Norway’s Marit Bjoergen claimed victory in the ladies’ 10km classic during today’s FIS World Cup cross-country skiing event at Toblach, Italy, while Olympic medal threat Kikkan Randall (pictured) of the U.S. finished 15th as she tuned up for Sochi.
Elizabeth Stephen was the top American finisher in the race, coming home just outside the Top 10 in 11th place. Two more Americans finished in the Top 20, with Sadie Bjornsen in 17th and Ida Sargent in 20th.
The U.S. cross-country team has just completed a week-long training session in Italy, and Randall said in a U.S. team release that the session “went exactly as we had planned.”
“It was great to get back to racing today after another training break,” she said about today’s proceedings. “I haven’t done so much distance racing since Christmas, so it’s taking a little bit to get the feeling back…Today’s race was a great effort to kick my body back into race gear and I’m looking forward to another skate sprint tomorrow.”
Those sprint events on Sunday will serve as the final races for the team before heading off to Sochi for the Olympics.
Randall leads the way for the team, as she aims to become the first U.S. woman to win a cross-country medal and the first American, man or woman, to win cross-country gold.
To do that, she may have to go through Bjoergen, who is the defending Olympic champion in the individual sprint and is a seven-time Olympic medalist overall.
Bjoergen is also aiming for big things in Sochi, as she looks to close in on fellow Norwegian and 12-time Olympic medalist Bjorn Daehlie in her bid to become the most decorated Winter Olympian ever.
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Katie Ledecky rewrote the Stanford Avery Aquatic Center pool record book in her first college home meet.
The five-time Olympic gold medalist broke pool records in winning the 200- and 500-yard freestyles in a dual meet with Washington State on Thursday.
Ledecky clocked 1:44.18 in the 200-yard free, which broke Olympic champion teammate Simone Manuel‘s mark of 1:44.34 from last year.
The NCAA Championships winning time from last season was 1:42.42. Ledecky’s personal best in the event is 1:41.04. The American record is 1:39.10 by Missy Franklin.
About 45 minutes later, Ledecky won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:36.43, breaking 2008 Olympian Julia Smit‘s pool record of 4:41.74.
The NCAA Championships winning time from last season was 4:31.33. Ledecky’s personal best is 4:26.58, which doubles as the American record.
Ledecky passed up millions in endorsement dollars to swim collegiately.
The Stanford women’s swim team hosts Texas on Nov. 12, streamed live.
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Nick Symmonds, the outspoken two-time U.S. Olympic 800m runner, said he thinks he’s going to try and compete one more season.
“I really want to make one more worlds team,” Symmonds said in a Facebook video Thursday. “I’ve just got to make sure my ankle holds up.”
Symmonds, 32, last raced May 18 and missed the Olympic Trials due to a left ankle injury. He said Thursday that he’s 100 percent healthy and running 40 miles per week.
On June 30, Symmonds said after withdrawing before the Olympic Trials that he “could possibly” compete one more year, but the decision would come down to whether his apparel sponsor, Brooks, wanted to extend his contract beyond 2016.
The 2013 World Championships silver medalist said he had accomplished all of his running goals except for winning an Olympic medal (he was fifth in 2012) and completing a marathon.
In 2015, Symmonds won his sixth U.S. 800m title but missed the world championships due to a contract dispute with USA Track and Field.
Once he retires, Symmonds has said he wants to climb the tallest mountain on every continent.
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