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Tight Duels at Top of SuperTour

Tue, Dec  12, 2006 - By US Ski Team

SUN VALLEY, Idaho (Dec. 10) - After three stops on the $130,000 Cross Country SuperTour schedule, three men are battling for the overall lead while Central Division CXC teammates Laura Valaas (Wenatchee, WA) and Caitlin Compton (Minneapolis) are atop the women's standings.

Sun Valley was the third location on the schedule and included sprints Dec. 6 with distance races throughout the weekend. Olympic teammates James Southam and Lars Flora (both Anchorage, AK) and Brayton Osgood (Putney, VT) are 1-2-3 in the men's overall points.

Two-time Olympian Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) held off Canadian Dan Roycroft Sunday in a mass start SuperTour 30K freestyle race for the victory by six-tenths of a second. Saturday, Freeman won the 10K classic race by 17.2 seconds over another Canadian Olympian, Drew Goldsack. A third Canadian Olympian, Sean Crooks, won the 1.5K CL sprint the previous Wednesday, leading a Canadian sweep of the top six places.

On the women's side, Valaas stayed unbeaten in SuperTour sprints Wednesday, topping leading qualifier Shayla Swason (Bozeman, MT) with Canadians Perianne Jones and Tara Whitten completing the final foursome. Saturday, Canadian Amanda Ammar won the women's 5K classic race in 14:45.7 with Compton runnerup (14:54.4). Sunday, Compton overtook local favorite Morgan Arritola (nearby Fairfield, ID) to win the 15K skate by 4.9 seconds - in 43:24.5. Taz Mannix (Anchorage, AK), Arritola's teammate on the U.S. Ski Team, was third (43:41.2).

The tour heads next to Soldier Hollow, UT, for freestyle races - men's 15k and women's 10K - Saturday and more classic technique sprints on Sunday.

Leaving Sun Valley, the SuperTour standings (points go to top 20: 30-25-21-18-16-15-14-etc):

Men's Overall (7 races)
1. James Southam, Anchorage, AK, 100 points (1 win)
2. Lars Flora, Anchorage, AK, 92 (1 win)
3. Brayton Osgood, Putney, VT, 89 (1 win)
4. Marshall Greene, Bend, OR, 77 (1 win)
5. (tie) Eric Strabel, Anchorage, AK; Colin Rodgers, Sun Valley, ID; Garrott Kuzzy, Hayward, WI; and Dan Roycroft, Canada - all 64 each
9. (tie) Kris Freeman, Andover, NH (2 wins) and Anders Haugen, Anchorage, AK - 60 each
Women's Overall (7 races)
1. Caitlin Compton, Minneapolis, 167 (2 wins)
2. Laura Valaas, Wenatchee, WA, 135 (4 wins)
3. Taz Mannix, Anchorage, AK, 101
4. Kate Pearson, Anchorage, AK, 96
5. Karin Camenisch, Switzerland, 83
6. Kristina Strandberg, Sweden, 54
7. Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, VT, 51
8. Amanda Ammar, Canada, 48 (1 win)
9. (tie) Kate Underwood, Ketchum, ID, and Morgan Arritola, Fairfield, ID - 44 each

For complete results from Sun Valley: