Holmes claims 3rd in SuperTour climb

Chelsea Holmes of Girdwood led Alaska nordic skiers in Wednesday's last event of the SuperTour Finals in Craftsbury, Vt., bagging a third-place finish in the women's 1.8-kilometer hill climb.

Holmes, 24, clocked 15 minutes, 20.6 seconds to finish 13.9 seconds behind the U.S. Ski Team's Liz Stephen, who won in 15:06.7, and 7.3 seconds behind runner-up Jessie Diggins, another World Cup skier.

Olympian Holly Brooks of Anchorage earned fourth place in 15:34.8 and Caitlin Patterson of Anchorage took sixth in 16:05.8.

On the men's side, U.S. Ski Team member Noah Hoffman won in 13:10.7 and a pair of Alaskans racked top-10 finishes.

Erik Bjornsen of Alaska Pacific University's Nordic Ski Center, where Brooks coaches and trains, clocked 13:59.7 to finish sixth and wrap an excellent Finals. Bjornsen previously finished third in the prologue, third in the 15-K classic and fifth in the classic sprint.

David Norris of Fairbanks finished eighth Tuesday in 14:16.2.

Bjornsen and Brooks each finished third in the SuperTour Finals overall category, which earned each skier $400. Sadie Bjornsen of APU, who won the 10-K classic on Sunday, finished fourth overall among women, good for $150.

Other Alaska men who cracked the top-10 in the overall were Norris in ninth and Eric Packer of Anchorage in 10th. Other Alaska women in the top-10 overall were APU's Becca Rorabaugh in seventh, Patterson in eighth and Holmes in ninth.

Freeman won the men's overall Finals title and Diggins captured the women's crown -- each earned $1,200.

Competition in Craftsbury continues Friday with the women's 30-K freestyle national championship race and Saturday with the men's 50-K freestyle national championship race.

Super Tour Finals

Craftsbury, Vt.

Wednesday's 1.8-K Hill Climb

Top 3 Men -- 1) Noah Hoffman, 13:10.7; 3) Brian Gregg 13:20.9; 3) Kris Freeman, 13:24.0. Alaskans -- 6) Erik Bjornsen, 13:59.7; 8) David Norris 14:16.2; 17) Andy Liebner, 14:38.9; 18) Jack Novak, 14:32.2; 21) Eric Packer 14:49.4; 22) Brent Knight, 14:51.4; 28) Tyler Kornfield, 15:12.7; 39) Reese Hanneman, 15:32.7; 42) Peter Kling, 15:37.6; 63) Donald Haering, 16:21.2; 70) Forrest Mahlen, 16:59.0; 71) Erin Phillips, 17:05.0.

Top 3 Women -- 1) Liz Stephen, 15:06.7; 2) Jessie Diggins, 15:13.3; 3) Chelsea Holmes, Girdwood, 15:20.6. Other Alaskans -- 4) Holly Brooks, 15:34.8; 6) Caitlin Patterson, 16:05.8; 11) Rosie Brennan, 17:03.2; 14) Sadie Bjornsen, 17:10.6; 17) Becca Rorabaugh, 17:32.9; 21) Amy Glen, 18:07.8; 28) Lauren Fritz, 19:01.0; 40) Kinsey Loan 19:57.2; 47) Crystal Pitney, 20:30.4; 49) Sarah Cresap, 20:50.2; 51) Celia Haering, 21:30.0.

Anchorage Daily News