The Athletes of Michigan Tech’s Cross Country Skiing Team

Breya Bergom | | Industry NewsIndustry News
PC: Michigan Tech University

Although Michigan isn’t generally known for skiing, Michigan Tech has united a stellar group of athletes to compete in its cross country skiing team. The athletes range from around the world with amazing backstories.

Michigan Tech’s ski coaches, Tom and Kristen Monahan Smith have recruited seven more men and four more women to compete in the 2021-2022 season. In total, ten women will represent the female team and twelve men will represent the men’s team.

“We are simply fired up to get this outstanding team of women working together and racing together for team conference, regional and national championship titles,” explains Tom Monaham Smith.

With the team Michigan Tech has formed, the 2021-2022 season will be nothing short of exciting. PC: Michigan Tech University

To understand the team better, we can look at some of their backstories.

Yanik Pauchard

Yanik’s hometown is Madulain, Switzerland. Yanik’s passion for skiing can be observed through his impressive results in competition. He competed in the 2020 World Junior Ski Championships, was a member of the Swiss Junior National team for three years, and is the third-ranked junior in the Swiss Cup ranking.

Switzerland presents a mountainous, diverse landscape for athletes to train on. No doubt, this provided Yanik with exceptional training. PC: Denis Linine

Tryg Solberg

Not only is the Minnesota-born skier a dual-sport student-athlete, but Tryg comes with a reputation. Tryg finished fourteenth at the 2021 Birkie, first in the NXR Heartland Open Division, and third in the Mayor’s XC Challenge.

Félix Cottet-Puinel

Félix Cottet-Puinel comes all the way from Morzine, France to share his talent with Michigan Tech. He is a former French National Biathlon Team member. Félix’s accomplishments include two-time bronze medalist in the 20km individual, mixed relay at the 2019 Winter University Games, National Champion of France in the relay in 2016, and third place at the 2015 World Junior Championships.

Nea Katajala

As an exchange student, Nea is coming to Michigan Tech all the way from Finland. Nea has an amazing, lengthy record. In 2013-2015, Nea competed with the Finnish National Junior Team. She placed fifteenth place in the 2021 Finnish National Championships in the classic sprint and eighteenth place for the classic 10km. Additionally, Katajala was the 2015 National Junior Champion in Finland in the classic 5km and also won the 2013 Finnish National Junior Championship in the classic sprint.

Alice McKnight

Alice McKnight will also be a dual-sport student-athlete with the Nordic ski and cross country teams at Michigan Tech. Alice received second place U20 at the 2021 Western Regional Championships in the classic 5km, 10th place U20 at the 2021 Tour de Sun Valley skate in the 10km and sprint, and Junior National qualifier in 2019. This impressive athlete comes from Bend, Oregon.

Michigan Tech’s 2021-2022 cross country ski season will showcase the impressive talent of the new athletes.

Oregon, USA. PC: Harrison Faux

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