Sadie Bjornsen of Anchorage, fresh off a pair of victories at the U.S. National championships, led the U.S. women Friday at a World Cup classic sprint race in Liberac, Russia.
Bjornsen, who trains with the Alaska Pacific University nordic program, placed 34th.
None of the American women advanced beyond the preliminaries, but in the men's race, Andy Newell of Shaftsbury, Vt., claimed sixth place, his best classic sprint finish in three seasons.
Photo-finish victories went to Finland's Mona Lisa Malvalehto and Sweden's Teodor Peterson.
For the Americans, perhaps the biggest news of the day was the fact Anchorage skier Kikkan Randall held onto her World Cup sprint lead despite not racing. Randall, the reigning World Cup sprint champion, is skipping this weekend's competitions so she can recover from the recent seven-race Tour de Ski.
Randall leads the sprint standings with 256 points, ahead of Norway's Maiken Caspersen Falla (240 points). She ranks fifth in the distance standings with 361 points -- Poland's Justina Kowalczyk is the leader with 588 -- and she sits third in the overall standings, which combine a skier's results in distance and sprint events.
In the overall standings, Kowalcyzk leads with 588 points, followed by Norway's Therese Johaug (399) and Randall.
Liz Stephen of E. Montpelier, Vt., ranks 21st overall with 230 points and three other Americans are in the top 40, including Anchorage's Holly Brooks, who is 33rd with 139 points.