Aurelia Korthauer could find a spot in the quarterfinal races, qualifying 23rd with a 3:17.05. Korthauer could not advance to the semifinals, however, placing fifth in her quarterfinal heat. Julia Coulter, a redshirt this season for the Nanooks, did take second in the women's under-23 event, however, winning her semifinal heat before finishing behind Northern Michigan's Morgan Smyth in the final.
On Saturday, the Nanooks also found out that they had placed fourth in the College Cup, a prize awarded to the overall collegiate team which performs the best in the distance freestyle and classic races at the senior nationals. Led by two top-ten finishes by Marius Korthauer, Alaska collected 823 points over the two days, putting them comfortable about fifth-place Nevada (806) and just behind third-placed Dartmouth (857). For the second straight season, Northern Michigan took home the College Cup prize, ringing up 909 total points. The Nanooks were second to only the Wildcats in the CCSA only standings as well, totaling 347 points (173 from the men, 174 from the women) to NMU's 366.
The Nanooks finish up their stay in Houghton, Mich. with more sprint races tomorrow: a team classic sprint schedule to begin at 9:30 eastern time before an award ceremony on Sunday afternoon.