Soule, Masters land on podium again at IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships

By Katie Branham | Jan. 31, 2015, 7:26 p.m. (ET)

CABLE, Wis. - Team USA won two medals on the final day of individual competition as Oksana Masters and Andy Soule won silver in the middle distance cross-country races at the International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Championships on Saturday.

Soule (Pearland, Texas), an Army veteran and 2010 Paralympic medalist, finished second in the men's sitting race behind Aleksandr Davidovich of Russia.

Soule has won more medals at the championships than any other U.S. athlete in recent history. Prior to the world championships, Soule had never finished on the podium in an international cross-country race; however, Soule now owns three cross-country medals after finishing on the podium in the sprint, middle and long distance races. In total, Soule has won two bronze and three silver medals during the championships.

“It was a good fast course today; they've done a fantastic job grooming it out, and I was able to ski well,” Soule said. “It's been just a beautiful event all around.”

Masters (Louisville, Kentucky), a three-time Paralympic medalist, won her second medal of the championships in an extremely competitive competition in the women's sitting class where only 12 seconds separated the top-four women. Masters finished only five seconds behind gold-medalist Andrea Eskau of Germany.

“I am really happy with my performance today,” Masters said. “I keep thinking of where I could make up those five seconds [to have beaten Eskau], but I think I skied as fast as I could. I'm just trying to follow in my teammate's footsteps and make my way to the podium.”

“Andy [Soule] and Oksana [Masters] both skied today’s race so well,” said U.S. Paralympics Nordic skiing head coach Eileen Carey. “It was a really tight competition, so every detail had to be totally dialed to hit the podium. They both paced it perfectly and executed technical aspects of the course really well. It was an amazing finish to the individual races at the world championships.”

Eleven-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland) finished ninth in the women's sitting race. On the men's side, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas) and Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota) also grabbed top-10 finishes as they placed sixth and ninth, respectively.

Other U.S. finishers in the sitting class included Sean Halstead (Rathdrum, Idaho) in 13th, Bryan Price (Belton, Missouri) in 15th and Augusto Perez (Syracuse, New York) in 17th. In the men's standing race, Omar Bermejo (Grand Rapids, Michigan) finished 21st.

The championships will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 1 with the relay events. A live stream of the competition is available at USParalympics.org. Complete results and competition schedules are available at Paralympic.org.