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    Friday, January 2, 1998

    Petty, Nash, Battelle, Wilson win Olympic trials

     LAKE PLACID, N.Y (AP) -- Ah, the joy of exerience.
     When Marcus Nash woke up on New Year's Day, he took one look at the thermometer, turned over in bed and flipped on the television.
     Nash knew officials would delay the start of the men's 10-kilometer classic cross-country race at Mount Van Hoevenberg because of the deep freeze that had settled over the Adirndack Mountains of northern New York. The overnight temperature on the top of the mountain had dipped to 27 degrees below zero.
     So, while most of his rivals were braving the brutal cold to get ready for the race, Nash soaked up the warmth of his room at the Olympic Training Center and watched the Blues Brothers.
     Then, he went out and spread the blues among his 54 opponents, most of whom were challenging for the Olympic team berth that went to the winner. Nash edged Patrick Weaver by 8.3 seconds, finishing in 29 minutes, 25.3 seconds for the victory.
     John Bauer of Champlin, Minn., was another minute behind in third. Marc Gilbertson, who won the 30-kilometer freestyle on Tuesday to gain a spot on the Olympic team, finished 12th, 2 minutes off the winning pace.
     In the women's 5-kilometer classic, Kerrin Petty of Townshend, Vt., second in the 15-kilometer freestyle on Tuesday, beat former University of Vermont teammate Laura Wilson.
     Meanwhile, at Whiteface Mountain, meanwhile, Ann Battelle of Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Alex Wilson of Buffalo, N.Y., won freestyle moguls events and invitations to Japan.
     "Everyone else rushed out here," said Nash, the pride of Fryeburg, Maine, who already had qualified for the Winter Olympics. "I said, 'No way.' I stuck around, they pushed the start back (one hour), so I was in bed watching TV, just relaxing, reading my guitar magazine while everyone else was out here standing around stressing about it."
     Nash, who will be making his second straight Olympic appearance, said the zero-degree cold at race time didn't have much of an impact on the two-lap event, except on the downhills. It was there that he made up the difference over Weaver, whose poor performance on Tuesday -- he was ailing with a stomach virus and finished 11th, nearly 8 minutes behind Gilbertson -- had left him on the verge of tears.
     "I had a little more kick than him, maybe," said Weaver, of Lenox, Mass. "Because at the bottom of the hills I'd always be a little bit down on him, and at the top of the uphills I'd be up on him by a second. It's a good sign for tomorrow. I just have to ski well, hopefully just finish in the top four."
     Petty won the women's event in 16 minutes, 56.9 seconds. Wilson was second, 10.2 seconds behind.
     Wendy Wagner, of Park City, Utah, finished third, 7.8 seconds behind Wilson, and King was fifth, just over 40 seconds off the winning time.
     Petty had her sister, brother and father there for support. That's been a winning combination before.
     "I have never lost a race on this course when my entire family has been here," said Petty, who won her first national title at Mount Van Hoevenberg two years ago under the same watchful eyes. "I am so happy! I can't tell you how happy I am. This is excellent, beyond my greatest expectations.
     "For me the most important thing was making the Olympics because I don't do it for the money."
     She will on Friday, whether she likes it or not. Both the men and women will stage their final race -- a pursuit -- in which the order of start is pegged to each competitor's performance in Thursday's race. That means Bauer and Weaver will stalk Nash, and Wilson and King will be tailing Petty. Each winner will pocket $10,000.
     "It's a good place to be,' said Wilson, who was fourth on Tuesday and was a five-time NCAA champion at UVM. "It would have been nice to have been first across the finish line, but I skied the best I could and it does set me up good for tomorrow. I really want it."
     Battelle said money wasn't a concern as she prepared for the moguls race against a field led by 1992 Olympic champion Donna Weinbrecht and 1994 silver medalist Liz McIntyre.
     "But the first thing I thought of after my score went up was, 'Ten thousand bucks, cool.' Even though money wasn't a factor, I have to admit that's the first thing I thought of."
