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3 American skiers in top 16 but none on Olympic podium in women’s 10K

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: February 15, 2018
  • Published February 14, 2018

American skiers Elizabeth Stephen, left, and Sadie Bjornsen compete. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Three U.S. women, including two from Anchorage, finished in the top 16 but none reached the podium in the women's 10-kilometer freestyle race Wednesday night at the Winter Olympics.

Kikkan Randall of Anchorage competes. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Jessie Diggins of Minnesota once again came close to becoming the first American woman in history to win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing, finishing 3.3 seconds out of the bronze-medal position.

She finished fifth, marking the third time in three races she has finished in the top six in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Anchorage skiers Sadie Bjornsen and Kikkan Randall placed 15th and 16th, respectively.

Diggins finished 35.2 seconds behind gold-medal winner Ragnhild Haga of Norway, who dominated in 25 minutes, .5 seconds.

Silver medalist Charlotte Kalla of Sweden finished 20.3 seconds behind Haga. There was a tie for the bronze medal:  Norway's Marit Bjoergen and Finland's Krista Parmakoski both clocked 25:32.4.

Diggins, who earlier placed fifth in the 15K skiathlon and sixth in the classic sprint, finished in 25:35.7. Bjornsen finished in 26:42.5, Randall finished in 26:50,4 and Liz Stephen finished 30th for the United States in 27:35.9.

Anchorage's Jessica Yeaton placed 41st and UAA's Casey Wright was 81st. Both are members of Australia's Olympic team.

The U.S. cross-country team is trying to end a medal drought that dates back to 1976, when Bill Koch won a silver medal — the only Olympic medal in U.S. history.

The American women have become one of the world's strongest teams in recent years and came to Pyeongchang with multiple podium finishes this season. They have three more chances to make an Olympic breakthrough — the 30-K mass-start classic race, the team sprint and the 4x5K relay.