PRAGELATO, Italy (Feb. 18) - The U.S. cross country squad of Rebecca Dussault (Gunnison, CO), Sarah Konrad (Laramie, WY), Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) and Wendy Wagner (Park City, UT) finished 14th in Saturday's Olympic relay event.
Russia won gold with a time of 54:47.7 on the Pragelato Plan course. Germany earned silver in 54:57.7 and Italy took bronze in 54:58.7.
It was the first time since 1976 that Norway was not on the podium. The Norwegians have already claimed three silvers and a bronze, but finished fifth in today's relay.
The Americans skied the race, which consisted of four 5km legs, in 57:58.4, 3:10.7 behind Russia, to place 14th of 17 teams.
The Russian team of Natalia Baranova-Masolkina, Larisa Kurkina, Julija Tchepalova and Evgenia Medvedeva won the relay by :10 seconds over defending champion Germany.
The best U.S. women's finish in the event was seventh in both 1980 and 1984.
The men's relay (4x10km) takes place Sunday in Pragelato.
XX OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
Pragelato Plan, ITA - Feb. 18, 2006
Cross Country Women's Relay
1. Russia, 54:57.7
2. Germany, 54:57.7
3. Italy, 54:58.7
4. Sweden, 55:00.3
5. Norway, 55:21.8
14. United States, 57:58.4