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Norris finishes 6th in 50-K championship

APU's Brent Knight, left, races in the men's 50K at the 2012 US Cross Country Championship in Craftsbury, Vermont Saturday March 31.
Photo by Herb Swanson
APU's Peter Kling races in the men's 50K at the 2012 US Cross Country Championship in Craftsbury, Vermont Saturday March 31.
Photo by Herb Swanson
APU's Peter Kling (38) chases Erik Soederstroem in the men's 50K at the 2012 US Cross Country Championship in Craftsbury, Vermont Saturday March 31. Soederstroem, a skier for UAF, skied for Ostersunds ski club of Sweeden.
Photo by Herb Swanson
APU's Brent Knight races in the men's 50K at the 2012 US Cross Country Championship in Craftsbury, Vermont Saturday March 31.
Photo by Herb Swanson
Reese Hanneman of APU races in the men's 50K at the 2012 US Cross Country Championship in Craftsbury, Vermont Saturday March 31.
Photo by Herb Swanson
David Norris of Alaska Winter Stars races in the men's 50K at the 2012 US Cross Country Championship in Craftsbury, Vermont Saturday March 31.
Photo by Herb Swanson
Erik Bjornsen of APU races in the men's 50K at the 2012 US Cross Country Championship in Craftsbury, Vermont Saturday March 31.
Photo by Herb Swanson
Erik Bjornsen of APU races in the men's 50K at the 2012 US Cross Country Championship in Craftsbury, Vermont Saturday March 31.
Photo by Herb Swanson
Erik Bjornsen of APU (13) races in the men's 50K at the 2012 US Cross Country Championship in Craftsbury, Vermont Saturday March 31.
Photo by Herb Swanson
David Norris of Alaska Winter Stars (10) competes in the men's 50K at the 2012 US Cross Country Championship in Craftsbury, Vermont Saturday March 31.
Photo by Herb Swanson

David Norris of Fairbanks led Alaska's nordic skiers Saturday in Craftsbury, Vt., taking sixth place, five seconds and two spots ahead of Anchorage's Eric Packer, in the men's 50-kilometer national championship race.

Norris clocked 1 hour, 51 minutes, 45.6 seconds, which put him 80 seconds behind winner Kris Freeman, the Olympian who finished in 1:50:25.9

Norris, who skis in college at Montana State, earlier this month earned two All-American finishes at the NCAA Championships.

Packer, who skis at Dartmouth and like Norris racked two All-American honors this month, finished eighth Saturday in 1:51:50.7.

Because of continuing warm conditions in Vermont, the race was skied on a 1.5-K loop that skiers in the 50-K covered 33 times.

In the junior 20-K race, Jack Novak of Anchorage and APU's Nordic Ski Center took silver, clocking 43:55.9, 47 seconds behind winner Patrick Caldwell.

The men's 50-K and women's 30-K, which three-time Olympian Kikkan Randall of Anchorage won on Friday to pocket her 17th national championship, followed the SuperTour Finals last week in Craftsbury and effectively brought the domestic cross-country season to a close.

Men's 50-K U.S. National Championship

Saturday in Craftsbury, Vt.

Top 5 -- 1) Kris Freeman 1:50:25.9; 2) Tad Elliott 1:50:29.1; 3) Timothy Reynolds 1:51:27.5; 4) Sylvan Elleffson 1:51:28.0; 5) Simeon Hamilton 1:51:45.6.

Alaskans -- 6) David Norris 1:51:45.6; 8) Eric Packer 1:51:50.7; 13) Erik Bjornsen 1:52:58.9; 23) Tyler Kornfield 1:58:12.5; 25) Erik Soederstroem 1:58:46.0; 33) Reese Hanneman 2:00:57.7; 35) Peter Kling 2:01:14.9; 37) Brent Knight 2:02:19.5; 51) Donald Haering 2:09:23.6; 56) Erin Phillips 2:21:48.7.

Junior 20-K

Top 3 -- 1) Patrick Caldwell 43:08.7; 2) Jack Novak, APU, 43:55.9; 3) Tyler Smith 44:24.9. Other Alaskan -- 10) Forrest Mahlen 44:55.6.



Anchorage Daily News