FALUN, Sweden (March 21) - Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) wrapped up her 2010 season with yet another top 20 finish, skiing her way to 17th in 10K Freestyle in the final weekend of the FIS Cross Country World Cup, which featured a multi-stage mini-tour at the traditional Swedish Ski Games in Falun.
"It was another pretty good day for Kikkan. She started 16th in the tour and only lost one spot to finish 17th," U.S. Cross Country Coach Chris Grover said. "That's a good World Cup distance race for her and we're pretty psyched about how she finished the tour and that she was in the points there."
Norway's Marit Bjoergen aced the race by nearly a minute to take the win and the overall lead. Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland was second and Charlotte Kalla of Sweden was third.
In the men's race Petter Northug took in his second straight win to lead the series, followed in second by Maurice Manificat of France and Sweden's Marcus Hellner in third.
Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) led the U.S. men, finishing 40th. While the day's distance race wasn't the finish Newell was looking for, he did finish out the season in a great spot in the sprint World Cup standings.
"He finished fourth in the overall sprint World Cup and that's the best he has ever done in the overall. It was really cool for him and the best sprint performance for the Americans," Grover said.
With the World Cup season now behind them, the U.S. athletes return to the states for the long distance events of the U.S. Cross Country Championships and USSA SuperTour Finals March 24-29 in Fort Kent, ME.
"These guys will all go to U.S. Championships on Wednesday, followed by a mini tour of races in Maine, so there's more racing to do," Grover said.
2010 FIS CROSS COUNTRY WORLD CUP
Falun, Sweden - March 21, 2010
1. Petter Northug, Norway, 44:30.8
2. Maurice Manificat, France, 44:34.2
3. Marcus Hellner, Sweden, 44:41.8
4. Maxim Vyleghanin, Russia, 45:16.6
5. Vincent Vittoz, France, 45:18.4
40. Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT, 54:14.1
41. Brian Gregg, Winthrop, WA, 54:26.3
1. Marit Bjoergen, Norway, 31:58.0
2. Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland, 32:49.9
3. Charlotte Kalla, Sweden, 33:10.8
4. Kristen Stoermer Steira, Norway, 33:14.7
5. Riita-Liisa Roponen, Finland, 34:36.2
17. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, 36:01.8