OMAK Two-time Olympians Sadie Bjornsen and Erik Bjornsen, siblings from Winthrop, are gearing up to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics Feb. 9-25 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The U.S. Nordic ski teams wrapped up competition prior to the Olympics with competition last weekend in Seefeld, Austria.
The women won two golds – Jessie Diggins, 26, took first in a 10K freestyle mass start on Sunday. It was her first win in a Cross-Country World Cup race of the 2017-18 season and fourth of her seven-year World Cup career.
Sadie Bjornsen finished eighth in a pack behind three leaders. Kikkan Randall (back for her fifth Olympics) was 14th.
Sophie Caldwell, 27, tied for first in a freestyle sprint on Saturday.
Also Sunday, Erik Bjornsen finished ninth in the men’s 15K freestyle mass start. Simi Hamilton was 12th.
Both results were career bests and just seconds behind winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland.
On Saturday, Sadie Bjornsen made the finals of the sprint, finishing sixth.
She is in the mix as a contender for the two-person freestyle team sprint (Feb. 21) at the Olympics along with Diggins (ranked third in overall World Cup standings) and Caldwell.
Sadie Bjornsen, 28, is ranked No. 7 in the overall while Caldwell is ranked third in sprint rankings.
This is by far the strongest U.S. cross country team since Bill Koch won silver in 1976.
For the men, Erik Bjornsen (the top distance contender for the U.S.) and Hamilton want to improve on their fifth-place finish in team sprint at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“Erik and I have been working beside each other since we were young kids racing each other to the finish line,” Sadie said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard.
“The Olympics were just a dream for us for so long and here we are in a whole new dream as we are headed to the Games with goals of winning Olympic medals!”
Two other sets of siblings will be skiing for the U.S. at the Olympics - Scott and Caitlin Patterson and Logan and Reese Hanneman.
Olympic cross-country skiing opens Feb. 10 with the women’s 15K skiathlon – combines classical and skating styles. Liz Stephen could be the top U.S. women.
The women’s team sprint is Feb. 21.
Sadie Bjornsen, who is better at the classic style than freestyle, has more than 20 Top-10 World Cup finishes.
She could also compete in a sprint classic Feb. 13, as will Diggins.
A women’s 4x5K is set for Feb. 17.
Randall, Stephen, Diggins and Sadie Bjornsen will be trying to improve on their ninth-place finish at Olympics in Sochi four years ago.
The men’s competition includes a skiathlon Feb. 11, 15K on Feb. 16 and 4x10K on Feb. 18.
Erik Bjornsen, 26, is considered a top sprinter and mid-distance skier in both techniques. He and Hamilton finished sixth in the classic team sprint at Sochi.
A men’s team sprint is Feb. 21.
A women’s 30K mass start (Feb. 24) and men’s 50K mass start (Feb. 25), both classic style, wrap up the Olympic competition.
Brian Gregg, who has relatives in the Methow Valley and now lives in Minnesota, received news Jan. 23 that he did not get named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic cross-country ski team.
“I thought I had one of the final spots,” he said on Facebook. “It is hard to work so hard for a goal and to come up short. I am so thankful for the support of my community, sponsors, friends and family. I feel that I have let you down, and I am sorry.
The Loup Loup Ski Team competed at the Apple Cup last weekend, Jan. 27-28, at Mission Ridge near Wenatchee.
“With over 200 racers, the Loup Ski Team came away with numerous kids on the podium,” reports coach Bret Alumbaugh. “They battled high winds on Saturday, which reduced the giant slalom to a one-run race. Winds in excess of 50 mph battered the racers and forced the cancellation of the second run.”
Sunday’s conditions were better with fog and freezing rain, which made the course icy, coach Alumbaugh said.
“Overall, a very successful first race of the season for the Loup Ski Team,” Alumbaugh said. “Carter Sheley finished third fastest overall in the men’s division for the weekend.
“We are looking forward to hosting the Wolf Chase Race on February 10th and 11th” at the Loup Loup Ski Bowl.
Saturday giant slalom results:
U10 – 22, Lilly Belcher. 26, Peyton Miller.
U14 – Maisy Shaw, dnf.
U8 – 5, Lyric Ashford.
U10 – 14, Luke Sawyer.
U12 – 2, Damon Alumbaugh.
U14 – 5, Carter Sheley. 8, Graham Sheley.
U10 – 16, Nella Belcher. 19, Lilly Belcher. 25, Peyton Miller.
U14 – 12, Maisy Shaw. Olivia Glenn, dnf
U8 – 7, Lyric Ashford. 10, Wyatt Schumacher.
U10 – 8, Luke Sawyer.
U12 – Damon Alumbaugh – dq
U14 – 3, Carter Sheley. 5, Graham Sheley.
Trap shooters in Omak and Tonasket were busy Sunday in the third week of eight in the Spokesman-Review Trapshoot Singles competition.
At Omak, 22 shooters attended with shooting also in handicap and doubles, reported Randy Clough.
Singles: 24, Mike Hodgson. 23, Don Calentine, Lance Skelton, Justin Dibble.
Ladies: 16, Linda Field. 8, Patty DeTro.
Sub-juniors: 22, Trevor Nessly. 12, William Rice.
Handicap: 21, Don Calentine, Jim DeTro, Lance Skelton. 20, Randy Clough, Tom Holsworth.
Doubles: 21, Don Calentine. 19, Clay Brown, Lance Skelton.
A total of 12 shooters from Tonasket, where it was snowing and cloudy, and Oroville, where it was windy and “spitting rain,” competed, said Paul Schwilke.
“But they hunkered down and enjoyed the shoot,” Schwilke said.
Singles: 24, Rick Linda, Jeff McMillan. 23, Doug McMillan, Lloyd Caton Jr., Jerry Asmussen. 21, Robert McDaniel, Josh McDaniel. 20, Logan Farris, Vern Cole. 18, George Miklos, Deven Sprague. 17, Paul Schwilke.
Handicap: 22, Lloyd Caton Jr., Jerry Asmussen, Doug McMillan. 21, Rick Lind, Josh McDaniel.
A volleyball camp tentatively is planned for June 18-20 at Okanogan.
Registration will be later this spring.
Tony Maranda of Seattle University is slated to be the coach. He will be assisted by college players.
The camp, I am told, will be for those in grades seven to 11 and broken into groups by skill and age.
Diana Sauceda and Vicky Harlan had a “Round the Horn” during Tuesday Night pinochle Jan. 23 at the Eagles in Okanogan.
High scores: 7,750, Lisa Turner. 7,370, Pat Byrd. 7,250, Valerie Murray. 6,850, Debbie Huehring.
Couples with 300 pinochle: Alvin Wadkins and Valerie Murray, Doug Ralston and Bonnie Niessner, Bonnie Niessner and Ida Laurie, Ida Laurie and Lisa Turner (twice), Pat Byrd and Millie Jewell, Pat Byrd and Jim Serles, Diana Sauceda and Vicky Harlan.
Al Camp is the sports editor at
The Chronicle. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.