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U.S. Distance Races Set for Northern Maine

Tue, Mar  27, 2007 - By US Ski Team

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (March 26) - The 2007 U.S. Cross Country Championships conclude this week with distance title races including U.S. Ski Team racers just off the World Cup tour. Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) will be looking to earn his third and fourth championships of the winter.

The championships, which also double as the $130,000 USSA SuperTour Finals, will have not only U.S. Ski Team racers but a large influx of college and citizen skiers for the three events. The schedule:

March 28 - Freestyle Sprints on the Caribou Ski Trails at Caribou H.S. (not a U.S. title race)
March 30 - Pursuits, men's 30K (15 CL+15 FR) and women's 20K (10 CL+10 FR) at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle
April 1 - Men's 50K FR and women's 30K FR at the Nordic Heritage Center

"The Nordic Heritage Center staged great championships last year under tough conditions, and we're looking forward to another outstanding set of races," U.S. Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner said. "They have a challenging set of trails, which add to the excitement, and the enthusiasm from the community is terrific. Starting with the sprints Wednesday, these should be a mix of fun and intensity, and a nice way for everyone to end the racing season."

A year ago, two-time Olympians Freeman and Wendy Wagner (Park City, UT) won the long-distance titles. Wagner retired at the end of the season, but Freeman is still racing - and won two more gold medals, over short distances - at the U.S. championships at Michigan Tech in Houghton in January.

Freeman will be back to defend his 50K title as well as the pursuit crown, which he won a year ago. Other U.S. Ski Team athletes, who have competed at the World Championships, the U-23 Championships and the Junior World Championships include Olympians Lindsey Weier (Mahtomedi, MN) and Lindsay Williams (Hastings, MN) who recently won NCAA ski titles.