Team USA earns four top-10 finishes in distance events at Alberta World Cup
CANMORE, Alberta – On the third day of competition at the International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Cup in Canmore, Alberta, Team USA was challenged in distance events but managed four top-10 finishes.
In the men’s visually-impaired classification, 18-year-old Jake Adicoff and guide Reid Pletcher had their strongest performance of the week, placing eighth overall with a time of 1:02:12.8 on the 20k course.
“Jake Adicoff was very impressive today in his first 20k classic ever,” Farra said. “[He and Pletcher] paced really well and had a great fast lap moving ahead of a few other nations.”
Oksana Masters, who reached the podium with a bronze medal in the women’s 5-kilometer sit-ski race on Monday, was again the highest-placing female for Team USA on Thursday with an eighth-place finish in the women’s 10k sit-ski.
Masters, a Paralympic champion in rowing, crossed the line in 35 minutes, 54.4 seconds, less than three minutes back from overall winner Mariann Marthinsen of Norway.
U.S. teammate Monica Bascio, two-time Paralympic medalist in cycling, had her best race of the week as well, finishing just behind Masters in ninth place (37:35.4).
Ten-time Paralympic medalist in wheelchair racing Tatyana McFadden finished 12th overall (39:15.8), while Beth Requist, the current 10k sit-ski U.S. national champion, was 13th (42:17.0).
In the men’s 15k sit-ski race, Team USA struggled to keep pace with Russia’s powerhouse team, which took five of the top six spots. Vancouver 2010 Paralympic bronze medalist Andy Soule, however, managed a ninth-place finish in 41:57.6.
Team USA placed the remainder of its sit-skiers in spots 11-16 and 20, with Sean Halsted, Aaron Pike, Dan Cnossen, Travis Dodson and Jeremy Wagner all placing in the top 15.
U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing High Performance Director John Farra described the men’s sit-ski race as “not our best day, but great preparation on the Road to Sochi.”
Thursday marked the final day of cross-country events in Canmore, with the biathlon portion of competition set for Dec. 14-17.
Full results from the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup can be found at AlbertaWorldCup.com.
The U.S. Team that will compete at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will be named no later than Jan. 31, 2014, and will be determined on a points system that includes world cup results throughout the season.
Team USA will send 17 athletes in total to compete in Nordic skiing events in Sochi, a significant increase from the six-member team that competed at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
For more information, please contact Caryn Maconi, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-866-2196 or Caryn.Maconi@usoc.org.