|HOUGHTON, Mich. (Jan. 3) - Two-time Olympians Kikkan Randall won cthe classic technique gold medal - for the women's 10K - Thursday at the U.S. Cross Country Championships. It was the seventh U.S. title for Randall, who recently became the first U.S. woman to win a World Cup cross country race.|
"I felt good at the start, but my arms were burning a bit going up that first climb. I wondered, 'Oooooh, what does that mean?' but about a K [kilometer] later I got the burn to go away, and by about two-and-a-half Ks I started feeling good," Randall said. "I was charging from then on.
"It's nice to have that spark," she added. "It's nice to win, but it's really good to be in a race where there's fighting for the win, where there's attacking."
Deceptive start leads into first hill
Randall tore over the two-lap course in 30:42.2 with Kristina Strandberg of Sweden second at 31:04.1. Since only U.S. citizens are eligible for medals - Canadians and overseas skiers are in a Guest Class, the silver medal went to the U.S. Ski Team's Morgan Arritola (Fairfield, ID), who skied third fastest in 31:35.1. The bronze medal went to Kate Arduser (Fairbanks, AK), the former Kate Pearson, who was fourth in 3:43.1.
The course led out and through a gradual downhill before the first uphill, which was a little deceptive, Randall said, "because you're going fast. But then you hit that first climb at about a K out, and that's where you could gauge how you were doing."
2008 U.S. CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Michigan Tech Nordic Ski Center
Houghton, MI - Jan. 3, 2008
(Only U.S. citizens eligible for medals)
Women's 10K CL
1. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, AK, U.S. Ski Team/APU Nordic, 30:42.2
2. Kristina Strandberg, Sweden, The Factory Team, 31:04.1
3. Morgan Arritola, Fairfield, ID, U.S. Ski Team/Sun Valley SEF, 31:35.1
4. Kate Arduser, Fairbanks, AK, Team Rossignol/APU Nordic, 31:43.1
5. Caitlin Compton, Minneapolis, Team CXC/U.S. Biathlon Team, 31:43.3
6. Karin Camenisch, Switzerland, Team Rossignol, 31:44.5
7. Lindsey Dehlin, Mahtomedi, MN, U.S. Ski Team/Northern Michigan U., 31:53.6
8. Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, VT, U.S. Ski Team/Burke Mountain Academy, 31:55.3
9. Sadie Bjornsen, Winthrop, WA, Methow Valley Ski Team, 31:55.5
10. Laura Valaas, Wenatchee, WA, U.S. Ski Team/APU Nordic, 31:58.5
# # #