Alaska Pacific University’s Kikkan Randall claimed a silver medal in the women’s classic-style sprint race in this season’s opening World Cup event in Kuusamo, Finland. It was the first day of cross-country ski racing.
The reigning world champion and three-time Olympian finished behind Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk in the 1.4 kilometer classic sprint race.
“I felt really strong all day and my skis were excellent in every round,” Randall said. “There is a big climb near the end of the course and my strategy was to save some energy to come over the top strong and carry the speed to the finish.”
Randall has never made the podium in a classic-style sprint race.
“She looked increasingly strong throughout the day,” U.S. coach Chris Grover said.
“Both her striding and her double-poling looked very powerful and efficient.
Two other American women placed in the top 30. Sadie Bjornsen came in 16th. Ida Sargent finished the race in 26th place. There are two more days of racing for both men and women.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.