FIS announced the Sprint Red Group for the final World Cup period of the 2008-2009 season. The Red Group consists of the top 30 skiers in both sprint and distance as measured by total World Cup points earned over the preceeding four World Cup periods.
Athletes that are part of the Red Group have travel and lodging expenses paid by the organizing committees, so this ranking can be very important for national programs.
Kikkan Randall leads the North Americans in 12th position. Randall slipped out of the top 30 for the last period, but consistent results and her silver medal performance catapulted back into the select group.
Chandra Crawford of Canada remains in the Red Group. She has not raced this year due to injury and has had season ending surgery. She is currently ranked 28th.
No other North American women are ranked in the top 30. Sara Renner (CAN) is the next best in 46th.
On the men’s sprint list, Andy Newell (USA) is 8th and Devon Kershaw just squeaked on by 6 points in 30th.
Torin Koos (USA) is 38th, 30 points out of the top 30.
The distance Red Group lists have not been released yet as the 30/50km events at World Championships will count. Renner shuld make it on the distance list, and Kershaw will also have a good shot.
It is imprtant to remember that the Red Group is only used for funding purposes. It is not used for seeding.