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MTU Skiers Finish in Top 40

US Championships

Fri, Jan  5, 2007 - By Jon Oman

HOUGHTON, Mich. -- For the second straight day, the Michigan Tech Nordic skiing team compiled a pair of top 40 performances at the 2007 U.S. Cross Country Championships at the Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center.

Jesse Lang (St. Louis Park, Minn.) followed up his 36th-place effort in yesterday's classic race with a 35th-place showing in the 15-kilometer freestyle race with a time of 43:36.6. Kristina Owen (East Wenatchee,

Wash./Eastmont) finished 37th in the 10-kilometer freestyle race after taking 17th in her classic race on Wednesday.

"The conditions were difficult again today, but I think our athletes responded very well," said head coach Joe Haggenmiller. "Obviously, Jesse Lang is really stepping up as a top skier for us and that can be attributed to his hard work and determination during the offseason."

"Kristina Owen had a solid day as well. She was up against a very stiff field and this race can help her build for the NCAA Championships at the end of the season."

A total of seven Huskies placed in the top 100 of the classic races. On the women's side, Jenna Klein (Ely, Minn.) put together a respectable 48th-place effort with a time of 31:23.1, while Elizabeth Quinley (Anchorage, Alaska/East) clocked in at 32:25.7 to take 63rd.

For the men, assistant coach Karl Walczak (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) wasn't far behind Lang, as he came in at 40th with a reading of 43:55.6. Adam Airoldi (Everson, Wash.) took 68th with a time of 45:04.1, while Chris Harvey (Eden Prairie, Minn.) turned in a time of 45:30.7, good for 80th overall.

"As a whole, I think we had a pretty good day," said Haggenmiller. "It's still early in the season for us. When you are going up against this kind of competition you are bound to find areas you can work on. We still have some more races left and I'm hoping we can finish strong."

The U.S. Cross Country Championships will continue on Saturday with the individual classic sprint races. Qualifying rounds will start at 10 a.m.

The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will start at 1 pm.

On Sunday, for the first time ever, the U.S. championships will feature a team relay event. Teams of two skiers will alternate, skiing three laps each. Sunday's events begin at 10 a.m.

To access a racing schedule with results and other pertinent information about the 2007 U.S. Cross Country Championships log on to www.seniornationals.org