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Old 03-03-2008, 10:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Koos Leads U.S. in Rainy Stockholm

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Feb. 27) - The U.S. Ski Team's Torin Koos made it through qualifications to be the sole representative of the U.S. during the Royal Palace Sprints in downtown Stockholm Wednesday afternoon. Koos qualified 20th but was knocked out in quarterfinals, which was the fastest heat of the day, to end up 28th.

Jens Arne Svartedal of Norway won the men's sprints and Finn Virpi Kuitunen won the women's competition.

The Royal Palace Sprint is an annual event where snow is placed around the Royal Palace in downtown Stockholm with thousands of spectators lining the streets for the classic technique sprint. It had been persistently raining in Stockholm. Without enough cold to stiffen the snow overnight, athletes were left to ski in less than desirable conditions.

Kikkan Randall, who made history when she became the first U.S. woman to win a cross country World Cup during a sprint in Rybinsk, Russia, had a bit of trouble dealing with some fatigue while competing and did not make it through qualifications.

"Unfortunately, it was a really bad day," said U.S. Ski Team Sprint Coach Chris Grover. "Kikkan did not have any energy. Andy fell in qualification, and still almost made it in. Torin made it in, but was in the fastest quarterfinal of the day, and couldn't hang on during the final uphill climb to the finish."

The cross country team now heads to Lahti, Finland, for a men's and women's distance and sprints March 1-2.

Stockholm, SWE - Feb. 27, 2008
1. Jens Arne Svartedal, Norway
2. Boerre Naess, Norway
3. Emil Joensson, Sweden
4. Eldar Roenning, Norway
5. Cyril Miranda, France
28. Torin Koos, Leavenworth, WA
34. Andrew Newell, Shaftsbury, VT
39. Chris Cook, Rhinelander, WI
67. Garrott Kuzzy, Hayward, WI
1. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland
2. Petra Majdic, Slovenia
3. Madoka Natsumi, Japan
4. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Finland
5. Astrid Jacobsen, Norway
45. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, AK
53. Laura Valaas, Wenatchee, WA

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