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.
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