GAELLIVARE, SWEDEN (Nov. 20) - The U.S. Ski Team's Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) opened the 2010 FIS Cross Country World Cup cracking into the top 10 in a 15k freestyle event Saturday in Sweden. Freeman finished ninth while Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) led the U.S. women in 19th. Sweden's Marcus Hellner was an easy winner in the men's race as was Norway's Marit Bjoergen in the women's 10k.
"This is the best start to the World Cup season in the ten years I've been with the Team and certainly the best start in Gaellivare in the 10/15k," said Head Cross Country Coach Chris Grover. "We had three athletes take World Cup points in this race, which has traditionally been a tough one for us."
Freeman put forth a solid effort Saturday placing ninth in the World Cup opener in Gaellivare. Just 30 seconds behind Hellner, who crossed the line in 32:26.00, Freeman displayed he is skiing fast as the 2010-11 World Cup season commenced.
Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) had a good performance finishing just shy of the top 30 in 31st, two tenths from scoring World Cup points. However, Hoffman took an early lead in the 15k, driving the field from around the 7k mark.
In the women's freestyle 10k, Randall was in front for the U.S. landing inside the top 20 in 19th. Bjoergen took home the first win of the season with a time of 23:84.40. Joining Randall inside the top 30 was teammate Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) in 25th.
The men and women will line up at the start again on Sunday for the four man 10/5k relay in Gaellivare.
November 20, 2010
Men's Freestyle 15k
1. Marcus Hellner, Sweden, 32:26.00
2. Dario Cologna, Switzerland, 32:37.40
3. Chris Andre Jespersen, Norway, 32:48.00
5. Petr Sedov, Russia 32:50.70
9. Kris Freeman, Andover, NH, 33:09.10
31. Noah Hoffman, Aspen, CO, 33:45.20
34. Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT, 35:34.90
Women's Freestyle 10k
1. Marit Bjoergen, Norway, 23:84.40
2. Charlotte Kalla, Sweden, 24:29.50
3. Arianna Follis, Italy, 24:39.80
4. Kristin Stoermer Steira, Norway 24:46.50
5. Marthe Kristoffersen, Norway 24:47.20
19. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, 25:34.80
25. Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, VT, 25:44.90
60. Morgan Arritola, Fairfield, ID, 26:40.70