Sophie Caldwell competes at the FIS nordic world cup Oberstdorf on Jan. 26, 2020 in Oberstdorf, Germany.
Sophie Caldwell Hamilton scored her first podium finish of the season Saturday at the world cup stop in Dresden, Germany, the top performer on a strong weekend overall for U.S. skiers.
Caldwell Hamilton essentially spent all day in second place, finishing second in the quarterfinals, semifinals and then the finals, .32 seconds behind Switzerland’s Nadine Faehndrich. Slovenia’s Anamarija Lampic ran third, ahead of Caldwell Hamilton’s U.S. teammate Jessie Diggins.
Caldwell Hamilton earned her first podium finish since Dec. 14, 2019, and the two-time Olympian now ranks fourth in the sprint world cup standings.
“I felt better and better as the day went on and was definitely motivated by the success of my teammates throughout the day,” Caldwell Hamilton told U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “It was a course filled with turns and bumps and broken poles, which made an exciting day and I was thrilled to land on the podium.”
The fourth-place finish for Diggins was a season-best for her as well. Caldwell Hamilton and Diggins were two of four U.S. skiers on Saturday to advance to the finals across the men’s and women’s competitions. On the men’s side, Kevin Bolger and Simi Hamilton also advanced to the finals, with Bolger finishing a career-best sixth and Hamilton finishing fifth.
Eight U.S. skiers at least advanced to the heats, a career first for Hannah Halvorsen, who made the quarterfinals. She was joined by Julia Kern, who made the semifinals. Logan Hanneman made the semis on the men’s side, while J.C. Schoonmaker made the quarters.
Rosie Brennan, the overall world cup leader, did not compete in Dresden to focus on preparation for January’s Tour de Ski. Diggins moved up to eighth overall and Caldwell Hamilton is 16th. Bolger and Hamilton each rank in the sprint top 10.
After their strong performances on Saturday, the skiers regrouped and teamed up for Sunday’s freestyle team sprint finals. The team of Caldwell Hamilton and Diggins led the way for the U.S. women, threatening for a podium spot but finishing fourth. Halvorsen and Kern also made the final, finishing eighth. Bolger and Hamilton led the way for the men, finishing ninth.