Jessie Diggins of Minnesota tightened her grip on the women’s World Cup overall lead and three Alaskans made it to the quarterfinals of a freestyle sprint race Saturday in Ulricehamn, Sweden.
Diggins placed third in the finals to widen her lead in the overall standings. Anchorage’s Rosie Brennan, who didn’t race Saturday, remains third in those rankings.
It was the ninth podium finish of the season for Diggins, who has skied into the top three in both sprint and distance races.
She was one of six Americans to advance from the qualifying round. Among them were Anchorage skiers Sadie Maubet Bjornsen, Hannah Halvorsen and Logan Hanneman. No one other than Diggins made it past the quarterfinals.
Diggins, Bjornsen and Halvorsen skied in different quarterfinals, with Diggins winning hers, Bjornsen finishing third in hers and Halvorsen placing fifth in hers despite. Bjornsen missed qualifying for the semifinals by less than half a second.
Halvorson broke a pole at the start of her heat and finished with the use of a pole handed to her by a Czech Republic coach.
“It was a great day, and a big improvement from last weekend,” Halvorsen told U.S. Ski & Snowboard.
Hanneman, who was 25th fastest in the qualifications, finished last in his heat. Joining him in the quarterfinals were U.S. skiers Kevin Bolger and Simi Hamilton.
Sweden swept the gold medals, with Maja Dahjqvist winning the women’s race and Oskar Svensson taking the men’s title.