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XC Super Tour kicks off in West Yellowstone


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Montana —  Good snow and good weather greeted more than 200 racers, including a couple of ex-Olympians and a throng of college skiers, over the Thanksgiving holiday for the start of the 2007 USSA Cross Country SuperTour.
WEST YELLOWSTONE, Montana —  Good snow and good weather greeted more than 200 racers, including a couple of ex-Olympians and a throng of college skiers, over the Thanksgiving holiday for the start of the 2007 USSA Cross Country SuperTour.
    "It was an unbelievable start for the season and for the SuperTour," U.S. development coach Pat Casey said after skate sprints Friday on a 900-meter loop and classic technique races Saturday at the Rendezvous Trails complex, the men's 15-kilometer CL and a women's 10 km.
    "We got some good snow before the races and conditions for both days were outstanding," Casey said. Four U.S. Continental Cup skiers — Matt Gelso, Liz Stephen, Taz Mannix and Morgan Arittola — competed in the races. Top results came from Gelso, finishing fourth Saturday in the 15 km while Stephen was fifth Friday in the sprint, posting the fastest time in the B Final.
    Race recaps

    Saturday (Men's 15 km, women's 10 km classic): Lars Flora, a two-time Olympian, won the 15 km in 38 minutes, 6.3 seconds, with Zach Violett runner-up in 38:15.2. Garrott Kuzzy completed the podium. In the women's race, Swede Kristina Strandberg rolled to the win in 30:09.6 with Caitlin Compton nearly a half-minute back; third place went to Norwegian Maria Grevsgaard, another CU student.
    Friday (freestyle 900-meter sprints) — University of Utah student Even Sletten edged Flora by a half-second to win the men's race with Colin Mahood third and Carl Swenson, a three-time Olympian and former national sprint champ, who retired last spring from the U.S. Ski Team, in fourth. Laura Valaas won the women's sprint final with Karin Camenisch of Switzerland second, more than a second back.
    Click here for complete race results.
    The next SuperTour races are Dec. 6-10 in Bozeman, Montana.


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