Thursday, January 10, 2002 - Results
Hanusova, Bauer Repeat at US Nationals

BOZEMAN, Mont. (Jan. 10) -- John Bauer (Duluth, MN) and Czech ski racer Katerina Hanusova didn't let anyone get close to them Thursday in the freestyle pursuit races during the sun-splashed fourth day of racing at the Chevy Truck U.S. Cross Country Championships as they collected their second wins in 24 hours at Bohart Ranch.

Ten was the operative number for Bauer, who trains on his own in northern Minnesota. His 10th U.S. championship came in the 10-km pursuit race on Jan. 10 as he all but clinched a spot on his third Olympic Team with his victory in the 10-km pursuit. His time was 51:26.6 for the two races while Justin Wadsworth (Bend, OR) and Kris Freeman (Andover, NH), who dueled to the finish Dec. 29 at the U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup on the Olympic trails at Soldier Hollow, repeated their to-the-finish race, this time for second place. Again, Wadsworth came out ahead by a stride in 52:04.3.

Earlier, as blue skies and comfortable weather replaced the snowstorm skiers battled Wednesday in the classic races at Bohart, Hanusova, a University of Nevada racer, cruised to 22-second win over Kemppel. Her two-race, winning time was 32:38.3 but Kemppel, under U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association rules stating the first U.S. racer to finish is recognized as national champion, was awarded her record 17th U.S. title.

Third place in the race, but silver medalist in the championships ranking, was Aelin Peterson (Fairbanks, AK), the former junior national champion and Northern Michigan University racer who is making a comeback - and, like Freeman, closing-in on her first Olympic squad - after four years in the financial world. Peterson's time was 33:33.3.

Bauer was understandably pleased and relieved with his victory, which is worth $1,200. He came to town looking to ski well and he's done it - eighth in the 30-km skate Monday and then the back-to-back wins at midweek.

"It's been good. I didn't want to give Justin a chance again," he said. At the Gold Cup, Bauer was only six seconds ahead of Freeman and seven up on Wadsworth after the 10-km classic - and they both passed him early in the pursuit. Wednesday's performance in the snow gave Bauer some breathing room and he motored home without any challenge.

Hanusova had done the same thing, skiing away from the pack. "Katerina skied a good race. She's skiing so well. I needed her to have a bad race and that wasn't going to happen," Kemppel said. "I was kind of asleep for the first two Ks. I couldn't get it going, just didn't have it, and then at two Ks - boom! - I started feeling great...

"You can't win a 5K race if you're sleeping through the first two," she grinned, adding Sunday's 30-km, mass start classic race "will be a good mock run for the Olympics. It'll be equally as challenging as Soldier Hollow."

Peterson said, "I'm still holding my breath (about the Olympics) but this pursuit is still new to me. I have a lot to learn, but it's a lot of fun...and I'm thinking of doing that 30K Sunday, just for the experience of a mass start race."

She said Wednesday's storm, which arrived in mid-race for the women and fell throughout the men's race, left a new cover of snow "that was great today. The organizers did a good job grooming. It was very consistent throughout, which is good."

The championships conclude Sunday and U.S. Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner, Head Coach Christer Skog and the rest of the staff will confer on final Olympic selection. The team is expected to be announced Jan. 20.

Bohart Ranch
Bozeman, MT - Jan. 10
Freestyle Pursuit (Two-race times)
Men's 10-km

1. John Bauer, Duluth, Minn., 51 minutes, 26.6 seconds
2. Justin Wadsworth, Bend, Ore., 52:04.3
3. Kris Freeman, Andover, N.H., 52:05.3
4. Andrew Johnson, Greensboro, Vt., 52.23.3
5. Patrick Weaver, Bend, Ore., 52:51.2
6. Justin Freeman, Andover, N.H., 52.51.5
7. Ole Berger, Denver, 53:00.8
8. Pietro Broggini, Italy, 53:36.2
9. James Southam, Anchorage, Alaska, 53:55.4
10. Carl Swenson, Boulder, Colo., 54:02.2

Women's 5-km
1. Katerina Hanusova, Czech Republic, 32:38.3
2. Nina Kemppel, Anchorage, Alaska, 33:00.2
3. Aelin Peterson, Fairbanks, Alaska, 33:33.3
4. Wendy Wagner, Park City, Utah, 34:10.3
5. Lindsey Weier, St. Paul, Minn., 34:11.0
6. Julie Southwell, Bend, Ore., 34:13.2
7. Unni Odegaard, Boulder, Colo., 34:18.0
8. Erin Hamilton, Anchorage, Alaska, 34:23.0
9. (tie) Tara Hamilton, Anchorage, Alaska, and Kristina Joder, Landgrove, Vt., 34:26.9

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