OBERHOF, Germany (Dec. 29) – Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) skied into 10th place after qualifying 12th at the slushy freestyle sprint in Oberhof, the second stage of the Tour de Ski. Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) qualified fifth for the women, the best qualification of her career, before finishing 22nd behind Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) in 18th. The Tour moves to Lenzerheide Tuesday for classic sprints, where U.S. athletes hope for better snow conditions and a chance to boost their overall tour standings.
Andy Newell, seen here at World Championships, skied into 10th place after qualifying 12th at the slushy freestyle sprint in Oberhof Sunday, the second stage of the Tour de Ski. (Sarah Brunson/U.S. Ski Team)
Chris Grover, U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Head Coach
It was just an okay day by us today. Liz, Holly and Simi all missed qualification so narrowly. Simi was unfortunate to have a snow squall just as he was beginning his qualification round that really slowed down the track. Highlights for us were Andy's 10th place finish. He skied his quarterfinal like a pro and really executed his plan, making a critical lunge at the finish to make it into the semifinal. And Sophie's fifth place qualification really demonstrates that she is a full World Cup contender in sprint now, able to qualify in either technique on any given day.