US Nationals: Koos, diggins repeat in skate sprint
Mark Twain once said, “If you don't like the weather in New England, wait 15 minutes.”
At the US Cross Country Championships they waited 24 hours and it made all the difference.
Postponed by warm temperatures, the opening sprints were held in low single digit temps with repeat winners for both genders. Torin Koos got the men's title, his sixth, and Jessie Diggins the women's trophy, her second. Both skiers also won last season's skate sprint title competitions.
Dakota Blackhorse von Jess got second and Tyler Kornfield third for the men and Caitlin Gregg and Jennie Bender went two-three for the women, giving Central Cross Country (CXC) a podium sweep.
The win was no shoo-in for Koos despite his previous successes. He has battled both a shoulder injury and a go around with mono over the past six months.
“I needed this,” he told SkiTrax. “I feel like my season is just getting going. After what I have gone through I just hope I can get back to the level I was before.”
Koos was only sixth in qualifying and top ranked Blackhorse von Jess forced a viciously fast pace, so he had his work cut out for him.
Diggins was completely in her element, winning qualifications and leading her team to a sweep. “That's the best part,” she said while posing with teammates for a post race photo. “It was the most amazing feeling.”
She said she was, “still learning everyday and still working on my technique.”
Junior titles went to Austin Cobb and Carly Wynn.
Top three women charge to finish in USSA Photo by Bryan Fish.