U.S. Cross Country National Championships this weekend in Anchorage

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 31, 2009 11:04 am

While most USSA athletes have their National Championships at the end of the season, the cross country skiers are set to compete this weekend in Anchorage, Alaska. The events will take place in Kincaid Park–a prime training spot for the upcoming Olympic Games in Vancouver. In fact, the spot is known as Cross Country Skiing Mecca.

The Championships, which run Jan. 2-8 mark the final qualifying event for athletes to make the U.S. Olympic Team. ”In addition to deciding our U.S. Champions for 2010 the door is still open for someone to make their way onto the 2010 Olympic Team,” U.S. Nordic Program Director John Farra said. “The NRL(National Ranking List) is determined with an athlete’s best four races over a one year period. With four races in Anchorage there is still time for a dark horse to put themselves in contention in one series of races.”

Top American athletes gunning for an Olympic spot include World Championship silver medalist Kikkan Randall and New Hampshire native Kris Freeman. For Randall, the Nationals are extra special, as they take place in her hometown. ”The best word to describe it would be fun. I love having the other racers from around the world here to show off Anchorage,” Randall said. “It’s also a great chance for friends and family to come out and see a race, which doesn’t happen often.”

The 2010 ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships schedule is as follows:

The U.S. Championship long distance event (30/50km) will be held in Fort Kent, ME later this season.

Saturday, January 2
Freestyle Sprint Qualification and Finals

Monday, January 4
Women’s 10K Freestyle
Men’s 15K Freestyle

Wednesday, January 6
Women’s 20K Classic Mass Start
Men’s 30K Classic Mass Start

Friday, January 8
Classic Sprint Qualification and Finals