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Caldwell Second In Davos Sprint

By Reese Brown
December, 15 2018
Davos Podium
Sophie Caldwell (left) finished second in Saturday's FIS Cross Country freestyle sprint. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Reese Brown)

Sophie Caldwell (Stratton Mountain, Vt.) secured her first sprint podium of the season Saturday, finishing second in the FIS Cross Country World Cup freestyle sprint in Davos, Switzerland. Caldwell was the top qualifier and led five U.S. women into the quarterfinal heats, including Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.), who finished 14th in the finals; Ida Sargent (Craftsbury, Vt.) 21st; Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) 26th; and Rosie Brennan (Park City, Utah) 29th.

“My strategy going in the finals was to tuck in behind some skiers the first lap to conserve some energy as I knew I had fast skies and was taking the final corner well,” said Caldwell after finishing 0.72 seconds behind Sweden’s Stina Nilsson, and 2.60 second ahead of Sweden’s Maja Dahlqvist in third in the final. “I was thrilled with today. This gives me a confidence boost as I have been a little sick and I am now looking forward to the second period.”

On the men’s side, Simi Hamilton (Aspen, Colo.) advanced the final heats after qualifying 17th and ended up finishing 12th on the day after running out of gas in the semifinal.

“I chose to set a slightly more realistic goal of making the semifinals today and so I sacrificed a bit of recovery time in order to have the best shot of achieving that goal,” said Hamilton. “I pretty much burnt all the matches I had in my quarterfinal heat and was left with the needle on empty in my semifinal. But, I consider any day you race in the heats as a good day, so I’m encouraged with where I am right now.”

Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo won, followed by Italy’s Federico Pellegrino in second, and  Baptiste Gros of France third. Kevin Bolger (Sun Valley, Idaho) missed qualifications for the heats by one place, finishing 31st.

Up next, the men will compete in a 15k interval freestyle start, and the women’s will race in a 10k interval freestyle event Sunday in Davos.

Men’s sprint
Women’s sprint

All times EST
*Same-day delayed broadcast

Sunday, Dec. 16
3:15 a.m. Women’s 10k interval - Davos, SUI - & NBC Sports Gold
5:45 a.m. - Men’s 15k interval - Davos, SUI - NBC Sports Gold / Replay available on
9:00 a.m. Women’s 10k interval - Davos, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV*