Alaska skiers help U.S. to second place finish in Norway

United States' Sadie Bjornsen competes during a women's 5 km Individual Classic Wold Cup event in Dobbiaco (Toblach), Italy, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Snowy conditions couldn’t slow down the U.S. Cross Country Team of Sophie Caldwell, Sadie Maubet Bjornsen (APU), Rosie Brennan (APU) and Jessie Diggins who took second in the FIS Cross Country World Cup 4x5k team relay in Lillehammer, Norway over the weekend.

Bjornsen skied the second leg and finished with the second-fastest leg time of the day, just 2.4 seconds behind the fastest skier of that leg, Kerttu Niskanen of Finland. That effort was enough to lead the Americans into 5th place overall.

Maubet Bjornsen tagged off to Brennan, who skied the third-fastest time of her leg to move the Americans up to third place overall.

With the Norwegians nearly a minute ahead at that point, the event became a race for second place. American Jessie Diggins of Minnesota made the USA proud with the top time of the day, catching and passing the team from Sweden.

In the men’s 4x7.5k relay, Alaska skiers Erik Bjornsen, David Norris and Scott Patterson helped the U.S. Cross Country Team to a ninth place finish.

Next on the World Cup scheudle is Davos, Switzerland for the first freestyle sprint of the season on Saturday, Dec. 14, and 10k freestyle for the women and 15k freestyle for the men on Sunday, Dec. 15.

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