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Anchorage's Packer wins classic sprint

Anchorage's Eric Packer, the classic sprint champion at the U.S. nationals earlier this year, added another nordic title to his resume Tuesday, when he won the men's 1.6-kilometer classic sprint at the SuperTour Finals in Craftsbury, Vt.

Packer, a multiple All-American at Dartmouth, topped Reese Hanneman of Alaska Pacific University's Nordic Ski Center.

Three other Alaskan men racked top-three finishes -- Erik Bjornsen of APU finished fifth, David Norris of Fairbanks took second in the B Final to earn eighth place overall and Tyler Kornfield of Anchorage finished 10th.

Bjornsen has finished third in two events at the Super Tour Finals, the sprint and the 15-K classic, and was fifth in Saturday's prologue.

On the women's side, three-time Olympian and reigning World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall of Anchorage and APU blew into town from Norway and led Alaska's women with a fourth-place finish in the sprint, which was won by Canadian Olympian Chandra Crawford.

Sadie Bjornsen of APU, who won Sunday's 10-K classic and was third in the prologue, won the B Final to take seventh place overall. Rosie Brennan of APU was eighth and Olympian Holly Brooks of APU and Anchorage was ninth. APU's Rebecca Rorabaugh finished 12th.

Randall, who finished fifth in the World Cup overall standings this season, on Saturday competed in the Red Bull Nordix in Oslo. That event included hairpin turns and jumps -- Randall finished fourth.

Randall in an email said she was psyched to be back in the U.S. and still feeling some effects from travel and a cold she got last week.

"(I) woke up (Tuesday) without much of a voice,'' Randall wrote. "I still wanted to give it a try however and was optimistic about my feelings during the warm-up. I felt okay in the qualifier but definitely a little heavy after the travel.

"The quarterfinals probably felt the worst for me and then I felt a little better in the semi and final. I'm hoping I'm on the upswing now and that today's hard effort will help kick me around for the next races.''

The Super Tour wraps with a freestyle hill climb Wednesday, but that's not the end of competition in Vermont.

The women's freestyle 30-K national championship race is set for Friday and the men's freestyle 50-K national championship race is scheduled Saturday.



Anchorage Daily News