Kikkan Randall is all smiles after finishing second in a FIS World Cup freestyle sprint in Canmore, moving her into second in the overall World Cup standings. (Robert Whitney)
CANMORE, AB (Dec. 15) - Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) took the fight down to the wire in Canmore, finishing second to Norway's Maiken Kaspersen Falla. The finish kept Randall in the World Cup sprint lead and moved her into second in the overall standings. Andy Newell finished fifth behind men's winner Emil Joensson of Sweden. Six Americans made the heats with Randall winning qualifications by nearly three seconds. Action wraps up in Canmore Sunday with a skiathlon.
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) was second in the FIS Cross Country World Cup sprint in Canmore.
Randall moved up to second in the overall World Cup standings and held her lead in sprint.
Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) made the finals again, finishing fifth.
Six Americans made the heats including Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) with a career best tenth and Skyler Davis with career best 24th.
Randall, who led qualifying by nearly three seconds, skied strong in quarterfinals and semifinals but found herself boxed out 100 meters from the finish. Putting the pedal down, Randall sprinted up the middle like a fullback to move into the lead and ultimately finish second and move on to the finals.
Action wraps up in Canmore Sunday with a skiathlon, a combination of classic and freestyle technique, with live broadcast on the USSA Network at 1:00 p.m. EST.
QUOTE Kikkan Randall I wasn't quite sure how the strategy was going to play out with that downhill being so decisive with the draft. So I kind of went into the final not really sure what my strategy was going to be, but I wanted to get near the front and decided to just try to make a break over the top and see if I could break it up a bit. I think it worked mostly the way I wanted it to. I had a little bobble just as we ended the lanes and I just wish I would have stayed a little bit taller but overall I'm super happy with it.
The quarterfinal actually felt the worst for me. I think for me I need to get in and ski that hard pace the whole way. Just kind of playing with a little bit lower pace early on makes the top of the hill just that much harder. Overall I felt strong through the rounds and felt just like I wanted to in the final.
Skyler Davis (on best World Cup finish) I'm excited to get in the top 30 today. That was a huge goal for the season. I wasn't expecting to do it today, but more than happy about today.
Ida Sargent In the qualifier I went pretty hard up the hill and I felt like I flooded and lost a lot of time going into the finish because my legs were too full of lactic acid. In the heats I just tried to stay relaxed on the uphill and the get the draft on the downhill and use my use my quick finish, so that worked in the quarterfinal. In the final I got boxed in at the top of the hill. But this is a really fun exciting course. There is a lot of game changing going on out there with the big uphill and big downhill. This was my best skate sprint result!