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Posts Tagged ‘Holly Brooks’

Gracious Norwegians Allow Other Nations a Bronze Medal in Drammen Sprints, Sweep Silver and Gold

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Still riding high from her Olympic gold medal, Norway’s Maiken Falla claimed her first classic sprint victory in the Drammen sprints, barely edging her teammate, Marit Bjørgen, while Sweden’s Stina Nilsson battled her way into third.

In the men’s race the Norwegians also proved untouchable, with Ola Vigen Hattestad‘s longer legs allowing him the kick needed to get his toe across the line barely ahead of teammate Pål Golberg. In third place was Italy’s Maicol Rastelli, after being given a new lease on life when a mid-race crash took Swedish contender Emil Jönsson and Finn Matias Strandvall out of the podium contention.

Alaskan World Cup sprint leader Kikkan Randall finished in 7th place after just missing the finals, but it was still good enough to wrap up her third-straight Sprint Cup title. Randall started toward the back of her semi-final heat, but powerful double-poling brought her into second place in the final stretch. However, the mad dash of high-tempo striding to the finish line proved too much, and Randall was edged by “less than a toenail” in a photo finish with Nilsson, leaving her in third place and missing her chance to advance to the finals.

Peri Jones was the top Canadian woman, finishing 24th, followed by a deep field of American women with Sadie Bjornsen in 30th, Ida Sargent in 35th, Sophie Caldwell in 37th, Holly Brooks in 48th and Jennie Bender, competing in just her second World Cup after last weekend’s races in Lahti, Finland, finished 51st. Canadian Andrea DuPont was 58th.

Canadian Alex Harvey was the top North American man, finishing in 24th after advancing to the semi-finals but finishing fifth in a closely contested heat. Teammates Len Valjas and Devon Kershaw were 35th and 54th, respectively. American Andy Newell was 25th, bringing in the top finish for American men, followed by teammates Simi Hamilton in 32nd, Erik Bjornsen in 51st, and World Cup newcomers Reese Hanneman and Sylvan Ellefson in 61st and 69th, respectively.

Results: Men | Women

Niskanen Fends Off Three Norwegians for 10 k Win in Tour Stage 4

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

About halfway through the women’s 10-kilometer classic mass start on Wednesday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, Kerttu Niskanen decided it was time to take control for Finland and passed three Norwegians, Therese Johaug, Astrid Jacobsen, and Heidi Weng.

Niskanen also overtook Finnish teammate Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, leading her by 1.2 seconds through 5.5 k. While Johaug dropped about 2 1/2 seconds off the pace, the Norwegian didn’t waste any time coming back to chase Niskanen to the finish along with Jacobsen and Weng.

Ultimately, Niskanen held them all off, winning the fourth stage of the Tour de Ski in 26:27.4, four-tenths of a second ahead of Jacobsen in second. Johaug placed third (+1.1), Weng was fourth (+1.9) and Saarinen finished fifth (+2.5) in the lead pack — which finished 21 seconds ahead of Finland’s Anne Kyllonen in sixth.

Norway’s Marit Bjørgen withdrew from the Tour because of a “slight virus,” according to Eurosport commentators, after racing through the stomach bug in the freestyle sprint the day before.

Liz Stephen led the North Americans in 26th, 54.6 seconds behind Niskanen. Also for the U.S., Jessie Diggins placed 31st, Sophie Caldwell was 32nd and Holly Brooks 49th. The lone Canadian racing, Dasha Gaiazova finished 58th.

Jacobsen moved into the Tour lead, 35.4 seconds ahead of Østberg in second and Niskanen elevated herself to third (+36.5). On her last day before withdrawing from the Tour, Caldwell ended up 16th. Diggins planned to continue on in 21st, less than 2 seconds ahead of Stephen in 22nd.


