CANMORE, Alberta (Jan. 23) - Three U.S. men skied into the quarterfinals Wednesday of a 1.2K classic technique World Cup sprint won by Norwegian Boerre Naess. Andy Newell led the U.S. athletes in 17th place with Chris Cook (Rhinelander, WI) 20th. No U.S. women qualified.
Naess led Norwegian men into the first five spots in the final heat, edging Ole Vigen Hattestad. Newell, Cook and Torin Koos (Leavenworth, WA) - who qualified seventh but then broke a pole in his quarterfinal heat - all went out in their first finals heat. Seventeen-year-old Reid Pletcher (Hailey, ID), tuning up for the Junior World Championships in Poland next month, was 35th in his first World Cup race.
In the women's race, Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) was the top American, finishing 33rd. Petra Majdic of Slovenia earned his second sprint win of the season with sprint world champion Astrid Jacobsen in second place.
"It was a good day for Chris Cook and certainly for Reid Pletcher, but otherwise it was a rough day for us," Head Coach Pete Vordenberg said. "It wasn't bad tactics, just a tough day. Koos broke a pole, Andy had the wrong wax - he went with kick wax and today was a better day for double-poling [with glide wax].
"Cook had an excellent day and just missed moving into semis, and for Pletcher to come through like that in his first race is a good reflection on him and on Rick Kapala's program in Sun Valley."
After a day off Thursday, the four days of racing at the 1988 Olympic venue resume Friday with men's 15K and women's 10K freestyle races. Saturday, it'll be 1.2K freestyle sprints.
2008 VIESSMANN FIS CROSS COUNTRY WORLD CUP
Alberta, ALB - Jan. 23, 2008
(Six made finals)
Men's 1.2K Classic Sprint
1. Boerre Naess, Norway
2. Ole Vigen Hattestad, Norway
3. Eldar Roenning, Norway,
4. Anders Gloersen, Norway
5. Tor Arne Hetland, Norway
6. Nikita Kriukov, Russia
17. Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT
20. Chris Cook, Rhinelander, WI
26. Torin Koos, Leavenworth, WA
35. Reid Pletcher, Hailey, ID
46. Colin Rodgers, Sun Valley, ID
50. Anders Haugen, Anchorage, AK
53. Lars Flora, Anchorage, AK
57. Marshall Greene, Bend, OR
60. Brian Gregg, Winthrop, WA
Women's 1.2K CL Sprint
1. Petra Majdic, Slovenia
2. Astrid Jacobsen, Norway
3. Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland
4. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland
5. Pirjo Muranen, Finland
6. Alena Prochazkova, Slovakia
33. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, AK
41. Laura Valaas, Wenatchee, WA
45. Lindsay Williams, Hastings, MN
51. Kate Arduser, Anchorage, AK
59. Lindsey Dehlin, Mahtomedi, MN
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Clich here for complete results.