FILE UNDER -- Nordic

TORINO: XC: Wagner 50th to lead U.S. women in classical race

TORINO: XC: Wagner 50th to lead U.S. women in classical race{mosimage}PRAGELATO PLAN, Italy — Wendy Wagner was the top American finisher in the women’s 10-kilometer classical cross-country skiing event at the Pragelato Plan Thursday morning.

She completed the course in 31 minutes, 41.0 seconds and placed 50th, 3:49.6 behind gold medalist Kristina Smigun of Estonia. The silver medal went to Marit Bjoergen of Norway while her teammate, Hilde Pedersen, took the bronze.

Other U.S. athletes, their results and placements: Kikkan Randall, 31:49.7, 53rd; Abby Larson, 32:09.0; and Lindsey Weier, 32:43.3, 59th.

“It was as tough day in a lot of respects,” Wagner said. “I went into the attitude that I was going to make the adverse conditions work to my advantage. And I have no regrets, I did everything the way I would have done. The wax guys had five pairs of skis for me to work with and I picked the best pair I had, and my skis were right in there with the others.

“My skis were right in the middle. It was a struggle, but it was a struggle for a lot of people, I don’t think anyone had perfect skis. It was one of those days when I was slipping a lot, but a lot of people were slipping.

Randall added, “I like to tell myself I’m better the more adverse the conditions are. So coming in today, I knew it was going to be my advantage to race well in the tough conditions, so I just stayed positive and pushed every step of the way.”

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