Hamilton, Newell Take Top 2 Qualifying Spots in Lenzerheide; Østberg Fastest Woman

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Norwegian women took two podium spots in this morning’s Tour de Ski sprint qualifiers in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Ingvild Østberg of Norway took first in the women’s 1.5-kilometer race in 2:52.99, followed by Italy’s Greta Laurent 2.25 seconds later. In third was Norwegian Marit Bjørgen (+2.77).

It was an exciting morning for American men, with the top qualifying spot going to American Simi Hamilton in 2:35.01 followed closely by fellow American Andy Newell 0.31 seconds later.  Third place was taken by Sweden’s Calle Halfvarsson (+0.73).

For the second-straight race, American Sophie Caldwell qualified in the top 10 in ninth (+5.24). Fellow U.S. Ski Team member Jessie Diggins qualified in 18th (+6.93).

Missing the top 30 were Holly Brooks  in 37th (+11.29), the top Canadian woman, Perianne Jones in 39th (+12.76). American Liz Stephen was 44th (+13.15), followed closely by Canadian Dasha Gaiazova in 45th (+13.43).

The only other North American man to qualify was the top Canadian, Alex Harvey, qualifying in 24th (+4.25). Missing qualification were Canadian Devon Kershaw in 58th (+7.93), American Noah Hoffman in 83rd (+11.52) and Canadian Ivan Babikov in 97th (+16.97).

Complete results Women | Men

Erikson Nabs First Career Win in Tour Skate Sprint; Diggins Top North American in 18th

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Hanna Erikson proved there’s only one place you need to go big, and that’s the final as the Swede beat two Norwegians and three Germans in the 1.5-kilometer freestyle sprint final on Sunday, the second stage of the Tour de Ski in Oberhof, Germany. After qualifying in 24th, she bested Germany’s Denise Herrman, who placed second 0.79 seconds later, and Norwegian Ingvild Oestberg in third, 4.32 back from Erikson’s winning time of 3:25.69.

Fourth place was taken by Germany’s Nicole Fessel (+4.4) and Saturday’s prologue winner and current Tour leader, Marit Bjørgen of Norway placed fifth (+4.8).

Norway’s Therese Johaug narrowly missed advancing to the final heat, placing seventh overall and with the third-fastest spot in her semifinal heat, but her time was not sufficient to move on as a lucky loser. Saturday’s surprise third-place finisher, Poland’s Sylwia Jaśkowiec, advanced to the semifinals after winning her quarterfinal heat.  However, she had the slowest time of either semifinal, coming in over 30 seconds behind Herrman, who won her semifinal. Jaskowiec finished 12th overall.

American Jessie Diggins was the top North American skier, placing 18th overall after finishing fourth in her quarterfinal. Behind her was American Sophie Caldwell in 22nd, Canadian Dasha Gaiazova in 27th and her teammate Perianne Jones in 28th.

Americans Liz Stephen and Holly Brooks both failed to qualify, finishing 33rd and 37th, respectively.


Bjørgen Off to Fast Start in Tour de Ski Opening Prologue; Two U.S. Women in Top 10

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Norway’s Marit Bjørgen didn’t have any trouble getting going in the rainy-and-slow conditions in Oberhof, Germany, winning Saturday’s Tour de Ski opening 3-kilometer freestyle prologue — the first of seven stages.

Bjørgen bested teammate Astrid Jacobsen by 1.9 seconds with the fastest time of 6:34.4.

“It was a short race so its really hard to find the right speed, but today it was good for me,” Bjørgen told FIS. “It’s a good start. It’s been 2 weeks since my last competition so it’s good to be back again.”

The Tour’s four-time defending champion, Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland did not race for reasons that were immediately unknown.

“I’m very sorry, but in this situation I can not occur in Tour de Ski,” Kowalczyk wrote on her Facebook page on Saturday morning.

Another Polish skier stepped up in her place, with 27-year-old Sylwia Jaśkowiec tallying her first World Cup podium in third, 7 seconds behind Bjørgen.

