Saturday, February 8, 2003 - Results
Crooks 11th in World Junior Sprint

It was a great race this morning for Thunder Bay’s Sean Crooks as he sped to a 11th place in the Sprint quaterfinals of the World Junior Cross Country ski championships taking place in Solleftea, Sweden.

The 19-year old Ontario native finished 12th in the morning’s individual qualifications and proceeded to move up a place after the final Top-16 returned to the tracks a couple hours later.  Crooks established himself as a World class sprinter at last year’s World Juniors in Schonach, Germany, when he finished 18th. 

The young junior is quite pleased with the outcome of today’s race.  “I was pretty nervous during the qualification,” says Crooks over the phone.  “ I didn’t sleep well at all, but once the sprint started I felt surprisingly good.”

Norway’s men dominated the first two podium spots today, with Johan Kjoelstad and Erik Bakkejord finishing one and two in the A-final.  France’s Sylvain Fanjas Claret took the bronze, followed by Fredrik Uusitalo of Sweden.  only the top-16 advance to the finals

In the men’s B-final, the Americans put out some tough competition finishing 5th, 6th, and 7th with Lelf-Orin Zimmermann in the lead followed by Ryan Foster, and teammate Andrew Newell.  Italian David Hofer settled for 8th spot.  Other Canadian racers include Graham Nishikawa of Whitehorse, in 33rd and Dave Nighbor of North Bay, in 35th. .  There were 74 men competing today and

On the women’s side, Canada’s top qualifier was Chandra Crawford of Canmore, Alberta, who crossed the line in 23rd.  Crawford is one of the best junior sprinters in Canada and was less than 2 seconds from making the final rounds this morning.  At last year’s World Juniors, the 19-year old Bow Valley native came in 12th in the final sprint event.  Teammates Daria Gaiazova, who has been making top-30 results throughout the competition, posted a 29th finish in the qualifications.  Almonte, Ontario’s Perianne Jones came across in 45th, followed closely by Edmonton’s Madeleine Williams in 47th. 

The women’s gold medallist this morning was Germany’s Nicole Fessel.  She was pursued by Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland for the silver, Christine Mathiesen of Norway for the bronze, and Marianne Hannonen of Finland who qualified 3rd in the morning’s preliminaries.  The top North American was American Lindsay Williams who qualified 4th and finished 13th in the finals.  There were a total of 58 women competing in the qualifications. 

The last World Junior Championship race of the year takes place tomorrow with the highly anticipated relay events.

 Mens Results http://snurl.com/Menssprint

Womens Results http://snurl.com/Womensprint

Brief Results:
Women
Final A
1)  Nicole Fessel                         GER
2)  Justyna Kowalczyk                 POL
3)  Christine Mathiesen              NOR
4) Marianne Hannonen               FIN
 
Final B
5)  Liv Mairiarn Nordtoemme     NOR
6)  Elisabeth Hatten                     NOR
7)  Mona-Lisa Malvalehto            FIN
8) Britta Nargren                           SWE
 
Canadians
23)  Chandra Crawford                CAN
29)  Daria Gaiazova                      CAN
45)  Perianne Jones                     CAN
47)  Madeleine Williams              CAN

 Men
Final A
1)  Johan Kjoelstad                NOR
2)  Erik Bakkejord                    NOR
3)  Sylvain Fanjas Claret        FRA
4)  Fredrik Uusitalo                 SWE

Final B
5)  Lelf-Orin Zimmermann    USA
6)  Ryan Foster                        USA
7)  Andrew Newell                   USA
8)  David Hofer                         ITA

 Canadians
11)  Sean Crooks                  CAN
33)  Graham Nishikawa       CAN
35)  Dave Nighbor                 CAN


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