DRAMMEN, Norway (March 5) - Torin Koos (Leavenworth, WA) led U.S. skiers, finishing 19th in the quarterfinals of a World Cup classic sprint that ran through downtown Drammen, Norway on Wednesday.
The Drammen sprint brings skiers into some intense competition through streets lined with tens of thousands of spectators.
"In Torrin's round, he just narrowly missed being the lucky loser. The guy who was third in his heat was the lucky loser and there was probably only a ski boot length between the two," said Sprint Head Coach Chris Grover. "He had a good round, but just narrowly missed advancing. It was disappointing given how our guys have skied in the past few weeks."
The top 30 skiers make the sprint finals out of the qualifying rounds, which are six-skier heats. The top two skiers in each round move on as well as the two "lucky losers," the fastest two sprint times across each round not in the top two in his or her heat.
Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT), hot off his second place podium in Finland Saturday, ran into trouble early on in the race and was unable to recover.
"Andy fell when his wax caught and he was down maybe 300 meters into the course," Grover said. "He was actually able to catch back up to the leaders but he faded at the end because he had spent so much energy getting back."
The Drammen sprint, which serves as a prelude to the famed Holmenkollen Ski Festival in Oslo this weekend, was dominated by Norwegians, who took eight of the 10 top men's spots.
"It started off as a good day, but we had a bit of bad luck," Grover said. "The Drammen sprint is always a challenge because some people do it in skate gear and other people use classic technique. It's really tough to get through in Drammen."
The cross country team now heads to Oslo for the Holmenkollen Ski Festival for a women's 30K and a men's 50K on Saturday.
2008 VIESSMANN FIS WORLD CUP CROSS COUNTRY
Drammen, NOR - March 5, 2008
1.2K Classic Sprints
1. Ola Vigen Hattestad, Norway
2. Jens Arne Svartedal, Norway
3. Emil Joensson, Sweden
4. Boerre Naess, Norway
5. John Kristian Dahl, Norway
19. Torrin Koos, Leavenworth, WA
22. Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT
39. Chris Cook, Rhinelander, WI
58. Garrott Kuzzy, Hayward, WI
1. Vipri Kuitunen, Finland
2. Petra Majdic, Slovenia
3. Astrid Jacobsen, Norway
4. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Finland
5. Lina Andersson, Sweden
33. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, AK
50. Laura Valaas,
For complete results click here.