Outdoor Center News

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Third-place finisher Noel Keeffe leading his quarterfinal. Photo: John Lazenby

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The men's A final recovering after the finish. Photo: John Lazenby

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Women's podium. Photo: John Lazenby

U.S. Cross-Country Ski Championships presented by L.L. Bean: Day Five Recap

Last Updated: 09.Jan.2019

 

On Tuesday, many competitors faced their fourth race in six days as they took on the final event of the 2019 U.S. Cross-Country Ski Championships: the freestyle sprint. The day started out gray, with a biting wind and persistent flurries as racers tackled the qualifier, but warmed up to just below freezing by the time the finals arrived. 

On the women’s side, the top three qualifiers ended up taking the top three podium spots, albeit in a different order for the top two spots. Fastest qualifier Hannah Halvorsen (APU) and second-place qualifier Julia Kern (SMS T2) sprinted for the line together in the A final, with Kern edging out Halvorsen by just over two tenths of a second to take her first national championship. Kelsey Phinney (SMS T2), who qualified in third, crossed the line another two seconds back for the last podium spot. Caitlin Patterson of the GRP also matched her qualifying position to finish fourth overall. 

The men’s race also came down to the wire, as Ben Saxton (SMS T2) fought to repeat his national championship title from the classic sprint against Logan Hanneman (APU). Saxton proved victorious, crossing the line just over three tenths of a second ahead of Hanneman, who also finished second on the U.S. podium for the classic sprint. Noel Keeffe (University of Utah) narrowly secured the last podium spot, lunging across the line just four hundredths of a second ahead of Daniel Streinz (NMU).

Today’s podium finishers, as with all podium finishers throughout the week, received prizes from Vermont companies: flannel shirts from the Vermont Flannel Company for first, Cabot cheese for second, and Butternut Mountain Farm maple syrup for third. 

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped make U.S. Nationals at Craftsbury at success: our sponsors and prize-providers, the staff and volunteers at the Outdoor Center, the race officials, announcers, timing crew, media crew, spectators, and the racers themselves. Thank you for joining us! 

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