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Diggins Second In 10k Freestyle, Leads Five Americans Into Top 28

By Tom Horrocks
December, 12 2021

Jessie Diggins dug deep into the pain cave to find an extra gear that propelled her onto the podium, finishing second and leading five U.S. women into the top 28 in the FIS Cross Country World Cup 10k freestyle individual start Sunday in Davos, Switzerland.

Rosie Brennan finished fourth for the second-straight day, with Hailey Swirbul in sixth, Sophia Laukli posting a World Cup career-best result in 19th, and Novie McCabe scoring her first career World Cup points, finishing 28th. Katharine Ogden was 43rd; Caitlin Patterson 46th; and Hannah Halvorsen was 78th.

"Today was really, really special because we had so many women in the points," Diggins said. "I am so proud of this team, everyone raced so hard." 

"I felt good!" said McCabe after scoring her first World Cup points. "It was a really fun course and nice to be back at altitude. My skis were also sooooo good which helped out a lot!"

Norway’s Theresa Johaug won with a time of 23 minutes, 40 seconds. Diggins was 14.5 seconds back in second, while Sweden’s Frida Karlsson rounded out the podium in third, at 17.21 seconds back. Brennan was 24.3 seconds back.

"Wow, another bittersweet day for me today," said Brennen, who finished fourth for the second-straight day. "Placing fourth is absolutely nothing to complain about, however, I felt I didn't quite have my best in me today. I definitely have some fatigue from was a great day for the women's team and I am really happy to see some outstanding performances from the team."

Brennan came out firing on all cylinders and was just 1.1 seconds off the pace of Johaug at the 2k mark, with Diggins sitting fifth at 9.4 seconds back. At the 5k mark, Diggins moved into second at 9.0 seconds off Johaug’s pace with Brennan in third at 10.4 seconds. With 2k remaining, Karlsson moved into second place at 16.2 seconds off Johaug’s pace, with Brennan at 17.8 and Diggins at 21.3 seconds back.

In the final 2k, though, Diggins upped her pace and pulled back time on Karlsson, Brennan, and Johaug to grab her second podium of the season, and first in a World Cup distance race this season. "I'm not sure how I did that," Diggins said of crushing the final 2k, which is predominantly downhill but features flat working sections. "I was just so focused on going all out and leaving it all out there on the course. But I think those working downhills have always been a strength of mine, and...I was taking a little bit of a risky line on the downhill."

Norway took the top two spots on the men’s podium with Simen Hegstad Krueger winning the 15k with a time of 32.20. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo was second at 22.9 seconds back, with Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov third at 27.2 seconds back. Gus Schumacher was the top Davis U.S. Cross Country Team finisher in 29th; Ben Ogden was 51st; David Norris 54th; JC Schoonmaker 66th; Hunter Wonders 70th; and Scott Patterson 75th.

Karlsson leads the overall World Cup standings, with Brennan in fourth and Diggins in fifth. Johaug leads the World Cup distance standings, with Brennan in third and Diggins seventh. The FIS Cross Country World Cup season continues next weekend with a freestyle sprint on Saturday, and a team sprint on Sunday.

Women’s 10k freestyle
Men’s 15k freestyle

Women’s World Cup overall
Men’s World Cup overall
Women’s World Cup distance
Men’s World Cup distance