FIS Cross-Country World Cup (Drammen, Norway): Classic sprints
Just three days after 2017 Nordic World Championships ended in Lahti, Finland, World Cup cross-country skiers were back to their regular-season grind with 1.2-kilometer classic sprints on Wednesday in Drammen, Norway.
In the men’s race, Norway stole the day with Eirik Brandsdal notching his first World Cup win since 2015 in Drammen, but Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov broke up the team’s total domination of the final with a third place, behind Brandsdal (who won it in 2:39.35 minutes) and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo in second (+2.55). Ustiguov placed third (+3.28) for his seventh consecutive podium coming off five medals in five races at World Championships, and three other Norwegians, Petter Northug, Pål Golberg and Sondre Turvoll Fossli finished behind him in fourth through sixth, respectively, in the final.
To start the day, Klæbo won the qualifier in 2:33.81, 3.62 seconds ahead of Brandsdal in second. Ustiugov qualified 10th (+6.21).
Canada’s Alex Harvey and Len Valjas qualified for the heats in 18th and 21st, respectively, and Andy Newell was the lone American to reach the quarterfinals after qualifying in 13th.
In the third quarterfinal, Newell finished third, 1.7 seconds behind Brandsdal, who won it. Sweden’s Oskar Svensson took second in that heat (+0.66).
Harvey won the fifth quarterfinal, and Canada originally took first and second with Valjas outlunging Alexander Bolshunov for second place. Valjas was ultimately relegated to last in the heat for his move around Bolshunov at the line, and the Russian was listed as second (+0.27) for an automatic spot in the semifinals.
While Klæbo won the first men’s semifinal by 0.46 seconds over Brandsdal, Ustiugov topped the second semi by 0.32 over Golberg. Harvey initially finished fifth in that second semi but moved up one spot to fourth (+4.41) after Norway’s Finn Hågen Krogh was disqualified (putting him in last, 67th overall). Harvey ended up eighth overall on the day.
Newell placed 18th overall and Valjas 27th.
Also for the North Americans, U.S. Ski Team members Simi Hamilton and Erik Bjornsen finished 40th and 44th, respectively, and Ben Lustgarten (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) was 62nd. Canada’s Russell Kennedy (Canmore Nordic/Team R.A.D.) finished 63rd.
In the women’s 1.2 k classic sprint, Stina Nilsson commanded the day and Sweden ended up with two on the podium, with Hanna Falk in third.
Nilsson started off by qualifying in fourth, 1.54 seconds behind Finland’s Krista Pärmäkoski, who topped the qualifier in 3:00.28. While Pärmäkoski went on to win her quarterfinal and place third in her semifinal (advancing as a lucky loser to the final), Nilsson won both her quarterfinal and semi, and ultimately took first in the final in 3:07.57. Pärmäkoski notched second (+0.42), and Falk third (+1.26) ahead of Norway’s Kathrine Rolsted Harsem in fourth (+3.27), Sweden’s Ida Ingemarsdotter in fifth (+4.86), and Slovenia’s Anamarija Lampič in sixth (+9.67).
Three U.S. women qualified for the heats, with Sadie Bjornsen in fifth, Jessie Diggins in sixth and Sophie Caldwell in 11th.
Bjornsen and Diggins were eliminated in the quarterfinals after placing fifth and sixth, respectively, while Caldwell finished third in the third quarterfinal (0.79 seconds behind Østberg, who won that heat) and advanced as a lucky loser to the semifinals with Finland’s Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, who was fourth in that heat (+0.95).
In the semifinals, Nilsson led her teammate Falk across the line by 0.14 seconds, and Lampic advanced as a lucky loser in third (+1.05).
Ingemarsdotter won the second semifinal by 0.22 seconds over Harsem, and Pärmäkoski made the cut for the final with a fast-enough time in third (+0.56). In that heat, Slovenia’s Katja Višnar (who had posted the second-fastest qualifying time) finished fourth (+0.83), and Caldwell fifth (+1.44).
