Randall led yet another historic day for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, finishing second in a 5k freestyle race at the Ruka Triple mini-tour in Kuusamo. It was Randall’s second straight distance podium and a career best for a non-sprint. She led four American women into the Top 18 while Noah Hoffman set a career best with a breakthrough 19th in the men’s 10k. The Ruka Triple concludes with a skiathlon, or pursuit, on Sunday. Norway’s Marit Bjoergen took the win while Alexander Legkov of Russia won the men’s.
With Randall’s 2nd place finish in the 5k freestyle race, she now stands alone at second in the Ruka Triple as well as in the overall FIS World Cup! Holly Brooks is currently 10th in the World Cup standings.
Following Saturday’s events, Randall said, “Today was a fantastic day. To finish second was a bit of redemption from a disappointing sprint yesterday (Friday). Now I’m sitting second overall going into the race tomorrow (Sunday). I skied a strong, steady race picking up places as I went through the course. It was definitely Alaska-like conditions out here. I wore some tape on my face, but still froze my hands a bit. Another big day for the team with four girls in the Top 20 plus Noah got his first Top 20. It was a nice reward for the coaches and techs here who have worked so hard.”
Holly Brooks had this to say regarding her place in the race: “I had nothing but good thoughts headed into the 5k today. This was my breakthrough race last year so it’s slightly nostalgic! I knew that I needed to ski hard from the start. I am psyched for tomorrow (Sunday). It should be an action packed yo-yo out there. The course skis just like a set of intervals. A really hard climb followed by a restful downhill – then we’ll do it again three more times!”