Cross-country skiing: Koos, Bender win national titles
Cross country • Men’s winner claims sixth national title.
Published: January 5, 2014 06:11PM
Updated: January 5, 2014 11:37PM
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Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune Jennie Bender, left, of The Bridger Ski Foundation in Bozeman, Mont., takes the win in the Women's A Final over Caitlin Gregg with Team Gregg/Madshus at the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships at Soldier Hollow, Sunday, January 5, 2014.

Torin Koos of Leavenworth, Wash., and Jennie Bender of Johnson, Vt., won freestyle sprint titles on Sunday at the U.S. Cross Country Championships at Soldier Hollow.

Benjamin Saxton of Lakeville, Minn., took silver in the men’s final, with Reese Hanneman of Fairbanks, Alaska, securing bronze.

Caitlin Gregg of Minneapolis earned silver in the women’s race, while Rosie Brennan of Park City took bronze.

Both Koos and Bender won classic sprint titles last year, and it was the sixth national title for Koos, who has won three of the past four freestyle sprint titles.

“It was a great race,” Koos said, according to the USA Skiing website. “It’s a new course. I think it’s even a better course than what we’re used to here at Soldier Hollow. It made for some really great racing. Everybody was fighting super hard and it was clean. It was real test for everything. You had the climbing, you had the descending, you had the tactics and you had the finish. I can’t wish for anything more.”

Athletes return to the 2002 Olympic venue Wednesday for freestyle distance races and then Friday for classic sprints.