It was an uphill battle, but young Sadie Bjornsen impressed both her country and the world at her first-ever Olympic Games. (Getty Images/Ryan Pierse)
Noah Hoffman and Sadie Bjornsen (seen here at 2013 U.S. Championships in Utah) both capped their respective seasons Friday with U.S. distance titles to wrap up the 2014 U.S. Cross Country Championships.
Liz Stephen skied up from 37th in the 7.5k classic leg to finish 15th in the Falun mini-tour skiathlon.
Three-time World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall received her globe after a fourth-place finish in Friday's classic sprint, the final sprint of the season as well as the opening of the three-day Stage World Cup mini-tour finale in Falun.
Kikkan Randall, seen here with Norway’s Marit Bjoergen at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, skied to a career-best 12th in the 30k classic World Cup at Holmenkollen Sunday.
Kikkan Randall clinched a third straight FIS World Cup sprint title, finishing seventh in a classic sprint at Drammen.
Team USA left it all on the course Saturday but was not able to keep pace and finished ninth at the women’s 4x5k relay of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
Sadie Bjornsen led Team USA finishing 18th in the 10k classic with temperatures soaring above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
First-time Olympian Jessie Diggins skied into an impressive eighth and secured the top spot for Team USA in the women’s skiathlon Saturday, the opening Olympic cross country event at the Laura Cross Country Ski Center.
Olympian Liz Stephen, seen here racing at World Championships, skied into the top spot for the USA in 11th during the warm and rainy FIS World Cup 10k classic race Saturday.
14 athletes, led by World Champion Kikkan Randall, were nominated to the U.S. Olympic team in cross country skiing today. (Photo: Reese Brown)
Kikkan Randall and Sadie Bjornsen combined to finish fifth in the Asiago World Cup team sprint.
World Champion Jessie Diggins anchored a strong U.S. team made up of Kikkan Randall, Sadie Bjornsen and Liz Stephen to take third in the 4x5k relay and match the best-ever World Cup result for any U.S. cross country relay team.
Sadie Bjornsen delivered another breakout result Saturday in the Lillehammer 10k classic World Cup, where she skied into seventh and matched her career-best individual result set just a week ago in Kuusamo, Finland.
World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) fought hard to earn a fifth-place finish during Sunday’s 10k freestyle pursuit, the finale of the Ruka Triple mini-tour and cross country World Cup season opening weekend.
Sadie Bjornsen Quick Facts
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In her third season on the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, Sadie Bjornsen made an impressive Olympic debut in Sochi. The 24-year-old competed in three events, including logging the fastest leg of the women’s 4x5k relay that finished in ninth place among the world’s top national ski teams.
Another product of the Alaska Pacific University pipeline, Bjornsen scored her highest individual World Cup finish ever in 2014, taking seventh in the 10k classic at the Ruka Triple in Kuusamo, Finland. She also qualified for the World Cup sprint finals in Falun, Sweden.
After recovering from off-season injuries in 2013, Bjornsen had a breakout year, scoring her second and third national titles on the way to helping the 4x5k relay team to an historic fourth place at World Championships. That was all after this Washington native earned All-America honors as a college freshman in 2011 and skied in her first World Championships in Oslo that same winter.
Bjornsen overcame rookie jitters to perform well on the Olympic stage, and is upping her strength in the offseason to push for the podium at World Championships.
OFF THE SNOW