FREEMAN, WEIER WIN CLASSIC COMPETITION
HOUGHTON MI — The U.S. Ski Team dominated the opening day of the 2007
U.S. Cross Country Championships in Houghton, Michigan. U.S. team
members took five of the six podium spots in the men's 10 kilometer
and women's 5 kilometer races.
Kris Freeman from Andover, New Hampshire, took the top stop in the
men's race, and Lindsay Weier of Mahtomedi, Minnesota, took the
women's title. Both are members of the US Ski Team and competed in the
2002 and 2006 Olympics. Weier will also compete with her college team
at Northern Michigan University this year.
Racers faced record high temperatures at the Michigan Tech Nordic
Training Center, with the mercury soaring to 41. Skiers report that
the trails held up well despite the “heat.” Groomers will be working
late into the night getting the track ready for the freestyle race on
Andy Newell of the U.S. Ski Team finished second in the men's race,
with Chris Cook taking the third spot. For the women, Kikkan Randall
finished second and Laura Valaas was third. Valaas, who skis for the
Central Cross Country Ski Team, was the only non-US team member on the
Freeman took first place by 42 seconds, while Weier's margin of
victory was 9 seconds. Only 1 second separated the second and third
place finishers in the women's race.
In addition to the national title races, the races represent part of
the $130,000 Cross Country SuperTour, with double points awarded.
Freeman, who won four straight races after returning from snowless
Europe earlier this month, and Caitlin Compton from the Central
Division's fledgling CXC squad, are the overall leaders coming into
“The community has really come together for these championships and
it's great to see that kind of support. They've put in a lot of work,”
said Pete Vordenberg, head coach for the U.S. Ski Team.
The races also include the U.S. disabled championships, as they have
every year since 1986 when USSA became the first federation to roll
the disabled cross-country championships into the able-bodied
Chris Klebl won the men's sit-ski competition, while Monica Bascio won
the women's title. Sit skiers traverse the course on a skiing
equivalent to a wheelchair, using their poles and arm strength to
propel themselves through the entire race. The men sit skiers went 12
kilometers, while the women skied 9 kilometers.
Women racers had the advantage today, starting in the morning with
cooler temperatures and a nice hard track to ski on. The temperature
climbed during the afternoon men's race, making for soft and slippery
conditions toward the end of the race.
The U.S. Cross Country Championships will continue on Thursday with
the freestyle race: 10 kilometers for the women and 15 kilometers for
the men. The temperature is expected to be even warmer, with the
National Weather Service predicting a high of 44.
“Despite these warm temperatures, our base is holding up fine,” said
organizing committee chair Mike Abbott. “We trucked in 200 truckloads
of snow last weekend to make a solid base in the stadium and on our 5
After Thursday's freestyle race, competitors will have a training day
on Friday, then the individual sprints on Saturday and team sprints on
A complete list of results and the schedule for the remaining three
races are at www.seniornationals.org
Source: US Nationals press release