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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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For the week of January 9 - 15, 2002


Flora is national X-C sprint champ

Kemppel, Swenson take freestyle

One day before his 24th birthday, former Sun Valley Junior Nordic ski team racer Lars Flora captured the U.S. freestyle sprint championship Saturday at Bozeman, Mt.

Flora, solidifying his claim on a 2002 Olympic berth, nipped 31-year-old Carl Swenson in a sprawling finish on the first day of the Chevy Truck U.S. Cross Country Championships at Bohart Ranch.

The women’s winner was Kikkan Randall of Anchorage over Subaru Factory racer Tessa Benoit of Vermont, who has been training in Ketchum.

It was the first national title for Anchorage-bred Flora, who joined the Sun Valley team in the 1994-95 season after a stop at Bend (Ore.). Hailey’s Pat Casey of the Subaru Factory team captured the men’s B sprint final and placed fifth overall.

Monday’s women’s 15k and men’s 30k freestyle races at Bohart Ranch belonged to Dartmouth College’s Nina Kemppel, 31, and Swenson.

Thirteenth-year U.S. Nordic Team racer Kemppel, on line for her record fourth Olympic trip, collected her 16th national title while Swenson picked up his fifth national crown.

Swenson’s 30k time was 1.20:28, 36 seconds faster than Justin Wadsworth, 33, of Bend, but up-and-coming Flora was right there in third place just 46 seconds behind Swenson.

Former Sun Valley skier Bryce Turzian was 35th of 115 men, Jedd Young 47th and Jess Kiesel 52nd.

In the women’s 15k, Rossignol racer Brooke Baughman of Ketchum was 11th of 86 racers. Other local placings: Hilary Patzer 36th, Ashley McQueen 39th, Eva Bach 63rd and Ashley Wells 82nd.

Coming up: Classical racing today, Wednesday; freestyle pursuit Thursday; and long-distance classical Sunday.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.