Bjornsen's career-best in 10-K leads U.S. Ski Team

Alaska Pacific University skier Sadie Bjornsen enjoyed a career-best performance for the second day in a row, skiing to 18th place in a World Cup 10-kilometer classic race in Lahti, Finland.

Bjornsen, who led the Americans in the race, started her personal-best weekend Saturday by grabbing ninth place in the classic sprint race.

"Today was an exciting race purely because of the unknown factors of an individual start race," Bjornsen said in a release from the U.S. Ski Team. "It was fun to go out there and ski my own race -- pushing where I felt like I could and making up time where I felt like others may forget to.

"My skis were great, my energy was great, and I went out there with a mission. It is exciting to be able to put together a weekend of personal bests after World Championships where I never felt like I hit my potential."

Bjornsen is from Winthrop, Wash., but trains in Anchorage with APU.

Another APU skier, Anchorage's Kikkan Randall, on Sunday tied for 28th place with Liz Stephen of E. Montpelier, Vt., giving the United States three skiers in the top 30.

Poland's Justyna Kowalcyzk won the race in 25 minute, 38.9 seconds. Bjornsen clocked 27:22.3; Randall and Stephen 27:48.9. APU's Rosie Brennan, getting a rare World Cup start, placed 61st in 30:02.7.

"Really cool to see Sadie have another personal-best day," Randall said in an email. "As we were pool-running partners this fall, I am very impressed with how Sadie has handled the many injuries and setbacks, stayed positive and come out swinging here at the midpoint in the season."

Randall's victory Saturday allowed her to clinch her second straight the World Cup sprint title. Combined with her result Sunday, Randall ranks third in the World Cup overall standings, which combine sprint and distance results.



Anchorage Daily News