FIS Nordic U23 World Championships (Midway, Utah): 10/15 k freestyle
Paddy Caldwell, of the Stratton Mountain School and U.S. Ski Team D-team, raced to the first top 10 of his career at a U23 World Championship on Thursday, placing ninth in the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle individual start at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah.
Caldwell started 44th (of 53) and crossed the finish in sixth before being bumped down three places to ninth. Upon being passed by the eventual winner, Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov, who started 30 seconds behind him in bib 45, Caldwell worked to keep pace with the Russian and ended up 1:03.6 minutes off his winning time. The silver medalist in Tuesday’s classic sprint, Bolshunov took the victory in 32:55.7 minutes, and Russia swept the men’s podium for the second-straight day at U23/Junior World Championships with Alexey Chervotkin in second (+21.8) and Denis Spitsov in third (+28.2).
Also for the U.S., Adam Martin (Northern Michigan University) placed 22nd (+2:22.4), Jack Hegman (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation) was 24th (+2:25.2), and Cal Deline (Dartmouth Ski Team) 37th (+3:48.6).
Evan Palmer-Charrette (NTDC Thunder Bay) led Canadian men in 34th (+3:20.2), Alexis Dumas (CNEPH) was 38th (+3:52.9), Julien Lamoureux (CNEPH) 43rd (+4:16.7), and Scott James Hill (Team Hardwood) 49th (+6:15.2).
In the women’s 10 k freestyle Thursday morning, Sweden’s Anna Dyvik won her second-straight race of the championships, finishing in 26:14.0 minutes. Norway took second through fourth with Tiril Udnes Weng in second (+16.8), Lovise Heimdal in third (+23.0), and Lotta Udnes Weng (Weng’s twin sister) just 0.1 seconds off the podium in fourth (+23.1).
Dahria Beatty (AWCA/Canadian U25 Team) was the top Canadian in 16th (+1:25.8), and Petra Hyncicova (a University of Colorado-Boulder Ski Team member who’s skiing for her native Czech Republic) followed in 17th (+1:26.3).
Canada’s Frédérique Vezina (CNEPH) placed 25th (+1:58.8) for a career best at her second U23 Worlds, Katherine Stewart-Jones (NTDC Thunder Bay/NST U25 Team) was 27th (+2:07.8), and Jenn Jackson (Lappe Nordic/Team Hardwood) 37th (+3:31.8).
Kelsey Phinney (SVSEF) led the Americans in 30th (+2:24.6), Jesse Knori (University of Colorado-Boulder) was 32nd (+2:36.4), Alayna Sonnesyn (University of Vermont) 33rd (+2:51.4), and Nichole Bathe (University of Alaska Fairbanks) 39th (+4:19.8).
Australia’s Casey Wright (University of Alaska Anchorage Ski Team) followed in 40th (+4:22.0).
FIS Nordic Combined Junior World Championships: 4 x 5 k team event
[UPDATED] In the lone nordic-combined team event of Junior World Championships, Austria took the win in 46:17.3 with Samuel Mraz, Marc Luis Rainer, Florian Dagn, and Mika Vermeulen. The team ranked fourth after the jumping portion and started 23 seconds behind Japan in first, but captured the 9.7-second victory over France (Lilian Vaxelaire, Laurent Muhlethaler, Theo Rochat, Mael Tyrode), the third-ranked team after the jump.
The Czech Republic started the relay in fifth and reached the podium in third (+15.3), with Ondrej Payout, David Zemek, Jan Vytrval, and Lukas Danek.
The U.S. (Elijah Vargas, Grant Andrews, Ben Loomis, Stephen Schumann) finished seventh (+2:10.8) out of nine teams after starting sixth. Last year, the U.S. squad placed sixth at 2016 Junior Worlds in Rasnov, Romania, and in 2015 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, they were seventh.
Japan slipped from first at the start of the relay to eighth at the finish (+2:46.4).