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    Tuesday, February 17, 1998

    Sixth a boost for Scott

    By TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun
      NAGANO - This time, Beckie Scott didn't have to say she was sorry.
     A week ago, when she finished 60th in her first event, she felt she had to apologize to the people of Vermilion who had raised $25,000 through banquets and bake sales to help send her and her former babysitter speed skater Susan Massitti to the Olympics.
     While Canada finished dead last, 16th of 16 in the cross-country ladies 4x5-km relay, Scott was sixth for her part while her three teammates finished 14th, 16th and 16th in their runs. This time she wasn't skiing on the wrong wax.
     "Today we had perfect skis and we were on a par with everyone else,'' said Scott, who took the first leg for Canada.
     'I'm very happy with the way I skied. I feel like I'm back on track.
     "It was the first morning that I woke up and felt healthy and strong. I knew I would be able to do at least a decent performance today.
     "It's been tough this whole week on us, you know. It has been unique regarding conditions of snow and it took a while for our wax technicians to figure out how to get ready for this.''
     Coach Steinar Mundal couldn't be happy with much but was delighted with the job the 21-year-old Scott did for her part.
     "Beckie skied really well on the first leg and Milaine Theriault skied well on the second leg, even if she was sick,'' he said of the 14th-place finisher from St. Quentin, N.B.
     Sara Renner of Canmore and Jaime Fortier of Edmonton both finished 16th.
     "We are very happy with Beckie's sixth position on the first leg,'' said head technician Yves Bilodeau. "She is starting to feel good and we hope that this is a positive sign for the next race. Milaine did what was possible, considering she was sick. Of the other two members of the team ... they could have been faster. With a healthy team, a 10th position could have been a realistic goal. But we can't be satisfied with last place.''
     Fortier missed her first event because of the flu. And she wasn't skiing healthy either.
     "I'm not happy with my performance. I could get over the flu. I had a reaction to the drug so I'm suffering a bit from that, but I don't know if it affected my performance. I have to admit my legs were really tired.
     "At least I finally managed to get out there and race. I pushed as hard as I could, but I just didn't have it in me today.
     "The course is so hilly that you really need to be feeling fresh.
     "The good news is that we're still such a young team and have many more chances to come over the years.''