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Diggins nips Bjornsen for 30K national ski title

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: March 27, 2018
  • Published March 27, 2018

After 30 kilometers and nearly 90 minutes, the final women's race of the season for America's best skier came down to a fraction of a second.

After skiing shoulder to shoulder the entire race, Jessie Diggins of Minnesota edged Sadie Bjornsen of Anchorage by four-tenths of a second to win the mass-start 30K classic national championship Tuesday in Craftsbury Commons, Vermont.

The triumph gave Diggins a sweep of the SuperTour Finals at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, where she won three individual races and anchored her relay team to a national championship.

Diggins, who along with Anchorage's Kikkan Randall won the Olympic gold medal in the team sprint last month in South Korea, also won the classic sprint and 10K freestyle. The sprint and freestyle were SuperTour events but not national championships.

The race series, and the season, wraps up Wednesday with the men's 50K national championship.

Diggins and Bjornsen, Olympians who finished second and sixth, respectively, in the World Cup overall standings, skied the entire race together.

Diggins finished in 1 hour, 25 minutes, 27.2 seconds. Bjornsen clocked 1:25:27.6.

Third place went to Randall, who was competing in the final race of her career as a member of the U.S. Ski Team. Randall, who is retiring after five Olympics, finished in 1:27:48.9.

Randall and Bjornsen train together with the Alaska Pacific University nordic club, which placed two more skiers in the top 10 — sixth place Rosie Frankowski (1:27:56.4) and 10th-place Chelsea Holmes (1:30:12.5.)

Eighth place went to Caitlin Patterson (1:28:54.4), an Anchorage woman who trains in Craftsbury.

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