Demong 13th and Freeman 16th at Kuusamo
U.S. Ski Team member Kris Freeman of Andover, NH tied for 16th today at the Kuusamo, Finland 15K cross country race—just one minute behind winner Martin Johnsrud Sundby. In doing so, Freeman, who is diabetic, scored his second straight top 20 finish.
"I felt really good and I was thinking this could be my podium day,” Freeman says. "It's nice to be disappointed with 16th rather than excited. I've had a really solid start and I hope to keep it going."
"We're off to a really steady start,” says U.S. Cross Country Head Coach Pete Vordenberg. “I know that he feels like he's got more to give and he's looking for that podium."
Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway won the race, followed by Czech Lukas Bauer in second and Sami Jauhojaervi of Finland in third.
American Kikkan Randall of Anchorage, AK finished 23rd in the women's race to mark her best distance result to date.
"It was Kikkan's best distance race ever, so we're really happy about that," Vordenberg says.
Finnish skiers Aino Kaisa Saarinen and Kuitunen grabbed the top two podium spots respectively, and Norway's Marit Bjoregen was third.
In other Kuusamo news, the American men fared well in Nordic Combined. Bill Demong of Vermontville, NY and Johnny Spillane of Steamboat Springs, CO blew away the field in the cross country portion of the race, finishing first and third and then 13th and 14th for the day.
Demong and Spillane actually tied for 31st in the jumping event, which seemed due to high winds.
"The whole day saw pretty bad weather,” says Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett. “I would say Bill and Johnny took a step up in jumping, but the results didn't reflect that. It was a crazy day on the hill, but that's the way it is."
"We were really happy with Bill and Johnny's performance on the cross country side. They did a good job on the jumping, but the conditions were crazy,” Jarrett says.
The Finns again swept the top two podium slots: Anssi Koivuranta won and Janne Ryynaenen was second. Japan's Daito Takahashi was third.
U.S. Teammer Eric Camerota of Park City, UT finished 19th in the cross country and 39th overall.
"Eric had a pretty good race for himself. He also needs to work on the jumping results and he'll be fighting for top 30 as well," Jarrett says.
2009 VIESSMAN CROSS COUNTRY FIS WORLD CUP
Kuusamo, FIN - Nov. 30, 2008
1. Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Norway, 37:52.5
2. Lukas Bauer, Czech Republic, 36:56.0
3. Sami Jauhojaervi, Finland, 38:06.6
4. Eldar Roenning, Norway, 38:07.2
5. Devon Kershaw, Canada, 38:12.8
16. Kris Freeman, Andover, NH, 38:44.0
64. Chris Cook, Rhinelander, WI, 40:35.3
65. Torin Koos, Leavenworth, WA, 40:35.8
1. Aino Kaisa Saarinen, Finland, 28:16.4
2. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland, 28:20.2
3. Marit Bjoergen, Norway, 28:23.7
4. Marianna Longa, Italy, 28:31.7
5. Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland, 28:43.9
23. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, 29:48.0
Demong 13th In Windy Kuusamo
DKB FIS NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP
Kuusamo, FIN - Nov. 30, 2009
HS142/10K (jump rank, XC rank)
1. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland (3, 13)
2. Janne Ryynaenen, Finland (2, 31)
3. Daito Takahashi, Japan, (1, 45)
4. Magnus Moan, Norway (15, 5)
5. Tino Edelmann, Germany (7, 17)
13. Bill Demong, Vermontville, NY (31, 1)
14. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO (31, 3)
39. Eric Camerota, Park City, UT (41, 19)
48. Alex Glueck, Steamboat Springs, CO (52, 36)