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Cross Country: Randall, Stephen set new record in Whistler

American cross country racers Kikkan Randall and Liz Stephen finished fourth at today’s World Cup team sprint at the Whistler Olympic Park in Whistler, BC. The result is the best finish by American women in World Cup history.American cross country racers Kikkan Randall and Liz Stephen finished fourth at today’s World Cup team sprint at the Whistler Olympic Park in Whistler, BC. The result is the best finish by American women in World Cup history.

“Liz and Kikkan were outstanding. They skied really, really well and they fought hard,” U.S. Cross Country Head Coach Peter Vordenberg said. “It’s for sure the best result for the women ever.”

Italians Magda Genuin and Arianna Follis won the race beating German’s Nicole Fessel and Stefanie by ten seconds. Swedes Lina Anderson Anna Olsson were only a second behind in third.

“It was a really exciting race,” Randall said. “Not only was it a great finish but we were also very competitive. If I had another 20 meters I think we could have done even better.”

The grueling team sprint requires intense physical effort as well as expert tactics. The women who made it to the finals ended up skiing 7.8K on the day, while the men endured 9.6K

“It’s a fabulous course. It’s amazing what they were able to do here and the crowds were great this weekend. Maybe not as big as the ones in Europe, but they made a lot of noise,” Randall said about the site of next year’s Olympic competition.

Andy Newell and Torin Koos led the American men in eighth place.

The top three finishers of the men’s race all finished within a second. First went to Sewden’s Robin Bryntesson and Emil Joensson followed by Italians Fabio and Renato Pasini. Russians Nikolay Morilov and Alexei Petukhov rounded out the podium in third.

While Vordenberg was thrilled with the women’s result he was disappointed in the men’s output. “This is our home and we hoped for a much better weekend. We are really going to have to put our heads together and figure out what we can do,” he said. “We had no excuses not to do better.”

The World Cup teams now go to Estonia for races Jan 24-25.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
2009 VIESSMANN CROSS COUNTRY FIS WORLD CUP
Whistler, BC – Jan. 18, 2009
Team Sprint

Men’s
1. Sweden, Robin Bryntesson, Emil Joensson, 19:44.1
2. Italy, Fabio Pasini, Renato Pasini, 19:44.4
3. Canada, George Gray, Alex Harvey, 19:44.7
4. Russia, Nikolay Morilov, Alexei Petukhov, 19:44.9
5. France, Cyril Miranda, Roddy Darragon, 19:46.0
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8. USA 1, Torin Koos (Leavenworth, WA), Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT)
12. USA 2, Kris Freeman (Andover, NH), Garrott Kuzzy (Hayward, WI)
13. USA 4, James Southam (Anchorage), Colin Rodgers (Ketchum, ID)
15. USA 3, Chris Cook (Rhinelander, WI), Michael Sinnott (Dartmouth, NH)

Women’s
1. Italy, Magda Genuin, Arianna Follis, 17:20.1
2. Germany, Nicole Fessel, Stefanie Boehler, 17:30.0
3. Sweden, Lina Andersson, Anna Olsson, 17:31.2
4. USA 1, Kikkan Randall (Anchorage), Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT), 17:32.1
5. France, Karine Laurent Philippot, Laure Barthelemy, 17:32.6
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14. USA 2, Lindsay Williams (Hastings, MN), Laura Valaas (Wenatchee, WA)
17. USA 3, Caitlin Compton (Minneapolis, MN), Morgan Smyth (Vernon, VT)
18. USA 4, Morgan Arritola (Ketchum, ID), Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT)

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