     Battelle won with a score of 24.64 points. Jillian Vogtli of Brockport, N.Y., was second with 23.58 and Weinbrecht, of West Milford, N.J., was third with 23.26.
     Wilson's score of 26.08 bettered the 25.16 of Evan Dybvig of Tunbridge, Vt., and the 24.69 of Chris Hernandez of South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
     Olympic Trials Results
     LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) -- Results Thursday in the classic technique cross-country races and men's and women's freestyle moguls on Thursday in the U.S. Ski Team Olympic trials:
     1. Kerrin Petty, Townsend, Vt., 16 minutes, 56.9 seconds.
     2. Laura Wilson, Ketchum, Idaho, 17:07.1.
     3. Wendy Wagner, Park City, Utah, 17:14.9.
     4. Nina Kemppel, Anchorage, Alaska, 17:23.3.
     5. Suzanne King, Minneapolis, 17:37.3.
     6. Jennifer Douglas, Ketchum, Idaho, 17:50.3.
     7. Gina Legueri, Gunnison, Colo., 17:55.7.
     8. Laura McCabe, Winthrop, Wash., 17:58.1.
     9. Kelli-Jo Lindeman, Ninilchik, Alaska, 18:08.6.
     10. Amy Crawford, Anchorage, Alaska, 18:09.1.
     11. Natalie Cartwright, Alstead, N.H., 18:09.5.
     12. Tessa Benoit, South Pomfret, Vt., 18:09.7.
     13. Hailey Wappett, Fairbanks, Alaska, 18:29.9.
     14. Kelly McCann, Ketchum, Idaho, 18:31.1.
     15. Kristina Joder, Londonderry, Vt., 18:42.3.
     16. Sonya Stoklosa, Park City, Utah, 18:43.5.
     17. Julie Southwell, Bend, Ore., 18:54.3.
     18. Jenny Fayette, Ketchum, Idaho, 19:00.4.
     19. Molly Enman, Williston, Vt., 19:05.9.
     20. Barbara Jones, Stillwater, Minn., 19:06.7.
     21. Jessica Smith, Rockport, Mass., 19:09.5.
     22. Sara Zimmer, Duluth, Minn., 19:22.7.
     23. Jeannie Wall, Bozeman, Mont., 19:23.2.
     24. Jayme Schricker, Duluth, Minn., 19:38.5.
     25. Devon Crawford, Fairbanks, Alaska, 19:49.1.
     26. Denali Kemppel, Anchorage, Alaska, 19:50.3
     27. Coreen Woodbury, Keene, N.H., 20:07.6.
     28. Amy Hollingsworth, Stratton Mountain, Vt., 20:27.3.
     29. Lara DuMond, Raybrook, N.Y.
     1. Marcus Nash, Fryeburg, Maine, 29.25.3.
     2. Patrick Weaver, Lenox, Mass., 29:33.6.
     3. John Bauer, Champlin, Minn., 29:44.0.
     4. Justin Wadsworth, Bend, Ore., 29:54.6.
     5. Robert Whitney, Anchorage, Alaska, 30:02.7.
     6. Todd Boonstra, Anchorage, Alaska, 30:04.0.
     7. Ben Husaby, Bend, Ore., 30:40.7.
     8. Justin Freeman, Lewiston, Mass., 30:50.4.
     9. Patrick Casey, MacKay, Idaho, 31:01.2.
     10. Cory Smith, Park City, Utah, 31:09.4.
     11. John Aalberg, Park City, Utah, 31:12.3.
     12. Marc Gilbertson, Morrisville, Vt., 31:26.2.
     13. Chris Klein, Utica, N.Y., 31:26.9.
     14. Adam Verrier, Anchorage, Alaska, 31:27.1.
     15. Pete Vordenberg, Boulder, Colo., 31:30.5.
     16. Nathan Schultz, Boulder, Colo., 31:32.0.
     17. Kris Freeman, Franklin, N.H., 31:38.3.
     18. Phil Bowen, Duluth, Minn., 31:41.7.
