Diggins Takes Women’s Freestyle Sprint Qualifier at US Nationals – UPDATED

Nathaniel HerzJanuary 8, 2011
Jessie Diggins (CXC) throws down the best qualifying time in today's US National Championship freestyle sprint race. Photo: Hallie Herz.

At last season’s U.S. national championships in Anchorage, Jessie Diggins was a very strong junior skier, but not a whole lot more than that. Fast forward 12 months, and she’s transformed herself into a legitimate title threat through a post-grad year with Central Cross-Country’s Team Vertical Limit.

After popping a couple podiums in domestic races in the fall, Diggins put the country’s elite women on notice in Saturday’s skate sprint qualifier at the U.S. championships in Rumford, skiing to a convincing two-second win over APU’s Sadie Bjornsen. Caitlin Compton (CXC) was third.

Dartmouth’s Sophie Caldwell was just over four seconds back, in fourth, and APU’s Holly Brooks was another two-tenth’s back in fifth.

Man-made, transformed snow on the women’s 1.4-kilometer course was skiing very fast; Diggins’ winning time was three minutes and 10 seconds—36 seconds quicker than the winning qualifier time in last weekend’s classic sprint.

There’s a dicey, icy corner before one of the course’s two main climbs, which Bjornsen described as “super-hairy” after her qualifier. It could make for some rough-and-tumble racing in the afternoon.

The heats get rolling at 11:30—we’ll have updates on the Continental Cup blog, and on @FasterSkier on Twitter.

Complete Results

Nathaniel Herz

Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.

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