January 5, 2005 – The US Cross Country Championships returned Monday, January 3 to the 2002 Olympic Soldier Hollow venue with record numbers of competitors and cheering crowds. The tough-as-ever hilly network of trails challenged the women’s field of nearly 100 to two laps and the men’s 120 competitors to four laps of the 7.5k demanding circuit.
The tightly contested women’s 15k freestyle race saw Rebecca Dussault, in
44:54, narrowly edging out Abi Larson (45:00) and Team Rossignol’s Brooke
Baughman (45:12) for the victory. A nail biter until the very last hill,
where Dussault overcame a six second deficit to take the top podium spot.
Team Rossignol marathon specialist, Buaghmann, skied speedily throughout
the entire race, rewarding her with her first national podium result.
While the women’s early morning start provided partly sunny skies and firm
fast snow conditions, the men’s 30k race slogged through a brief period of
wet snow fall. While Ivan Babikov continued his winning ways at Soldier
Hollow with a time of 1:17:32, it was Andrew Johnson, finishing second in
1:18:41 and first American, who garnered the US National Championship gold
medal. Johnson battled all day in a seesaw fashion with rivals Carl
Swenson, Dave Chmaberlain and Team Rossignol’s John Bauer, finishing second
(1:19:05), third (1:19:06) and fourth (1:20:20) respectively. Bauer’s
one-step-away from the podium signaled his impressive return to the cross
country national race scene after a two-year absence. Bauer, who claims
numerous US National Championship titles and led his 2002 US Olympic 4x10k
relay team to fourth place in the opening leg, is ramping up for yet
another Olympic quest. With sights on making the 2006 Olympics in Turin,
Italy, but this time, determined to ski in the relay and win a medal.
Bauer’s already rigorous training schedule, which he honed prior to the
2002 Olympics, includes at least four days of double workouts and one to
three interval sessions, now in preparation for 2006, has the added element of resistance training thanks to the Bauer’s 14-month old daughter cracking the whip in the baby-jogger.
Follow Team Rossignol’s next race successes on Wednesday, January 10 when
tackle the men’s 10k and women’s 5k classic. race.