Denise Herrmann of Germany was fourth (+8.4), American Jessie Diggins notched fifth (+9.2) for her best Tour de Ski stage result (and tying her best individual World Cup finish). Diggins was 62nd in the Oberhof 3 k prologue last year.

Finland’s Anne Kyllonen and Aino-Kaisa Saarinen finished sixth and seventh, respectively, on Saturday, and Slovenia’s Alenka Cebasek was eighth (+10.7) and American Sophie Cadwell ninth (+11.8) ahead of Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen in 10th (+12.0)

Also for the US Ski Team, Holly Brooks finished 21st and Liz Stephen placed 34th.

Canada’s Dasha Gaiazova took 37th and Perianne Jones was 47th of 78 finishers.


Bjørgen’s Late Push Lifts Her Ahead of Johaug for Davos 15 k Victory; Four Americans in Top 30

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

If there was one thing reiterated in Saturday’s World Cup in Davos, Switzerland, it’s never underestimate the closing potential of Marit Bjørgen.

The Norwegian rose to the challenge in the women’s 15-kilometer freestyle individual start after trailing her teammate Therese Johaug by about 10 seconds with 5 1/2 kilometers to go. Bjørgen came on strong to win by 13 seconds over Johaug in 35:34.4. Johaug took second ahead of Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla (+28.9), and Norway’s Kristin Størmer Steira placed fourth (+53.2). Led by Kerttu Niskanen in fifth, Finland took three out of the top seven with Krista Lahteenmaki in sixth and Riita-Liisa Roponen in seventh.

Four US Ski Team women made the top 30, with Kikkan Randall in 18th (+1:52.3), Liz Stephen in 20th (+1:55.5), Holly Brooks 25th (+2:09.5), and Jessie Diggins in 30th (+2:17.9). Also for the U.S., Rosie Brennan (APU) placed 51st (+3:44.5).


Norway Runs Away with Women’s Relay; U.S. Fights for Third

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Just over a year after placing third in Gallivare, Sweden, for a historic World Cup podium, the U.S. women repeated the feat in Sunday’s 4 x 5-kilometer relay at the World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway — with Jessie Diggins (US Ski Team) using every last ounce of her energy to hold onto third.

Marit Bjørgen capped off a commanding performance for Norway, which won in 58:38.9 with scrambler Heidi Weng, an aggressive second leg by Therese Johaug, and Kristin Stormer Steira. A minute and 15 seconds back, Krista Lahteenmaki anchored Finland to second. After Liz Stephen tagged the USA’s first team (they started two) in third, 15 seconds behind Finland, Diggins made a run for second and caught Lahteenmaki about two kilometers in. Bjørgen started the final leg with a 35-second lead and stayed smooth in sloppy, snowy conditions for a comfortable win.

With Lahteenmaki and Diggins skiing together for the rest of the race, the Finn skied away after the last big climb and final descent into the stadium. Diggins crashed, broke a pole but quickly got a replacement from the Norwegian team and held onto third, finishing 23.4 seconds after Lahteenmaki and nearly 11 seconds ahead of Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR II).

After Russia in fifth, Sweden in sixth, Norway III in seventh, Germany in eighth, Russia II in ninth, France in 10th and Poland in 11th, the USA’s second team of Sophie Caldwell, Ida Sargent, Holly Brooks, and Rosie Brennan placed 12th (+3:20.5).


Bjoergen Takes Ruka Triple Victory in Tight Battle

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Marit Bjoergen (NOR) reasserted herself in this early World Cup season, besting Charlotte Kalla (SWE) and teammate Therese Johaug on the final day of racing in Kuusamo, Finland.

Bjoergen, who was unable to advance out of the quarterfinals in Friday’s classic sprint, completed her mini-tour comeback, following up a second-place on Saturday, with a powerful and savvy performance.

Rival Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) was unable to keep pae in the skate discipline leaving Bjoergen to hold of Kalla and Johaug.

Kowalczyk slipped to fourth after battling to keep pace for two-thirds of the 10k skate race. She ultimately lost 30 seconds over the final 2.5k.

