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Diggins Leads U.S. in Junior Worlds
Central Cross Country Skiing's Jessica Diggins (Afton, MN) led the U.S. in the women's 5k free technique race in seventh as the 2011 FIS Junior World Nordic Championships opened in Otepaa, Estonia.
Sitting just east of the Baltic Sea, the air was brisk and the snow temperature was cold in Otepaa as the fields hit the fresh snow covered track. Norway opened the Championships strong, claiming four out of six podium spots – sweeping the women's and landing the top step in the men's race. Sindre Bjoernestad Skar clinched gold for the men and Ragnhild Haga for the women.
Diggins led the U.S. march in seventh – her first top 10 in three Junior World attempts. Haga posted the top time of 13:50.6, with teammates Kari Oeyre Slind and Heidi Weng close behind with silver and bronze.
These are the kind of conditions I live for - where you have to be light and snappy!" said Diggins. "My plan was to take it out fast right from the get-go. Looking back, I think I could have scrounged up a few seconds on some key transitions in the second lap. But other than that, I don't think I could have pulled any more from my body."
"She is certainly due," said Junior Worlds Head Cross Country Coach Matt Whitcomb. "While I'm completely thrilled with the result – I'm not surprised. This is where she belongs and she proved that today."
FIS Junior World Nordic Championships
Otepaa, Estonia – Jan. 26, 2011
Cross Country 10/5k Free
Gold: Ragnhild Haga, Norway, 13:50.6
Silver: Kari Oeyre Slind, Norway, 13:56.2
Bronze: Heidi Weng, Norway, 13.58.6
7. Jessica Diggins, Afton, MN (Central Cross Country Skiing) 14:18.2
36. Joanne Reid, Palo Alto, CA (University of Colorado) 15:07.4
68. Kinsey Loan, Eagle River, AK (Alaska Pacific University) 16:00.3
70. Isabel Caldwell, Peru, VT (Dartmouth Ski Team) 16:06.0
For complete results: www.fis-ski.com