ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Two Alaska skiers advanced to the quarterfinals in Olympic cross-country ski sprints Tuesday in Pyeongchang.
Sadie Bjornsen, wearing bib no. 4, competed for Team USA in the women’s classic sprint and qualified for the quarterfinals with a 9th-place finish. The top 30 finishers in the race moved on to the quarterfinals. Bjornsen, who grew up in Washington state, skis for the Alaska Pacific University team. Her brother, Erik, qualified for the men's race as well.
Jessica Diggins had Team USA's top finish at 7th place, with a time of 3:15.76 in the race. Bjornsen had a time of 3:16.12. Team USA's Sophei Caldwell also qualified for the quarterfinals with a 12th-place finish.
Jessica Yeaton, who spent her teen years in Alaska and also skis for APU, competed for Australia in the women’s race, and took 48th, missing out on quarterfinals, as did Casey Wright, a member of UAA’s cross-country ski team, who placed 63rd.
In the men's race, Erik Bjornsen was the last man to qualify, with a 30th-place finish and a time of 3:17.69. USA Teammate Simeon Hamilton also qualified with a 19th-place finish just over a second and a half faster than Bjornsen.
Alaska's Logan Hanneman also raced in the qualifying round, finishing in 43rd place with a time of 3:20.74.
Sadie Bjornsen finished 3rd in the ladies quarterfinal heat 4, and did not qualify for the semifinals, and her brother Erik Bjornsen finished 5th in the quarterfinal heat 1, and also did not qualify for the semifinals.
Americans Sophie Caldwell and Jessica Diggins both placed high enough to race in the semifinals.