MSU’s Yeaton earns All-America honors

MIDWAY, Utah — Montana State senior Jessica Yeaton earned First-Team All-America honors after placing fifth in the five-kilometer classic race at the 2014 NCAA Skiing Championships, Thursday morning at Soldier Hollow Resort.

Yeaton, a product of Anchorage, Alaska, covered the course in 14:21.10. Also competing for the Bobcats were Annie Liotta, 27th, 15:00.5, and Kate Backstrum, 37th, 15:30.60.

“This was Jessica’s best classic race of the year and most likely in her college career,” MSU Nordic coach Grethe Hagensen said. “Jessica said she felt great from the start, the wax was excellent and she got motivated catching racers that started ahead of her. She was in seventh place after 2.5k. Jessica skied the last half faster than some of her competitors and moved up to fifth. It was an honor to see her succeed at the NCAA Championships.”

Vermont’s Anja Gruber defended her women’s title in 13:38.40.

In all, the Bobcats women notched 32.5 points, and added to the men’s squad that produced 23.5 points, Montana State moved from ninth into eighth in the overall team standings.

Senior David Norris paced the Bobcat men’s contingent finishing 18th overall in 26:27.30. He was followed by Sawyer Kesselheim, 23rd, 27:03.10, and Patrick Madden, 28th, 27:23.70.

“The MSU Nordic men skied very well,” Hagensen said. “Unfortunately, they started last and due to the change in snow conditions, did not have a chance. The top men started their second lap when our men started their first. The winner skied his second lap 1:15 slower than his first. I think that says it all.

“However, this is a winter sport where starting positions and wax can make a big difference,” Hagensen added. “Saturday is the skate mass start 15/20km. They all start at the same time and the conditions will be the same.”

Colorado’s Rune Oedegaard defended his men’s classic crown in 23:34.50.

Denver took over the team standings after four events and two days via a strong performance in men’s classic, which saw the Pioneers place three skiers in the top eight. DU had 299 points, followed in the top 10 by Utah 248, Colorado 240.5, New Mexico 231, Vermont 186.5, Dartmouth 131, Northern Michigan 125, MSU 104.5, Alaska Anchorage 94, and Alaska Fairbanks 76.

The alpine slalom races will take place on Friday at Park City Mountain Resort.

— MSU Sports Information



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