It was a fast course for the US National 15/30km pursuit at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle. It was an excellent day of spring racing with temperatures in the high twenties, no wind, and mostly cloudy skies which kept the snow consistent.
Kris Freeman of the US Ski Team took control of the men’s race putting a gap on the field 3km into the race to come into the exchange at 15km with over a forty second advantage. Freeman went on to win the race by 53.9 seconds, completing the 30km course in 1:12:23.6.
The battle for silver was a tighter race. Torin Koos of the USST posted the second fastest time in the classical portion of the race, finishing twenty seconds up on the main chase pack. However, Koos switched from classic boots to skate boots during the exchange and a pack of nine skiers left the stadium together for the freestyle leg of the race.
The main chase pack decreased in size throughout the first of three 5km freestyle laps. On the second freestyle lap Canadian National Team member Alex Harvey broke away from the pack to ski to second place overall. The Canadian junior posted the fastest skate leg time of the day, 34:20.6.
It was a tight battle between Garrott Kuzzy of CXC and Canadian Chris Butler for the bronze. After trading leads throughout, Kuzzy made a move on the largest climb of the course with 1 kilometer to go, but Butler held on strong. Kuzzy kept the lead to line to edge Butler by less than half a second for his first US National podium. Torin Koos finished fifth to earn his first US National podium in a distance race as the third American.
The women’s 15km US National Pursuit was an exciting race. US Ski Team members and recent NCAA champions for Northern Michigan University, Lindsay Williams and Lindsey Weier set the early pace in the 7.5 km classical portion of the race. Canadian Natinal Team members, Brittany Webster and Dasha Gaiazova led the race into the exchange with a pack of nine women.
The women left the stadium for the 7.5km long freestyle loop and the crowd waited with anticipation to see how things would shake down in the woods. With 800 meters to go Brittany Webster and the US Ski Team/Alaska Pacific University’s Tazlina Mannix were ready for a sprint to the line.
Brittany Webster kept her lead to the line to win the women’s race by 2.5 seconds in 41:02.5. Canadian Dasha Gaiazova finished third overall in 41:33.4. US Ski Team member Elizabeth Stephen, finished fourth overall and second American holding of a hard charging Lindsey Williams over the final kilometer of the race. Williams rounded out the American podium.
Top 10 Men
1 1 Freeman, Kris US Ski Team 1:12:23.6 00:00.0
2 8 Harvey, Alex Canada 1:13:17.5 00:53.9
3 7 Kuzzy, Garrott CXC Team 1:13:47.4 01:23.8
4 16 Butler, Chris Canada 1:13:47.8 01:24.2
5 12 Koos, Torin US Ski Team 1:14:27.9 02:04.3
6 2 Flora, Lars Subaru Factory Team 1:15:02.3 02:38.7
7 5 Osgood, Brayton Alpina/XC Oregon 1:15:12.6 02:49.0
8 10 Chamberlain, David MWSC 1:15:20.1 02:56.5
9 13 Korthauer, Marius Alaska Nanooks 1:15:23.8 03:00.2
10 4 Rodgers, Colin FSx/ Sun Valley 1:15:32.3 03:08.7
For complete men’s results go to
Top 10 Women
1 9 Webster, Brittany NTDC-Thunder Bay 0:41:02.5 00:00.0
2 1 Mannix, Tazlina US Ski Team 0:41:05.0 00:02.5
3 5 Gaiazova, Dasha 0:41:33.4 00:30.9
4 10 Stephen, Elizabeth US Ski Team 0:41:53.6 00:51.1
5 8 Williams, Lindsay US Ski Team 0:41:56.6 00:54.1
6 3 Weier, Lindsey US Ski Team 0:42:09.3 01:06.8
7 13 Arritola, Morgan US Ski Team 0:42:09.7 01:07.2
8 4 Valaas, Laura CXC Team 0:42:42.6 01:40.1
9 17 Gosling, Brooke FHNC/ X-C.com 0:42:43.3 01:40.8
10 2 Compton, Caitlin CXC Team 0:43:42.4 02:39.9
For complete women’s results go to
The final race of the 2007 US National Distance Championships will be the 30km/50km mass-start freestyle on Sunday, April 1st
Webster and Mannix 800m to go
Liz Stephen 800 to go