Olympic cross-country skier Sadie Bjornsen found her way to the podium for the second weekend in a row with a third-place finish Saturday in the women’s sprint classic at the world cup in Lillehammer, Norway.
The 28-year-old led a strong showing by Team USA, which saw three top-10 finishers. Jessie Diggins finished sixth and Sophie Caldwell was ninth in the race.
This was the third career individual world cup podium for Bjornsen, who finished in 3:24.99. She took second place in the season-opening sprint classic on Nov. 24 in Kuusamo, Finland, and finished third in the 5-kilometer freestyle in Toblach, Italy, on Jan. 6, 2017.
With her finishes, Bjornsen has met the qualification criteria for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Cross-Country Skiing Team, though must wait until later in the season to see how her teammates perform.
The Winthrop, Washington, native competed in the relay, the 10K classic and the skiathlon at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.
Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla won the women’s sprint on Saturday in 3:19.98 and Finland’s Krista Parmakoski was second at 3:22.05, while Bjornsen’s time was 3:24.99. She finished first in qualifying with a time of 3:22.45.
Bjornsen’s brother and fellow 2014 Olympian, Erik Bjornsen, recorded the best finish for the U.S. men, coming in 35th.
The event continues Sunday with the first skiathlon of the season, a mixed technique 7.5K/7.5K for the women and 15K/15K for the men.