U.S. Titles On Line in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS, AK (March 29, 2017) - America’s top elite cross country ski racers are on the start line this week in at Birch Hill in Fairbanks for the conclusion of the USSA SuperTour and the final events of the L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships. Competition opened Monday in the USSA SuperTour with a skiathlon. U.S. Championships events open with a freestyle sprint Wednesday night, continuing with relays on Friday and the long distance finale on Sunday.
In the men’s 22.5k skiathlon Monday, APU Nordic’s Scott Patterson (Anchorage) took the win over Paddy Caldwell (Lyme Center, NH) of Stratton Mountain School. In the women’s 15k skiathlon, Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) of Stratton Mountain School took a win over Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) of APU Nordic.
Jessie Diggins stands atop the podium in the SuperTour Finals skiathlon with Kikkan Randall second and Caitlin Patterson third. (Lance Parrish, Fairbanks)
The final events of the L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships follow on the heels of the initial events held at Utah’s Soldier Hollow trails in early January. Each of the events will be live streamed on YouTube.
In the USSA SuperTour standings after the opening race, Caldwell holds a 211-201 lead over Ben Lustgarten (Burlington, VT) of Craftsbury Nordic. Patterson leads the distance standings with Ben Saxton (Lakeville, MN) of Stratton Mountain School leading in sprint.
Liz Stephen (3) skates in the skiathlon to fifth place, with Chelsea Holmes (4) overtaking to take fourth. (Lance Parrish, Fairbanks)
In the women’s standings, the overall title remains up for grabs with Kaitlynn Miller (Craftsbury Common, VT) of Craftsbury Nordic holding a 225-220 lead over Chelsea Holmes (Anchorage) of APU Nordic. Jennie Bender (Bozeman, MT) of the Bridger Ski Foundation is third with 214. Bender leads the chase for the sprint title with Holmes leading in distance.
L.L.Bean U.S. Championships Schedule (times ATZ)
Wednesday, March 29
4:00 p.m. - Freestyle sprint qualifying
6:00 p.m. - Freestyle sprint heats
Friday, March 31
6:30 p.m. - Mixed gender/mixed technique relay
Sunday, April 2
10:00 a.m. - Women’s 30k freestyle mass start (junior women’s 13.3k freestyle)
12:30 p.m. - Men’s 50k freestyle mass start (junior men’s 20k freestyle)