Masters, Soule win overall cross-country world cup titles

By Katie Branham | March 21, 2015, 10:06 a.m. (ET)

SURNADAL, Norway – Oksana Masters and Andy Soule claimed the overall IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup cross-country titles on a three-medal day for Team USA at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup Finals in Norway.

Masters (Louisville, Kentucky) and Lt. Cmdr. Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas) won gold in the middle distance cross-country race, while Soule grabbed bronze.

Masters not only won gold, but also capped her season with an overall world cup cross-country title. During the 2014-15 season, Masters won nine cross-country world cup medals, with seven golds and two silvers. Masters also won two cross-country medals at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships in Cable, Wisconsin with two silvers and one bronze.

“I felt really good today,” Masters said. “It was a hard race but my skis were fast, and I felt good. This is a great way to end the cross-country season. Everything has been pretty perfect here.”

Soule managed his first podium in Norway as he took third in the men's sitting class. Soule had the best season of his career as he won the most world championship medals of any U.S. skiier with five medals. In cross country competition, Soule racked up five world cup medals, with four golds and one bronze, and three cross-country medals at the world championships.

“It is a great feeling and a great finish to the season,” Soule said. “This took a lot of hard work by myself, my teammates, my coaches and wax techs. This is just a great end to the season.”

Today's win was was a repeat of Cnossen's victory in the middle distance cross-country race four weeks ago in Asahikawa, Japan.

“I was getting updates from the coaches during the race that it was a really tight race between Alexei Bychenok and myself,” Cnossen said. “I was really happy for Andy [Soule] who came in third and got the world cup overall win today, that is even better. Our team had a great performance today.”

World cup competition concludes tomorrow with the biathlon individual event. Full results and more information are available at Paralympic.org.