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Utah Leads NCAA Ski Championships

March 11, 1999

RUMFORD, Maine (AP) _ Twin brothers Rune and Frode Kollerud finished 1-2 in the men’s freestyle cross-country race Thursday, carrying Utah into the lead of the NCAA Ski Championships.

Rune, born three minutes after his brother in Norway, finished about seven seconds ahead of him in the 10-kilometer race at Black Mountain _ 27 minutes, 19.6 seconds to 27:26.1.

``First and second; we can’t do better,″ Frode Kollerud said.

Ekaterina Ivanova of Vermont continued her domination in the women’s 5-kilometer race, winning by nearly 13 seconds ahead of Steffi Kindt of Alaska-Anchorage on the blustery, snowy day.

Last year, the brothers finished second and third in both cross-country races. Now, they will have a chance in Saturday’s 20-kilometer race for two 1-2 finishes.

The victory was the first for Rune this season, while Frode has won twice.

The finish, together with Pat Casey’s 20th, gave the Utes 97 points and a total of 348.5.

Defending champion Colorado, which led after Wednesday’s giant slalom, collected 88 points from its men for 346. Vermont was third with 317.

Dartmouth, which took a six-point lead over Colorado after the women’s race, fell back to fourth at 310 after doing no better than 17th in the men’s race.

Denver, one of the favorites, made the biggest gain. After a miserable giant slalom, the Pioneers started the day 90 points behind in eighth place, They finished in fifth at 303, 45 points back.

Denver’s six skiers all were in the top 11. Joern Frohs finished third behind the Kolleruds and Britta Wienand and Irene Eder were third and fourth among the women.

Ivanova, who entered Vermont in January after skiing for the Russian national biathlon team, won her 18th race in 18 tries, including two against the U.S. National team.

``If she were a U.S. citizen, she would be our best Olympic skier,″ Vermont cross-country coach Bruce Cranmer said.

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