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Jessie Diggins second in Lahti Freestyle Sprint

Sat, Feb  20, 2016 - By USSA

LAHTI, Finland (Feb. 20, 2016) – Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) led the U.S. with another FIS World Cup podium result, this time in second, at the 1.6k freestyle sprint at the Lahti Ski Games.

"I’m so happy with the race today! It was a ton of fun, start to finish, and to have three girls in the top 15 and four in the heats? That’s awesome!" said Diggins. "I’m very convinced that today I had the fastest skis in the world...and I played to my strengths using the slingshot on the downhill to give myself a chance in the finishing lanes."

Jessie Diggins lunges for the finish to take second place. (Richard Narum)

Jessie Diggins lunges for the finish to take second place. (Richard Narum)

Norwegians came away with both the men and the women’s victories Saturday as Maiken Caspersen Falla and Emil Iversen led an impressive Norwegian effort at the Lahti Ski Games sprint. For the Americans, Sadie Bjornson (Winthrop, WA) was 10th, followed by Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) in 13th and Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) 24th. Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) was the top U.S. men’s finisher in 17th.

“In my quarter, Ingvild (Oestberg, of Norway, who finished fourth) put in a move on the last up and I couldn't stick with her and then got passed in the lanes to end up third in my heat,” said Caldwell. “I was disappointed not to move on because I was feeling good, but seeing Jess in second and Sadie in the top 10 turned it back into a good day!”

The weekend in Finland has been a highly anticipated one as it is serving as the pre-World Championship event for next year’s Nordic World Ski Championship.

Full video of Women's Lathi Sprints

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Falla, who had four straight classic sprint victories heading into today’s race, added to her overall lead in the World Cup sprint standings.
  • Last week in Stockholm, Falla took over the season lead from Stina Nilsson of Sweden, who was third in today’s sprint.
  • Jessie Diggins took second place in the hotly contested final, while Heidi Weng rounded out the podium.
  • This was Diggins fourth podium result of the season.
  • The men’s final was a show of Norwegian dominance as five of the six skiers in the final were Norwegian, while Italian Federico Pellegrino being the odd man out, he finished fourth.

<p>Jessie Diggins stands on the podium. (Hansi Johnson)

Jessie Diggins stands on the podium. (Hansi Johnson)

QUOTES

Jessie Diggins

I’m so happy with the race today! It was a ton of fun, start to finish, and to have three girls in the top 15 and four in the heats? That’s awesome! I’m very convinced that today I had the fastest skis in the world (thanks to our hardworking staff and Salomon!) and I played to my strengths using the slingshot on the downhill to give myself a chance in the finishing lanes. It was exciting racing in the snow with the stadium roaring and it was a hard course with lots of hills, and definitely the longest sprint course we’ve had all year!

Sophie Caldwell

I was really happy with my qualifier this morning. This is the longest course sprint course we've raced all year and it also had some big hills. Generally, that's not my strength in skate sprinting, so I was very satisfied to qualify sixth.

In my quarter, Ingvild (Oestberg) put in a move on the last up and I couldn't stick with her and then got passed in the lanes to end up third in my heat. I was disappointed not to move on because I was feeling good, but seeing Jess in second and Sadie in the top 10 turned it back into a good day!

To have four girls and Simi in the heats and Caitlin just out is already a strong day for our team.

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