Image from USSkiTeam.com
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) and Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) skied a gutsy race to take gold in the team sprint at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. It was the first ever World Champs gold for USA in cross country. The U.S. Ski Team came to the stadium Sunday morning brimming with a cautious confidence. The strategy was to go out conservatively but stay in close contact. Randall and Diggins were dominant all day from qualifying first to setting the pace most of the race. Russia set the early pace with Diggins challenging on her opening leg but Randall choosing to let the leaders set the pace. Diggins took control of the race on her second leg with Randall following suit. In the third and final leg, Diggins was third behind Sweden and Finland as all three teams came to the line together. Randall accepted the exchange and took control of the race to win without challenge down the finishing stretch. Also during on the final leg, Diggins broke a pole while leading. Coach Erik Flora sprinted down the track to get her a replacement without her losing momentum. It was a first career World Championship for both Randall and Diggins. Randall took silver in the individual freestyle sprint in 2009. The team sprint was freestyle technique and will switch to classic for the Sochi Olympics while the individual event will switch from classic to skate.
Video of the race – including the USA’s broken pole!
A huge thank you to all involved for such a wonderful season! This has been a very special year and the coaching staff has enjoyed working with each of you. Just because the season is over though – that doesn’t mean that skiing is done for the year. Woodland still has some fantastic snow and beautiful conditions – keep skiing, there are also some other excellent trails around including Lake Maria State Park in Monticello ( 26 km of skating and classical trails) or you could check out some classic only trails at Sand Dunes State Forest in Zimmerman. There are many other trails around the state to explore and ski so take some time while we have snow and explore a new space. Also – if you see the groomers out – make sure you thank then for all their hard work and time, and to the new parent-groomers – thank you! Have fun and thank you for your time and work on the trails!
Some housekeeping things for the team –
- The banquet will be on March 17th at 4:30(mingle and set-up time at 4:00) in the cafeteria at Elk River High School. You will be getting more information this week about it. We do the banquet pot-luck style so each group of students will be responsible for bringing a dish/drink of some sort.
- Wax Room Clean-Up/Equipment and Uniform Turn-in/Awards Voting/Storage Wax Application – All of that will be taking place on Thursday after school. We need everyone’s help with this to make it go quickly and get things cleaned up in and cleared out of the room. Come down after school and we’ll get started around 2:25. If you have checked out a pair of skis from the school, we’ll get them returned and apply storage wax to get them ready for the summer. If you would like to keep skiing on them – that is wonderful – but you’ll need to talk to coach K that day so we can get that marked down and then arrange a time later for storage wax and return of the equipment. Also, make sure to bring your uniform (washed!!) to return. Once everything is done we’ll be voting for team awards to be given out.
- March – March can be a great time to get out skiing! After talking to many people at the race on Saturday, there is HUGE interest to have one more race at Woodlands in March (if we have snow). Keep your ears open – and your eyes on the weather. We are tentatively planning for March 16th but we will know more the first couple weeks of March. We’ll need lots of help again – thank you to all that showed up on Saturday to put on a great event! Last year we were able to squeeze in a race with three days notice when the snow finally came…we’ll see what the weather brings this year. With what we earned at the last race – it looks like we’ll be able to purchase about 4 pairs of skis for the team – that is awesome!!
We’ll see you on Thursday – have a wonderful free day and get out skiing if you have the chance, it is beautiful!
Thank you to all the racers that came out today! We hope you had a great time at the event and enjoyed the wonderful course that they groomers have maintained! The results are linked below along with a huge collect of pictures taken by one of our ski parents. Again, thank you for coming up to Woodlands today to enjoy our fantastic course and enjoy a wonderful morning of skiing! As we mentioned at the race, we are looking at one last race at Woodlands this season – March 16th – if there happens to be decent snow cover yet, we’ll keep you informed. Thank you again for a wonderful morning!
Elk River Nordic!! Thank you to all the skiers that helped out today! Many of you were there at 8am to get things set up and others were ready to time when they were needed. Thank you for your time and your support (and your treats – they were a huge hit!!)! A HUGE thank you to the groomers – pre and post race – you have done such a wonderful job with the course and with all the time you put in on the trails. Thank you for keeping us skiing when others couldn’t and thank you for all the time you volunteer making these trails the best in the area! We are so grateful for all the work, time, and care you put into the park and trails. We are looking forward to putting in some time with you this summer to help make the park even better! A double thank you to Kay Elmquist for her help with the broth, water, hot water and additional treats! Kay and her family have been making sure we were covered the last several races and they’ve done a great job – thank you!!
First: A huge congratulations to the State skiers – Nate Webster, Joey Martin, and Breck Hickman – fantastic races on Thursday and excellent results! Nate finished 29th, Joey 45th and Breck 49th – They did a tremendous job and fought hard in the second race to pass skiers in a tightly crowded race.
Second: We had a wonderful day for racing on Wednesday with temps close to 30 and the sun shining. The two girls teams started the day out in strong fashion with the first team taking the gold by almost a minute and the second team was not far behind placing a strong 7th. It was an extremely exciting set of races and showed the true depth of the girls team. A huge congrats ladies!! The gentlemen stepped up after that and showed a strong start in the field and with a sprint finish our first team took 11th and our second team came in a strong 24th. Fantastic day – well done!!
Third: We have one more race tomorrow! The citizen race will be at Woodland Trails tomorrow! We have people ready to help with the course at 8:15am – Registration opens up at 8:30am so we have several people scheduled to come in at that time. The rest of you, we are looking for you to arrive at 9:30 to help with final registration and then – most importantly – timing!! We definitely need help timing! We’ll also need some treats for the racers so if you can bring some brownies, cookies, apples, oranges or bananas – that would be a huge help! The kids race will be at 12:00 so we should be wrapped up around 12:30pm.
Forth: Have a great time at Tori’s house! If you need directions – contact a captain and they’ll direct you to the right location.
We are looking forward to some excellent racing in a very busy week! Monday’s practice will be at the 3:15pm time. We’ll practice relay tag offs for the relays and get the state skiers prepped to race well. JV, we won’t see you until Thursday the 21st for equipment/uniform turn-in and clean-up.
We’ll be taking off Tuesday right after school. Bring all your stuff to school so we can leave as soon as possible.
Pack light but make sure you have everything you’ll need for racing and cheering. Food will be provided for breakfast and lunch. The second night – relay teams usually bring their own collection of foods and treats to celebrate the end of season. State skiers will have dinner prepared for them.