     19. Erik Flora, Anchorage, Alaska, 31:43.4.
     20. Scott Loomis, Park City, Utah, 31:49.1.
     21. Adam Heaney, Bend, Ore., 31:50.5.
     22. Eli Enman, Williston, Vt., 31:52.5.
     23. Bruce Bauer, Duluth, Minn., 31:56.0.
     24. Richard Bolt, Lunenberg, Mass., 31:57.7.
     25. Mark King, Minneapolis, 32:15.5.
     26. Andrew Johnson, Greensboro, Vt., 32:20.7.
     27. Eli Brown, Duluth, Minn., 32:26.6.
     28. David Chamberlain, Wilton, Mass., 32:29.2.
     29. Kurt Wulff, Minocqua, Wis., 32:32.6.
     30. Scott McArt, Honeoye Falls, N.Y., 32:33.9.
     31. Michael Myers, Plymouth, Minn., 32:41.9.
     32. Lars Flora, Marquette, Mich., 32:43.8.
     33. Frosty Whitworth, New Hampton, N.H., 32:45.0.
     34. Ian Skinner, Sun Valley, Idaho, 32:46.1.
     35. Jesse Gallagher, Pittsfield, Vt., 32:50.4.
     36. Cory Custer, Bozeman, Mont., 33:22.8.
     37. Stephen Donahue, Norwich, Vt., 33:34.3.
     38. Carl Swenson, North Conway, N.H., 33:36.4.
     39. Brad Bauer, Anchorage, Alaska, 33:38.1.
     40. Addison Whitworth, New Hampton, N.H., 33:39.3.
     (tie) Eric Maas, Hanover, N.H., 33:39.3.
     42. Jeremy Crawford, Anchorage, Alaska, 33:42.3.
     43. Chad Giese, Mora, Minn., 33:43.3.
     44. Matt Dudley, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 33:46.1.
     45. Jesse Downs, Sylvan Beach, N.Y., 33:52.5.
     46. Dave Stewart, Ripton, Vt., 34:09.3.
     47. Brad Nelson, Duluth, Minn., 34:18.6.
     48. Bill McDonnell, Newbury, Vt., 34:42.0.
     49. Todd Eastman, Winter Park, Colo., 36:11.1.
     50. Mike Crenshaw, Boulder, Colo., 36:52.6.
     51. Rob Walsh, Hanover, N.H., 37:14.5.
     52. Willie Stewart, Breckenridge, Colo., 37:59.1.
     53. Steve Cooke, Salt Lake City, 40:47.0.
     Marc Beitz, Minneapolis, did not finish.
     1. Ann Battelle, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 24.64 points.
     2. Jillian Vogtli, Brockport, N.Y., 23.58.
     3. Donna Weinbrecht, West Milford, N.J., 23.26.
     4. Liz McIntyre, Frazier, Colo., 23.21.
     5. Hannah Hardaway, Moultonborough, N.H., 22.27.
     6. Cindy Burkart, Keystone, Colo., 21.18.
     7. Brooke Ballachey, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 20.59.
     8. Michelle Roark, Winter Park, Colo., 20.52.
     9. Kathleen Dougherty, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 19.51.
     1. Alex Wilson, Buffalo, N.Y., 26.08.
     2. Evan Dybvig, Tunbridge, Vt., 25.16.
     3. Chris Hernandez, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 24.69.
     4. Garth Hager, Bothell, Wash., 24.62.
     5. Caleb Martin, Telluride, Colo., 24.12.
     6. Jon Moseley, Tiburon, Calf., 23.93.
     7. Sean Smith, Park City, Utah, 23.82.
     8. Travis Ramos, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 23.53.
     9. Troy Benson, Evergreen, Colo., 22.73.
     10. Tony Gilpin, Bozeman, Mont., 22.70.
     11. Jim Moran, Stowe, Vt., 15.73.