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World juniors: Ex-alpiner Stephen scores 7th in freestyle pursuit

World juniors: Ex-alpiner Stephen scores 7th in freestyle pursuit{mosimage}KRANJ, Slovenia – Former alpine racer Liz Stephen turned up the heat during the freestyle race in a 10-kilometer pursuit Friday to tie for seventh place at the World Junior Nordic Championships.

In other competitions, U.S. skiers were 10th in the nordic combined team event while Glenn Randall (Colbrann, Colo./Dartmouth College/Mesa Nordic) led the American men in the 20 km pursuit, finishing 37th.

‘We’re just missing the podium, which goes to six’ said team leader Katie Gould. ‘This was our second seventh-place result. Liz skied a good 5K classic and then she had the fourth-fastest skate race’ moving up 13 places to tie Canadian Amanda Ammar. In the sprints which opened the junior worlds, Morgan Arritola (Fairfield, Ihaho/Sun Valley Ski Educational Foundation) was seventh, the best U.S. result since Rebecca Dussault was fifth in the 2000 sprints.

Charlotte Kalla of Sweden won in 29:12.2, nearly 10 seconds ahead of Norwegian Betty-Ann Bjerkreim Nilsen. Taz Mannix (Anchorage, Alaska/Alaska Pacific University Nordic/Alaska Winter Stars) was 33rd with Alexa Turzian (Sun Valley, Idaho/Sun Valley SEF) 34th in the field of 77.

Petter Northug of Norway won the men’s 10 km classic + 10 km freestyle in 51:34.3, finishing 5.3 seconds ahead of Russian Illia Chernousov. Randall’s time was 54:29.6 with Matt Gelso (Truckee, Calif./Far West Nordic/Auburn Ski Club) 44th and Max Treinen (Anchorage, Alaska/Alaska Winter Stars) 47th in the field of 90.

In combined, Germany won the team event by three-hundredths of a second over Austria with the U.S. foursome 5:25.6 behind in 10th place.

The championships continue Saturday with the team jumping competition. In addition, with the Under-23 World Championships being held in conjunction with world juniors, men and women will compete in the pursuits, the 15 km (7.5 km +7.5 km) for women and 30 km (15 km +15 km) for men.

The schedule concludes Sunday with the cross-country relays, nordic combined sprint and women’s jumping.

– Courtesy USSA News Bureau

2006 World Junior Nordic Championships
Kranj, Slovenia – Feb. 3, 2006
Men’s 20 km (10 km CL + 10K fr) Pursuit
1. Petter Northug, Norway, 51:34.3
2. Illia Chernousov, Russia, 51:39.6
3. Martin Jakes, Czech Republic, 51:45.8
37. Glenn Randall, Colbrann, Colo./Dartmouth College/Mesa Nordic, 54:29.6
44. Matt Gelso, Truckee, Calif./Far West Nordic/Auburn Ski Club, 55:13.4
47. Max Treinen, Anchorage, Alaska/Alaska Winter Stars, 55:24.0
59. Mike Hinckley, Anchorage, Alaska/University of Denver, 5652.5

Women’s 10 km (5 km CL + 5km FR) pursuit

1. Charlotte Kalla, Sweden, 29:12.2
2. Betty-Ann Bjerkreim Nilsen, Norway, 29:21.8
3. Eva Nyvltova, Czech Republic, 29:38.8
7T. Liz Stephen, Montpelier, Vt./Burke Mountain Academy, 30:04.1
33. Tazlina Mannix, Anchorage, Alaska/APU Nordic/Alaska Winter Stars, 31:25.2
34. Alexa Turzian, Sun Valley, Idaho/Sun Valley Ski Educational Foundation, 31:25.4
60T. Morgan Arritola, Fairfield, Idaho/Sun Valley SEF, 32:59.3

Nordic combined team
NH (HS109)/4×5 km

1. Germany, (2/2)
2. Austria, (6/1) 0.3 behind
3 Norway, (3/3) 30.1
10. USA, (8/10) 5:25.6
Willy Graves, Putney/Vt./National Sports Academy; Skyler Keate, Park City, Utah/National Sports Foundation; Logan Oxford, Park City, Utah/NSF; Brian Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, Colo./Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

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