HOUGHTON, Mich. (Dec. 22) -- The nation's best cross country skiers are
set to converge Jan. 3-7 on Houghton for the U.S. Cross Country
Championships, hosted by the Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center.
than 400 skiers are expected to compete including regional development
teams, collegiate programs and top World Cup racers Kris Freeman
(Andover, NH) plus star sprinters Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) and
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) from the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team.
Results will help determine the roster for the Feb. 22-March 4 World
Nordic Championships in Sapporo, Japan and the Junior World
Championships set for Jan. 29-Feb. 4 in Tarvisio, Italy.
"Houghton is extremely well-organized, and following up on the great
job they did in organizing the Junior Olympics last winter, we expect
this championship to meet a very high standard," said Nordic Director
Luke Bodensteiner. "The championships are the culmination of the first
half of the season, and based on the performances in Houghton, we will
be sending roughly 50 U.S. competitors into international competition
over the course of the next two months."
Action kicks off Jan. 3 with classic technique races of 10K for men and
5K for women. Freestyle races Jan. 4 are a 15K for men and a 10K for
women, followed by a classic sprint Jan. 6 and - for the first time at
nationals - a team freestyle sprint Jan. 7 to close the championships,
which also double as part of the $130,000 USSA Cross Country SuperTour.
"With the experience our volunteers and organizers gained at the Junior
Olympics, I'm confident we will be just as successful with this event."
said Mike Abbott, chair of the organizing committee.
The Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center was designed to be spectator
friendly. Many viewing locations are an easy walk, on a groomed trail,
from the stadium. Most of the sprint course can be seen from the
stadium. The large stadium, including bleachers, allows easy viewing of
the start and finish areas. Plus three web cams will fans to log into
www.seniornationals.org and track starts and finishes.
Other improvements for the championships are the Boss Snowplow Nordic
Wax Center, added for the Junior Olympics with a generous donation from
Boss Snowplow, based in Iron Mountain, Michigan. The center includes
ten separate team wax rooms and a community wax room and changing area.
2007 U.S. Cross Country Championships Schedule:
Monday, Jan. 1 - Training
Tuesday, Jan. 2 - Training
Wednesday, Jan. 3 - 10k classic men, 5K classic women
Thursday, Jan. 4 - 15K freestyle men, 10K freestyle women
Friday, Jan. 5 - Training
Saturday, Jan. 6 - Classic sprint
Sunday, Jan. 7 - Team freestyle sprint
For complete details on the 2007 U.S. Cross Country Championships and a look at the webcams, log on to www.seniornationals.org