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by Aims Coney

Alex Jospe will be too modest to toot her own horn and perhaps too exhausted to write a report, BUT YOU NEED TO  KNOW THIS - today she was 13th at the World Cup Ski-O Sprint competition held on the Auburn Ski Club trails at Donner Pass.  And, as the top skier from the US and Canada she won the North American Championship gold.  We spectators saw a thrilling all-out finish and watched her drop exhausted to the snow for several minutes before she could remove her skis and download her timing chip.  Way to go Alex!
 
Alex edged esteemed USA and CSU teammate Ali Crocker, who was one place back, by almost a minute.  Individually Ali and Alex are the best US ski-orienteers we’ve ever had of any gender and as a duo are truly special.  Today’s race puts their friendly rivalry onto an even higher level.  Way to go Alex and Ali!
 
With the competition half over, they have four races to go, the World Cup Medium and Relay Thursday and Friday, and the USA Medium and Sprint Championships this weekend. Good luck and clean navigating to you both!

by Peter Gagarin

Today is the sprint at the World Cup. First start is at 9 am Pacific time (noon Eastern). 
 
Ed Despard sent out the following note yesterday evening -- "We have great cell signal in the timing hut here at Auburn, so tomorrow the radio controls should be online. The TracTrac units arrived tonight and will be going out on the skiers tomorrow. Thanks to Henning Spjelkavik we will also be trying to stream the announcer over the internet."
 
Here are the links for the GPS tracking:
 
And for the live results:

 
Alison Crocker and I are out in California right now for the first round of ski orienteering World Cup races this winter, up at 7000ft in the beautiful Sierras.  We're joined by two men from the US team, and a whole bunch of other ski orienteers from around the US (Larry, Sara Mae, Aims, and Terry from CSU!) as well as 90 of our closest international ski orienteering friends, so there is a bunch of hubbub - fun!   It seems that the international teams have brought their top tier of racers, and left the slower people at home, so that makes for some stacked fields.  16 of the top 20 ranked men (in the world) are here to race!  

 
While I'm pretty sure that the majority of people reading this do little or no ski-orienteering, I'm also pretty sure you will be interested in what's going on up in the mountains near Lake Tahoe in California. Namely, the first World Cup races of the winter, and I think the first races of this stature (World Championships or World Cup) in the USA since the World Masters Orienteering Championships in Minnesota in 1997.
 
And what makes these World Cup races especially interesting is that the USA, besides organizing the event, has two women competing —Alex Jospe and Ali Crocker -- who are among the very best in the world. At the Ski-O World Champs last winter in Sweden, Ali finished 8th in the Long distance and the women's relay (Ali, Alex, and Cristina Luis) finished 8th. So there was some anticipation to see whether those results were a fluke, or the sign of even better things to come.

Congratulations to these NEOC members who ranked nationally in the top 3 for their class for 2011.

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