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Newell 12th in Drammen Classic Sprint

Thu, Mar  15, 2007 - By US Ski Team

DRAMMEN, Norway (March 14) - Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) finished 12th Wednesday in the annual classic technique sprint World Cup race through Drammen, a village about 25 miles west of Oslo. Torin Koos (Leavenworth, WA) was 15th.

Norway's Boerre Naess nipped Sweden's Mats Larsson for the men's win while World Cup champion Virpi Kuitunen of Finland took the women's race from Petra Majdic of Slovenia before an enthusiastic crowd with temperatures near 50 degrees.

Newell made it out of quarterfinals with Naess in a heat that included two other top Norwegians: former sprint Olympic and world champion Tor Arne Hetland and veteran Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset, who also is the new 50K world champion. In semis, he was up against four Norwegians and rising Japanese star Yuichi Onda, finishing fourth. In the "B Final" (places 7-12), he ran out of gas, Coach Pete Vordenberg said.

"Andy was just totally out of juice. He'd given everything and just had nothing left, but you know he's not going down without a fight," the coach said. "He was behind a Scandinavian roadblock in semis and just had nothing left to give, but there are no excuses for him at any time; Andy doesn't think that way...

"I think the finals heat of the day, though, was Koos' quarterfinal. He had the world champion, [ Norwegian Jens Arne] Svartedal, and he had the World Cup leader from earlier this season, [Norwegian Eldar] Roenning...and the Olympic champion, [Sweden's Bjoern] Lind. Three Norwegians racing in Norway, two Swedes...and Koos...and he beat Svartedal and Roenning, and he just got out-numbered...but he was in there to the end, too. That was some outstanding heat."

Kikan Randall (Anchorage, AK), the only U.S. woman to step onto a World Cup podium, was 34th in the women's race and Chris Cook (Rhinelander, WI) finished 38th in the men's sprint.

"When she can get into a classic [technique] finals, Kikkan's okay because she's so crafty and she finds a way to dart through and pass," Vordenberg said. "But this race was one good example of the work we have to do in classic. Kikkan can be on the podium in classic, too. I have no doubt about that I also have no doubt she's going to work hard this summer on her classic, and she'll improve there, too."

The next cross country race is Saturday, St. Patrick's Day, when the men race their 50K CL and the women have a 30K classic at Holmenkollen Park, above Oslo.

Drammen, NOR - March 14, 2007
Men's 1.2K Classic Technique Sprint
(12 made semifinals)
1. Boerre naess, Norway
2. Mats Larsson, Sweden
3. Trond Iversen, Norway,
4. Emile Joensson, Sweden
5. Yuichi Onda, Japan
12. Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT
15. Torin Koos, Leavenworth, WA
48. Chris Cook, Rhinelander, WI
Women's 1.2 CL Sprint
1. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland
2. Petra Majdic, Slovenia
3. Aina Kaisa Saarinen, Finland
4. Anna Dahlberg, Sweden
5. Mona-Liisa, Swedem
34. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, AK

For complete results: