MUONIO, Finland (Nov. 14) - The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team's Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) dominated qualifying against a World Cup caliber field before crashing in the semi-final round in a pre-season FIS sprint Friday in Muonio, Finland.
Competing north of the Arctic Circle, Newell, who won the preliminary round by 2.44 seconds, fell in the semi-finals during the race, which was won by Nikita Kriukov of Russia. Torin Koos (Leavenworth, WA) followed up Newell, finishing in the quarterfinal.
"The race went sort of well. Unfortunately Koos faded in the quarter and Newell, who dominated his quarterfinal, crashed out of his semi," Cross Country Coach Pete Vordenberg said. "Not our best day at the sprint today in Muonio. Perhaps to be expected after arriving only on Monday. The guys are still getting their feet under them."
Chris Cook (Rhinelander, WI) joined the U.S. men for the FIS race, which took place just a week before the Team's World Cup season begins, finishing 37th in the preliminary round.
Saturday, Cook will race the 15K classical and Sunday Newell and Freeman will race the 15K skate.
The World Cup opens in Gaellivare, Sweden Nov. 22-23.