SOLDIER HOLLOW, UT (Jan. 8) - APU Nordic's Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) won her second gold of the week while Dakota Blackhorse von Jess (Bend, OR) of Bend Endurance took a career-first title as the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships came to a close at Soldier Hollow. it was a third career gold for Bjornsen, who also won Sunday's classic distance event. Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) of Stratton took silver with bronze going to the classic sprint winner Jennie Bender (Johnson, VT) of CXC. Blackhorse von Jess, who was third in the classic sprint, got hit first career title over APU Nordic's Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) with bronze going to Alexander Howe of Craftsbury Green. Over 430 athletes took part in the U.S. Cross Country Championships on the Olympic trails at Soldier Hollow.
Sadie Bjornsen charges to her second gold medal of the week in the women's freestyle sprint at Soldier Hollow. (USSA-Sarah Brunson)
Dakota Blackhorse von-Jess
I've got all the podium spots at a Championships but now I've got the top one! It is really cool. Everything is the same as it has been. But now I am just smarter and more confident. I knew that this course I suited towards a distance skier more. I knew that the pure distance guys were going to go for it and they did. I knew that if I went for it and stuck with them it would be OK. The observation was to be third over the final hill. Farther forward and they'll come around you. Farther back and you're not going to make it to the front. And that's what I did and it worked!