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    Saturday, January 3, 1998

    Seven picked for U.S. biathlon team

     JERICHO, Vt. (AP) -- Seven athletes -- three of them from Vermont -- earned spots on the U.S. Olympic biathlon team Saturday.
     Dan Westover of Colchester, Vt., was the top finisher among the four men who will compete in Nagano, Japan. He won the 10 km sprint with a time of 29 minutes, 31.5 seconds, his second victory in the four-race qualifying series.
     "I had a great race today, and my first two races were solid," said Westover, who hit nine of 10 targets Saturday. "I did all I could do."
     Joining Westover will be Jay Hakkinen of Kasilof, Alaska, Robert Rosser of Applegate, Ore., and Andy Erickson of Minnetonka, Minn.
     Three women also earned spots on the team, although one did not race Saturday. Kara Hermanson Salmela, of Elks River, Minn., was so dominant in her first three races that she secured her berth Friday.
     Kristina Sabasteanski of Richmond, Vt., earned her spot by winning Saturday's 7.5 km race in 26 minutes, 10.8 seconds. She joins Deborah Nordyke of Jericho, Vt., as the final two team members.
     "I've been trying for so long to make this team," said Sabasteanski. "Making it finally makes up for all the hours of traning. It really makes it worth it."
     Two other American women, Stacey Wooley of Newbury, N.H., and Ntala Skinner of Sun Valley, Idaho, pre-qualified for the Olympics based on their performances in international competitions last year.
     Only Skinner, who competed in the Lillehammer Games in 1994, has previous Olympic experience.
     The trials were held at the Vermont National Guard's Ethan Allen Firing Range after poor conditions forced the trials to move from Minnesota.
     Biathlon Trials Results
     JERICHO, Vt. (AP) -- Composite results of the top 10 finishers from the U.S. Biathlon Olympic Team trials. The top four men and two women qualified Saturday. Kara Salmela, of Elks River, Minn., qualified Friday. Stacey Wooley, of Newbury, N.H., and Ntala Skinner, of Sun Valley, Idaho, pre-qualified based on their performance in international competitions last year:
     1. Dan Westover, Colchester, Vt., 102.5.
     2. Sam Cordell, Bend, Ore., 99.06.
     3. Jay Hakkinen, Kasilof, Alaska, 98.45.
     4. Robert Rosser, Applegate, Ore., 97.22.
     5. Erich Wilbrecht, Jackson, Wyo., 96.99.
     6. Jeremy Teela, Anchorage, Alaska, 96.69.
     7. Shaun Maremall-Pryor, 96.00.
     8. Curtis Scheiner, Day, N.Y., 95.78.
     9. Andy Erickson, Minnetonka, Minn., 95.00.
     10. Sergei Vinogradov, Jericho, Vt., 93.10.
     1. Kristina Sabasteanski, Richmond, Vt., composite average 103.18.
     2. Joan Smith Miller, Honeoye Falls, N.Y., 98.83.
     3. Jill Troutner, Albany, N.Y., 97.99.
     4. Rachel Steer, Anchorage, Alaska, 97.19.
     5. Deb Nordyke, Jericho, Vt., 96.77.
     6. Cory Fritzel, Park City, Utah, 96.70.
     7. Dina Newhouse, Salt Lake City, 96.11.
     8. Jenny Naylor, Warren, Vt., 93.82.
     9. Sarah Lehto, Ishpeming, Mich., 93.82.
     10. Annalliese Saumer, Duluth, Minn., 91.37.