Breakpoints

No Retina
Retina
XS Screen (480px)
SM+ Screen
SM Screen (768px)
SM- Screen
MD+ Screen
MD Screen (992px)
MD- Screen
LG+ Screen
LG Screen (1200px)
LG- Screen
XL+ Screen (1600px)
Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Schoonmaker, Ogden, Jager Post Career-Best Day In Ruka Classic Sprint

By Tom Horrocks
November, 26 2021
JC
JC Schoonmaker comes across the finish line in third in his semifinal heat Friday in Ruka, Finland. (© Modica/NordicFocus)

JC Schoonmaker, Ben Ogden, and Luke Jager posted career-best results to lead six Davis U.S. Cross Country Team athletes into the classic sprint heats in the opening FIS World Cup Cross Country race of the season in Ruka, Finland, Friday.

Schoonmaker advanced to the semifinals to finish seventh, Ben Ogden scored his first World Cup points, finishing 13th, and Luke Jager scored his first World Cup points in only his second-ever World Cup race, finishing 18th.

“It felt amazing to make those semis,” said Schoonmaker, whose previous career-best result was 18th in Dresden, Germany, last season. “Last year, I struggled to get through the quarters, so today was kinda a breakthrough moment, and it was fun to get into some uncharted territory. I felt great today, mentally and physically, and I’m really happy to be in this position starting the season.”

After posting the fifth-fastest qualifying time, Schoonmaker advanced through his quarterfinal heat, finishing second. In the semifinals, Schoonmaker charged forward from the back of the pack, throwing himself into the mix of the top three on the final climb. Things got interesting coming around the last corner when Sweden’s Markus Grate clipped teammate Anton Persson, bringing both athletes down.

“It all happened pretty fast, but the guy next to me just kinda skied into my ski and luckily I was able to keep my balance,” Schoonmaker said. “I went over to those Swedish guys after and said ‘good race and sorry that it happened.’ I don’t think it was anyone’s fault, just ski racing.”

Ogden and Jager, skiing in the fifth and final quarterfinal heat, looked strong as well but did not advance to the semifinals - finishing third and fourth, respectively. “It was a lot of fun,” Ogden said. “Feels damn good, but I’m hungry for more! Excited for more racing!" 

Russia’s Alexander Terentev, the 2021 Classic Sprint Junior World Champion, won his first-career World Cup race, edging Norwegians Johannes Klaebo in second and Erik Valnes in third. Logan Hanneman just missed qualifying for the heats in 33rd; Gus Schumacher was 56th in qualifying, and Kevin Bolger was 57th.

“We’ve all been watching this swell come in for several years,” noted Davis U.S. Cross Country Team WHead Coach Matt Whitcomb. “Today a few waves hit the shores, and our men’s squad is now starting to turn some heads on the world cup. JC, Ben, and Luke were having some fun today, and Logan (Hanneman) was damn close. Considering that today is our first race of the season, and we’ve only been on the snow in Europe skiing for one week, we can classify the day as great.”

In the women’s race, Jessie Diggins open her season stronger than ever, while donning the yellow World Cup leader’s bib. Diggins posted the day’s fastest qualifying time to advance to the heats along with Rosie Brennan and Julia Kern. “To win a classic sprint qualifier... I was not expecting that at all,” said Diggins. “Nobody was expecting that, so it was a fun surprise and an exciting little way to kick off the season.” 

Brennan led the women, finishing 15th, with Diggins right behind in 16th, and Kern 18th. “I think this was my best result in Ruka, even though I always want more,” Brennan said. “I felt I was missing a little top-end speed today, but I feel that I am on track and moving in the right direction. I’m excited to do some distance racing and to continue working out the kinks this weekend.” 

All three U.S. women looked strong throughout their quarterfinal heats, proving that the hard work this summer will start to pay dividends with more days on snow. “I felt like I had a lot of energy out there today, and our skis felt really fast,” Kern said. “I am proud of how I skied, and figuring out the last part of that final climb will hopefully come with more days skiing on snow!”

Sweden’s Maja Dahlqvist won her second career World Cup classic sprint, edging teammate Johanna Hagstroem in second, with Norway’s Maiken Falla in third. Hailey Swirbul was 37th in qualifying; Katharine Ogden was 52nd; Hannah Halvorsen was 53rd; Movie McCabe was 61st, and Sydney Palmer-Leger was 66th.

To complement the top-level fitness the athletes brought into the first race of the season, the U.S. Service Team also brought their A-Game to Ruka, nailing the wax on a cold, challenging snow day. “I was really, really proud of our tech team,” Diggins said. “We had excellent skis. They have been working really hard, and they nailed it.”

Racing continues Saturday in Ruka with a 15k classic for men and a 10k classic for women. Sunday features a 15k freestyle pursuit for the men and a 10k freestyle pursuit for the women. 

RESULTS
Women’s Classic Sprint
Men’s Classic Sprint

STANDINGS
Women’s World Cup overall
Men’s World Cup overall
Women’s World Cup sprint
Men’s World Cup sprint

FIS Cross Country World Cup
Ruka, Finland
Schedule/U.S. Starters


Saturday, Nov. 27
Men’s 15k classic

  • Gus Schumacher
  • Hunter Wonders
  • Zanden McMullen
  • Ben Ogden
  • David Norris
  • Luke Jager

Women’s 10 Classic

  • Jessie Diggins
  • Rosie Brennan
  • Hailey Swirbul
  • Katharine Ogden
  • Sophia Laukli
  • Julia Kern
  • Novie McCabe
  • Caitlin Patterson

Sunday, Nov. 28
Men’s 15k freestyle pursuit

  • Gus Schumacher
  • Hunter Wonders
  • Zanden McMullen
  • Ben Ogden
  • David Norris
  • Luke Jager

Women’s 10k freestyle pursuit

  • Jessie Diggins
  • Rosie Brennan
  • Hailey Swirbul
  • Katharine Ogden
  • Sophia Laukli
  • Julia Kern
  • Novie McCabe
  • Caitlin Patterson

HOW TO WATCH 
All times EDT

Saturday, Nov. 27
4:15 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Men’s 15k - LIVE,  Ruka, FIN, Streaming Peacock, Ski and Snowboard Live
7:30 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Women’s 10k - LIVE,  Ruka, FIN, Streaming Peacock, Ski and Snowboard Live

Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021
4:20 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Women’s 10k Pursuit - LIVE,  Ruka, FIN, Streaming Peacock, Ski and Snowboard Live
6:30 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Men’s 15k Pursuit - LIVE,  Ruka, FIN, Streaming Peacock, Ski and Snowboard Live

Current television broadcast and streaming schedules for all sports are available here

Sport-specific broadcast and streaming schedules are available below:

Broadcast and streaming will be updated on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard website throughout the season.

2021-22 FIS World Cup Schedule
2022 Olympic Winter Games Schedule

Follow the Davis U.S. Cross Country Team:
Instagram: @usskiteam
Facebook: @usskiandsnowboard
TikTok: @usskiandsnowboard
Twitter: @usskiteam

 

Schoonmaker 7th in Ruka