Athletes with a Waterville Valley connection continue to make their mark on the skiing world.
According to a write-up on usskiteam.com, Olympian Kris Freeman of Andover, NH (a BBTS snowsports club member who trains at Waterville Valley’s Nordic Center) clinched the final men’s U.S. Championship title by winning the U.S. SuperTour Finals 50k classic technique race in Sun Valley. This marks Freeman’s 14th U.S. Championship.
With freshly fallen snow covering the track, athletes were posed with an added level of difficulty to an already challenging course. A combination of the long distance, and now slow track, forced the racers to work extra hard to keep sight of the prize at the finish line.
“I had some diabetic complications in the last 50k I tried to do at the Olympics last year. I did a lot of work over the summer trying to figure out different dosing scenarios to be able to race the longer races,” said Freeman. “So, I was really happy that I was able to figure that out over the summer and go out and prove that a type one diabetic can be the best marathon skier in the country.”
Freeman kept it steady throughout the race, making a move with teammate Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) at the 30k mark to take control of the race. After successfully breaking from the pack, the two worked together to control the race and take the title. Unfortunately, Hoffman suffered cramps removing him from the podium finishing the day in fifth, while Freeman kept the pace to clinch the win.
“At about 30k, my teammate Noah Hoffman made a move and I went with him. But he got tired and I wasn’t going to try and ski 20k off the front by myself,” explained Freeman of the race. “So then the group came back up with us. By making that move we broke it up to about five people and then it was just a five person race. With about 3k to go, I got 10 seconds on them. I was able to hold it and extend it to the finish.”
Freeman not only earned the U.S. Championship 50k classic technique title, but also cashed in on a $1,200 purse for winning Saturday’s SuperTour Finals race. Freeman was joined by Canada’s Kevin Sandau and Japan’s Yuma Yoshida on the podium with Sandau winning $600 and Yoshida taking $300.
Saturday’s 50k marked the final men’s event of the five race U.S. Championship series. Alaska Pacific University’s Lars Flora (Anchorage) was crowned Grand U.S. Champion, a title that is awarded to the man who collected the most points throughout the series.
The women will be on deck Sunday, with the U.S. Championship 30k classic technique title up for grabs.
The U.S. SuperTour Finals continue in Sun Valley through next Saturday, April 2.
U.S. SuperTour Finals/U.S. Cross Country Championships
Sun Valley, ID – March 26, 2011
50k Classic Technique
1. Kris Freeman, Andover, NH (U.S. Ski Team/WVBBTS), 2:37:05.2
2. Kevin Sandau, Canada, +9.9
3. Yuma Yoshida, Japan, +32.0
4. Glenn Randall, Mesa, CO, (Bridger Ski Foundation), +39.1
5. Noah Hoffman, Aspen, CO, (U.S. Ski Team/SSSEF), +52.2
7. Lars Flora, Anchorage, (APUSNC), +1:48.7
9. Tad Elliott, Durango, CO, (CXC Team), +3:36.4
10. James Southam, Anchorage, (APUSNC), +4:49.1
For complete results: www.summittiming.com/live_results/data/live_results.html