Houghton, MI – In the second race of the 2016 U.S. Cross Country Championships, Reese Hanneman of Alaska Pacific University won the men’s freestyle sprint. This is Hanneman’s first Freestyle Sprint National Championship title and second national title. Reese now has two sprint titles, one classic and one freestyle.
Coming off a disappointment in the individual classic race yesterday, Reese was hungry for the sprint today. He won the qualifier by over one second, a large margin in a three minute race, this boosted his confidence for the elimination rounds. “I knew after the morning that I am in really good sprint form,” said Hanneman.
His goal was “ski really fast as far into the course as you can without burning too many matches and then be able to burn all of them at the very end.”
With three more rounds to go, it was no easy feat and he relied on his experience from last year. “You have to execute perfectly in order to make that win a reality and I was really happy to do that.”
Thomas O’Harra won the junior sprint in dominating fashion, giving him a good chance of representing the U.S. at the Junior World Championships in Rasnov, Romania later this season.
“In the heats, I tried to sit in the middle of the pack and then when I came around the last corner and I could see the finish line, I tried to go as hard as I could.” O’Harra qualified 14th in the men’s field, finished third in his quarterfinal, narrowly missing making the semi-finals, landing him in 13th overall.