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ANCHORAGE - After seven straight titles, Nina Kemppel lost a national cross-country championship on Wednesday. A day later, the Anchorage skier was a winner again.
On Thursday, Kemppel was the top-finishing American in a 10-kilometer freestyle at the U.S. Cross Country Championships in Midway, Utah. She was second in the race overall, two seconds behind Beckie Scott of Canada.
On Wednesday, Kemppel fell during a 5-kilometer race and finished third among Americans and eighth overall. For Kemppel, an 11-time U.S. champ, it was the worst finish at the national championships in years.
Aubrey Smith of Seward was the second U.S. finisher in Thursday's race, a second behind Kemppel. On Wednesday, Smith was a tenth of a second ahead of Kemppel.
Rob Whitney of Anchorage matched his best national championship finish Thursday by claiming third place in the men's 15-kilometer freestyle race. On Wednesday, the 20-year-old Whitney placed third in the 10-K freestyle race.