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Yeaton Eighth in World University Games Sprint

Jessica Yeaton racing in the 2013 NCAA Championships in Middlebury, Vermont.

Jessica Yeaton racing in the 2013 NCAA Championships in Middlebury, Vermont.

Jessica Yeaton (Alaska Pacific University) finished eighth in the freestyle sprint at World University Games. Held Sunday, it was the opening competition of the weeklong event, which is being held in Strbske Pleso, Slovakia. An Australian native, Yeaton graduated from Montana State University and is training with APU while shooting for the 2018 Olympics.

The sprint was won by Anastassiya Slonova of Kazakhstan, a 2014 Olympian who bested Poland’s Ewelina Marcisz by 0.18 seconds in the final. Svetlana Nikolaeva of Russia placed third.

Representing the United States, Sierra Jech and Elise Sulser placed 41st and 43rd. Catherine Schmidt and Yara Thomas followed in 49th and 50th.

In the men’s sprint Russia swept the podium with Andrey Larkov, Anton Gafarov, and Raul Shkirzianov. Larkov recently had two top-10’s in Tour de Ski stages; Gafarov was 12th in the sprint at the 2014 Olympics and has two World Cup sprint podiums. They were rivaled by Poland’s Maciej Starega, the only Pole to score World Cup points so far this season and a top-ten sprinter himself.

University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Max Olex, skiing for his native Germany, placed 15th after just missing the semifinals. The University of Vermont’s Joergen Grav finished 18th for Norway. University of Colorado’s Arnaud du Pasquier, who made his World Cup debut for Switzerland in Davos earlier this season, placed 43rd and is no doubt looking forward to distance racing. Former University of New Mexico standout Aku Nikander, back in his native Finland, placed 61st.

Kyle Bochanski led the U.S. contingent, placing 71st. His teammates Benjamin Noren, Taylor Vignaroli, Samuel Wiswell, and Sindre Solvang placed 74th, 79th, 80th, and 84th, respectively. All attend the University of Wyoming.

Results: women / men

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