WEST YELLOWSTONE, MT (Nov. 29) - The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team's Morgan Arritola (Ketchum, ID) had another successful day of racing, winning the women's 10K freestyle race as the USSA Cross Country SuperTour wrapped up in West Yellowstone Saturday. Canada's Ivan Babikov swept both men's wins at the SuperTour this weekend.
"Morgan has been on fire this week. Her training has been really solid," Cross Country Development Coach Matt Whitcomb said. "She's made some huge strides and improvements and we are seeing the benefit of that right now."
Arritola's win came on the heels of a third-place finish in a 10K classic race on Friday. Teammate Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) was seventh and Laura Valaas was 10th.
Canada's Shayla Swanson came in second and Lenka Palanova of the Czech Republic was third.
In the men's race, Leif Zimmermann (Bozeman, MT) and Garrott Kuzzy (Hayward, WI) were second and third, respectively, behind Babikov, who also won Friday's event.
"Today was a great turnaround for both Leif and Garrott. Neither of them were too pleased with their results yesterday, but today's race shows that their fitness is much higher and when they're both challenging Ivan Babikov of Canada, it's promising," Whitcomb said. "Both of these guys could flip the switch and put yesterday's race behind them."
According to Whitcomb, Zimmerman's results were a step up from the previous day's competition because he wanted it so badly.
"I think it was a hugely successful day for Leif," Whitcomb said. "Leif is a bit of a hometown favorite around the West Yellowstone area and I think he came to the line today with a little bit of something to prove - not necessarily just to the fans but to himself as well."
For Kuzzy, his success came from putting his 31st place from Friday behind him and focusing on the task at hand.
"Kuzzy came to the line today looking like he had won the event yesterday, just exuding confidence that he was there to race and that his body was feeling good." Whitcomb said. "Letting go of yesterday's race and being confident about today worked for him."
The SuperTour now departs from West Yellowstone and will return Dec. 6-7 at Soldier Hollow in Utah.
West Yellowstone, MT - Nov. 29, 2008
Men's 10K Freestyle
1. Ivan Babikov, Canada, 21:33.9
2. Leif Zimmermann, Bozeman, MT, 21:58.4
3. Garrott Kuzzy, Hayward, WI, 21:16.4
4. James Southam, Anchorage, 41:39.1
5. Tad Elliott, Durango, CO, 22:36.0
10. Matt Gelso, Truckee, CA, 22:57.8
DNS: Noah Hoffman, Aspen, CO
Women's 10K Freestyle
1. Morgan Arritola, Ketchum, ID, 25:30.8
2. Shayla Swanson, Canada, 25:34.7
3. Lenka Palanova, Czech Republic, 25:52.8
4. Caitlin Compton, Minneapolis, MN, 25:56.2
5. Ma Mo Grevsgaard, Norway, 26:00.0
7. Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, VT, 26:04.0
10. Laura Valaas, Wenatchee, WA, 26:44.4
11. Rosie Brennan, Park City, UT, 26:45.7
15. Taz Mannix, Talkeetna, AK, 26:54.6
20. Morgan Smyth, Vernon, VT, 27:23.8
21. Lindsey Dehlin, Mahtomedi, MN, 27:30.9
29. Lindsay Williams, Hastings, MN, 28:12.1
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For complete results click here.