That put Caldwell in ninth overall, while Bjornsen placed 21st and Diggins 26th. Also for the U.S., Rosie Brennan finished 37th in the qualifier, Ida Sargent was 42nd, and Kikkan Randall 52nd.
One day after her 23rd birthday, Canada’s Dahria Beatty finished 48th.
USSA Cross Country Junior Championships (Lake Placid, N.Y.): Classic sprints
[UPDATED] On the second day of racing at 2017 U.S. Junior Nationals in Lake Placid, N.Y., Novie McCabe, Haydn Halvorsen, Gus Schumacher, and Julia Kern achieved their second national titles of the week in the classic sprints on Wednesday at the Olympic Jumping Complex.
Representing the Pacific Northwest division and Methow Valley Nordic Ski Educational Foundation, McCabe won the U16 girls’ A-final more than 5 seconds ahead of anyone else in 5:04.22 minutes. New England’s Anna Lehmann, of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) followed in second (+5.14) and Intermountain’s Sydney Palmer-Leger notched her second-straight podium in third (+5.96). Also in the U16 girls’ final were Rocky Mountain’s Bridget Donovan (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail) and Waverly Gebhardt (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club), who placed fourth and fifth, respectively, and Intermountain’s Sarah Morgan, of the Wasatch Nordic Ski Academy (WNSA), in sixth.
In the U16 boys’ A-final, Halvorsen (Far West/Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy) won by 3.31 seconds in 4:28.29 minutes. New England’s Will Koch (SMS) placed second for his second podium in as many races, and Intermountain’s Lane Myshrall (Park City Nordic Ski Club) took third (+6:39). Also in the U16 boys’ final, Johnny Hagenbuch (Intermountain/SVSEF) placed fourth, George Cvancara (Alaska/Alaska Nordic Racing) fifth and Will Lange (Pacific Northwest/Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation) sixth.
Alaska’s Gus Schumacher (Alaska Winter Stars) topped the U18 boys’ A-final by 1.13 seconds in 4:35.95. Local Mid-Atlantic skier Scott Schulz (New York Ski Educational Foundation) took second, and New England’s Adam Glueck (Ford Sayre) placed third (+5:04). Alaska’s Canyon Tobin (APUNSC) followed in fourth, Far West’s JC Schoonmaker (Auburn Ski Club Associates Inc.) fifth, and New England’s Ben Ogden (SMS) reached the final but was disqualified.
In the U18 girls’ A-final, Marin Coletta, representing Intermountain and the Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF), took the win in 5:14.30, 4.4 seconds ahead of New England’s Rena Schwartz (Green Mountain Valley School). Intermountain’s Anna Gibson (Jackson Hole Ski Club) rounded out the podium in third (+6.26). Also reaching the final, Brooke Dunnagan (Intermountain/BBNT) finished fourth, Jenna DiFolco (Alaska/NSCF-FXC) fifth, and Callie Young (New England/Craftsbury Nordic) sixth.
U.S. Ski Team Development Team member Julia Kern picked up her second-straight win in the U20 women’s category, winning the A-final by a resounding 18.47 seconds. After Kern (New England/SMS) finished in 4:47.54, Canada’s Katherine Weaver (Hollyburn XC Ski Club) placed second for the second-straight race, and Intermountain’s Maddie Morgan (WNSA) took third (+33.38) in the most strung-out final of the day. Also in that final, Intermountain’s Leah Lange (University of Utah) finished fourth, Margie Freed (Midwest/Loppet Nordic Racing) fifth, and Canada’s Catherine Reed-Metayer (Skibec) sixth.
The U20 men’s classic sprint win went to Canada’s Reed Godfrey (Canmore Nordic/Team R.A.D.), who finished first in 4:33.64. Kam Husain (SMS) crossed 3.32 seconds later as the top American in second overall, and Canada’s Ryan Jackson (Team Hardwood) was the third man on the podium in third (+5.68). Rounding out the A-final, Finn O’Connell (New England/University of Vermont Ski team) placed fourth and Daniel Streinz (New England/Mountain Endurance) fifth, and Canada’s Étienne Hébert (Montériski) was disqualified.