In a cold and windy sprint event, Kris Freeman and Kikkan Randall easily won the individual national sprint titles today. Freeman used his superior endurance to blaze an early lead in each heat, smoking the rest of the field. Kikkan Randall was also the clear leader, unchallenged throughout the day’s events.
Denver University student athlete and Alaskan resident Mike Hinkley overtook the US Ski Team’s Chris Cook just before the finish line, cheered on by an ecstatic local crowd. Michael Sinnot, Evan Sletten, and Colin Rogers finished fourth, fifth, and sixth.
Anchorage resident Laura Valaas finished up the final heat very strong, finishing closer to Kikkan Randall’s consistently dominating performance than any other skiers of the day. A comfortable 4 seconds out of second, the real race of the final was for third place. Lindsey Dehlin of the US Ski team barely edged UAA freshman Amy Glen. Dehlin closed the gap on the back side of the course, making for a very exciting finish for the last podium spot. Jennie Bender and Rosie Brennan rounded out the final spots in the Women’s A final.
More pictures, video, and news to follow.