American Kikkan Randall wrapped up an excellent opening weekend, skiing up to 5th from her start position of 7th. Randall outsprinted Astrid Jacobsen (NOR) and Yulia Tchekaleva (RUS) in the homestretch.

Overall it was a strong day for the U.S. women. Sadie Bjornsen, who started just behind Randall in 8th, took 17th in the mini-tour while Jessie Diggins skied all the way up to 24th after heading out on course in 46th.

While Holly Brooks and Liz Stephen failed to math Diggins’ ascent into the points, they both skied up significantly.  Stephen posted the 9th fastest time of the day, just behind Randall’s 7th and Diggins’ 8th. Brooks was 26th fastest as she moved up from 54th to 34th.

Stephen made up an astounding 35 places, just missing the top-30 in 32nd place.


Brooks Wins First Mount Marathon

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

A three-time runner up at Mount Marathon, a grueling 3.5-mile hill climb, U.S. Ski Team member Holly Brooks won Wednesday’s annual race in Seward, Alaska, posting one of the top-10 times in the race’s 85-year history. And she took it easy on the way down.

Brooks was the fastest woman in 51:53, nearly three minutes ahead of Lauren Fritz, her Alaska Pacific University teammate who was second in 54:48. Last year, Brooks lost to USST teammate Kikkan Randall by 19 seconds. Randall skipped this year’s race to avoid injury on the technical course, which averages a 38-percent incline, according to the Alaska Dispatch. The out-and-back race ascends to the top of 3,022-foot mountain.

Brooks told the Anchorage Daily News that she was unaware how fast she was going Wednesday because she purposely didn’t wear a watch. After 30 hours of training last week on Eagle Glacier with the U.S. and Canadian ski teams, Brooks didn’t want to worry about her time on the wet course. She took the downhill cautiously as a result.

“I definitely could have run a little faster,’’ Brooks said. “I took time to enjoy and savor the moment. That’s worth more than five, 10, 15, whatever seconds.’’

In 2010, Brooks fell just 10 seconds short of the win to longtime champion Cedar Bourgeois, who nabbed seven straight victories before retiring from the Mount Marathon race two years ago.

In the men’s race, Matt Novakovich, a 38-year-old from Anchorage who ran track at Brigham Young University and competed as an elite cyclist, claimed the win. After finishing fifth last year and 10th in 2009 and 2010, Novakovich resolved to finish first this year and trained all winter on a customized treadmill at an incline of up to 40 percent, according to the Daily News.

He won Wednesday’s hill climb in 44:07, the fourth-fastest time in the history of the race, which is billed as one of Alaska’s top athletic events. Nearly 1,000 people participated.

Two-time champion Trond Flagstad, the head nordic coach at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, was second in 44:26. Matias Saari, who won in 2009 and was fourth last year, was third in 45:13.


Kowalczyk Wins Up the Alpe, Collects Third Tour Victory

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Score one for Justyna Kowalczyk.

For the first time in three years, the Polish skier got the better of Norwegian Marit Bjoergen in the premiere event of the ski season, dropping her rival partway up the climb of the Alpe Cermis to win the 2012 Tour de Ski.

While Bjoergen had the upper hand at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and at the 2011 World Ski Championships in Oslo, Kowalczyk finally broke through this time. She was 28 seconds faster than Bjoergen up the hill, with plenty of time to celebrate at the top.

“It has been a very big fight between me and Justyna,” Bjoergen said in a press conference afterwards. “Justyna was stronger than me.”

Therese Johaug (NOR) was the third woman to the top, giving her the final place on the overall podium, and also the fastest time of the day.

Kikkan Randall (USA) dropped two places from her start position, but still managed to hold on to 10th place in the overall. Her teammate Liz Stephen notched the 8th-fastest time of the day, moving her up to 24th overall, while Holly Brooks (USA) was 31st, giving her 39th place in the overall.

Link to full results from the day.

Link to overall results.