KUUSAMO, Finland (Nov. 25) - Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) and Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) each finished 12th Saturday in a fog-wrapped, classic technique sprint event, leading four U.S. cross country skiers into World Cup points.
Norwegian Jens Arne Svartedal and Petra Majdic of Slovenia won their respective 1.2K finals. It was the second sprint race of the young season.
Newell qualified second and tore through his quarterfinal heat, then led the semifinal heat before tiring in the final meters in the overcast, 30-degree weather. Torin Koos (Leavenworth, WA) was 20th with Chris Cook (Rhinelander, WI) 27th in Kuusamo's self-styled "Nordic Opening" which has cross country, jumping and nordic combined events this weekend.
"It was a good day," said Sprint Head Coach Chris Grover. "Four skiers into the points, two top-12s...and a big thanks to Roar [Lillefjell, head waxing technician] and the waxing staff. We had outstanding skis all day, even with the glazing conditions on the snow and everything else.
"Andy led that semifinal heat down the hill and back up toward the finish until he just ran out of gas at the end. And I'll take the hit on that; Coach Grover needs to work a little more on their conditioning...but Andy's skiing so well, they all are. Torin had some bad luck with a couple of guys going down right in front of him on the final turn, and he lost all his momentum..."
The weekend's events continue Sunday with a men's 15K classic and women's 10K. Live timing is available through http://livetiming.usskiteam.com
at 4 a.m. ET.VIESSMANN CROSS COUNTRY WORLD CUP
Kuusamo, FIN - Nov. 25, 2006
Men's 1.2K CL Sprint (six make A Final)
1. Jens Arne Svartedal, Norway
2. Odd-Bjorn Hjelmeset, Norway
3. Tor Arne Hetland, Norway
4. Trond Iversen, Norway
5. Johan Kjoelstad, Norway
6. Emil Joensson, Sweden
12. Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT
20. Torin Koos, Leavenworth, WA
27. Chris Cook, Rhinelander, WI
81. Dave Chamberlain, Bethel, ME
Women's 1.2k CL Sprint (six make A Final)
1. Petra Majdic, Slovenia
2. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland
3. Marit Bjoergen, Norway
4. Astrid Joacobsen, Norway
5. Mona Liisa Malvalehto, Finland
6. Ella Gjoemle, Norway
12. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, AK For complete results:http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?cal_suchsector=CC&event_id=21564