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Old 04-03-2008, 09:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Stephen, Zimmermann Pursuit Champions

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (March 28) - The U.S. Ski Team's Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) and Leif Zimmermann (Bozeman, MT) skied their way to titles in the pursuit event during the U.S. Cross Country Distance Championships on Friday evening in Fairbanks. The events were held in the late evening twilight in Fairbanks.

The event also served as the finale of the USSA SuperTour. Russian Ivan Babikov took the win, with Zimmermann the top American in fourth to grab his third U.S. Championship gold of the season. Zimmermann was a double winner at the U.S. Cross Country Championships in Houghton, MI in January.

"It is her first year as a senior, and for someone that young to win is great," Cross Country Head Coach Peter Vordenberg said of Stephen. "It shows that her development is really coming along and that's exciting."

Stephen, a Westminster College student, has had a sensational season, also taking bronze in the 15K mass start during the Under-23 Championships in Italy.

U.S. Ski Team athletes rounded off the podium in the women's race with Morgan Arritola (Ketchum, ID) winning the silver and Taz Mannix (Talkeetna, AK) with bronze.

"Morgan and Taz are very young, as well, and for them to finish one, two and three is great," Vordenberg said.

Zimmermann led U.S. athletes in the men's pursuit behind Babikov, Norwegian Petter Eliassen in second and Marius Korthauer of Germany third.

Mike Sinnott (Sun Valley, ID) took home the silver medal, and Torrin Koos (Leavenworth, WA) got the bronze.

"Leif is also a fairly young guy, so it was good to have him as the first American. But, we want to win the races outright," Vordenberg said. "Beating those guys is what we're aiming to do."

The U.S. Distance Championships finish Sunday with a men's 50K and women's 30K classic.

USSA SuperTour
Fairbanks, AK - March 28, 2008
(Only U.S. athletes are eligible to win national titles)

Men's 30K
1. Ivan Babikov, Russia, 1:21:37.0
2. Petter Eliassen, Norway, 1:22:18.4
3. Marius Korthauer, Germany, 1:22:30.9
4. Leif Zimmermann, Bozeman, MT, 1:22:47.9
5. Andre Golovko, Kazakhstan, 1:22:49.6
6. Mike Sinnott, Sun Valley, ID, 1:23:10.3
7. Torin Koos, Leavenworth, WA, 1:23:43.0
8. Chris Cook, Rhinelander, WI, 1:24:38.6
9. James Southam, Anchorage, AK, 1:25:03.9
10. Noah Hoffman, Ketchum, ID, 1:25:14.7

Women's 15K
1. Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, VT, 45:38.7
2. Morgan Arritola, Ketchum, ID, 46:28.9
3. Taz Mannix, Talkeetna, AK, 46:58.7
4. Kasandra Rice, Anchorage, AK, 47:36.5
5. Nicole Deyong, Ketchum, ID, 47:44.9
6. Kristina Owen, Houghton, MI, 48:09.4
7. Lindsay Williams, Marquette, MI, 48:09.7
8. Laura Valaas, Wenatchee, WA, 49:02.4
9. Kristina Trygstad-Saari, Bozeman, MT, 49:17.1
10. Lindsey Weier Dehlin, Mahtomedi, MN, 49:51.7

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