NOTE: Results are still unofficial until protest period ends
Chris Cook earned a wire-to-wire victory in today's US National Sprint Race. He dominated the prelims and every heat he entered on the way to victory. Eric Strabel was second, Colin Mahood third, and Kevin Hochtl 4th in the A-Final.
Kikkan Randall was also very impressive in all of her races as she took the win. Kikkan hadn't raced much since her Alaskan SuperTour victories in November, but her training is clearly on track for Torino as she dominated today's race. Karin Camenisch was second, Natasha Naryshkina third, and Wendy Wagner fourth.
A new twist in the US National sprint was the advancement of 30 qualifiers to the elimination heats. A few years ago, 16 skiers advanced, then it was increased to 24. Now, following the World Cup's lead, it has been bumped up again to 30.
There are 5 'quarterfinals' of 6 skiers each. The top two in each heat advance. There are two semifinals of 5 skiers each. The top two in each heat advance to the championship A-final. The others go to the consolation B-Final.
The first quarterfinal was a very tough heat, including top qualifier Chris Cook, 2002 US Sprint Champion Lars Flora, Colin Rodgers (top 10 in all SuperTour sprints this year), Streetfightin' sprint specialist Zack Simons, as well as John Steene and Brian Gregg. Cook won the heat, and Colin Rodgers just getting by Flora and Simons at the line.
In the second quarterfinal, thirty-seven year old Adam Verrier showed the youngsters how its done by taking the win. Kevin Hochtl also advanced. The other four finishers in the heat were Michael Sinnott, Matt Johnson, Dirk Grim and Ian Murray,
Quarterfinal #3 saw 2004 US Sprint Champion Leif Zimmerman advance, along with the #26 qualifier Alex Churikov. Number 6 qualifier Steve Scott was eliminated, along with Josh Smullin, Brian McKeever, and Casey Dyck.
No surprises in the fourth quarterfinal as Anders Haugen (qualifier #2) and Marshall Greene (#9) advanced, ahead of Erik Jacobson, Ryan Foster, Nate Berry, and Vilhelm Hampusson.
In the fifth men's quarterfinal, Eric Strabel came out of the 28th qualifying position to advance along with Colin Mahood. Tim Weston and Eli Enman, both strong sprinters, were eliminated along with Havard Selseng and Ben Cline.
Moving on to the semifinals, Cook continued to shine, advancing to the A-Final easily ahead of second place Kevin Hochtl. Churikov, Rodgers to the B-Final, while Verrier was eliminated.
Eric Strabel, who took last year off from racing to coach at UAA, showed that he didn't lose any speed during that hiatus, advancing to the final. Colin Mahood finished second to also advance. Zimmerman & Haugen to the B-Final and Green eliminated.
Zimmerman won the B-Final.
Chris Cook finished off a perfect day by taking the win. Eric Strabel turned a lot of heads by taking second, while Colin Mahood finished 3rd and Kevin Hochtl 4th.
In the women's race, the quarterfinals held true to the qualifying times as the top seven qualifiers advanced. Brooke Hovey and Kate Pearson held off a quartet of youngers in the first heat: Liz Stephen, Kristina Trygstad-Saari, Alice Nelson, and Ida Sargent.
Karen Camenisch and Lindsay Williams beat out Kasandra Rice who was leading coming down the homestretch. Martina Stursova, Jamie Woelk, and Christina Gillis also were eliminated in heat two.
Wendy Wagner won heat three. Natasha Naryshkina also advanced. Sarah Daitch, Erin Hood, Alexa Turzian, and Linda Pettersson were eliminated.
Two of the biggest names, Kikkan Randall and Rebecca Dussault were in the fourth women's quarterfinal, and they both advanced. Morgan Smyth, Jennie Bender, Sadie Bjornsen, and Aubrey Smith were not able to keep up with Randall and Dussault.
The only 'upset' in round one came in the 5th quarterfinal, where Laura Valaas won and #23 Tazlina Mannix out sprinted eighth qualifier Caitlin Compton to advance. Alison Crocker, Kate Whitcomb and Pavla Havlova were also eliminated.
After holding form in the quarterfinals, there was a bit of a shocker in the first semifinal as all three Americans, Brooke Hovey, Kate Pearson, and Lindsay Williams, were ousted by Natasha Naryshkina and Karin Camenisch in a very tight heat. Hovey and Pearson headed to the B-Final.
In a star-studded second semifinal, Kikkan Randall was out in front. Wendy Wagner also managed to advance in a battle with Rebecca Dussault and Laura Valaas who went to the B-Final. Taz Mannix eliminated.
Laura Valaas won the B-Final, which gave her a podium spot as the third American.
Kikkan Randall continued her impressive day by winning the A-Final ahead of Karin Camenisch, Natasha Naryshkina, and Wendy Wagner. Randall opened up a lead on the first hill and skied by herself the rest of the way.
Heat Results for Men
Updated on 1/5/2006 at 2:39:55 PM
|Class: SM – Senior Men 1.3 km Final A Heat Number: 24|
|Class: SM – Senior Men 1.3 km Final B Heat Number: 23|
|Class: SM – Senior Men 1.3 km Semifinal 2 Heat Number: 20|
|Class: SM – Senior Men 1.3 km Semifinal 1 Heat Number: 19|
|Class: SM – Senior Men 1.3 km Quarterfinal 5 Heat Number: 13|
|Class: SM – Senior Men 1.3 km Quarterfinal 4 Heat Number: 12|
|Class: SM – Senior Men 1.3 km Quarterfinal 3 Heat Number: 11|
|Class: SM – Senior Men 1.3 km Quarterfinal 2 Heat Number: 10|
|Class: SM – Senior Men 1.3 km Quarterfinal 1 Heat Number: 9|
Heat Results for Women
Updated on 1/5/2006 at 2:49:07 PM
|Class: SW – Senior Women 1.3 km Final A Heat Number: 26|
|Class: SW – Senior Women 1.3 km Final B Heat Number: 25|
|Class: SW – Senior Women 1.3 km Semifinal 2 Heat Number: 22|
|Class: SW – Senior Women 1.3 km Semifinal 1 Heat Number: 21|
|Class: SW – Senior Women 1.3 km Quarterfinal 5 Heat Number: 18|
|Class: SW – Senior Women 1.3 km Quarterfinal 4 Heat Number: 17|
|Class: SW – Senior Women 1.3 km Quarterfinal 3 Heat Number: 16|
|Class: SW – Senior Women 1.3 km Quarterfinal 2 Heat Number: 15|
|Class: SW – Senior Women 1.3 km Quarterfinal 1 Heat Number: 14|
On her way to victory in 2006 Nationals Sprint