Anchorage's Kikkan Randall makes U.S. skiing history

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2007

DEMINO, Russia - Kikkan Randall became the first U.S. woman and second American to win a World Cup cross country race Sunday when she defeated world sprint champion Astrid Jacobsen of Norway in the final meters of a 1.2-kilometer freestyle.

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Randall is the first American to win a World Cup cross country race since Bill Koch in 1983.

She finished in 2 minutes, 48.7 seconds - 0.7 seconds ahead of Jacobsen. Natalia Korosteleva of Russia was third, 0.9 seconds behind.

"Last year (when I was third here), I was too tentative to make a move on the uphill. This year, I figured 'No guts, no glory' and was ready to make the move," said Randall, who is from Anchorage.

Her performance is the fourth World Cup podium by U.S. sprinters in the last three seasons after a 23-year drought.

Andy Newell was third in a sprint in China after the 2006 Turin Olympics; Randall finished third in Rybinsk last season and a week later Torin Koos was third in Otepaeae, Estonia.

"We knew it was just a matter of time before any of us got it. It's just so good to be part of this surge. It makes the good times more special," Randall said. "We've had success and we all support each other so much, so you know we'll have more success."

Jacobsen, who won the women's 15-kilometer freestyle race on Saturday, now has 380 points and leads the overall World Cup standings ahead of teammates Marit Bjorgen (312) and Vibeke Skofterud (234).

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