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Brennan Podiums in Trondheim; Diggins Fourth, Ogden Eighth

By Leann Bentley - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
December, 17 2023
rosie brennan
Rosie Brennan celebrates her second place result in the 10k classic. (NordicFocus)

In the final race of a three-race series in Trondheim, Norway, the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team athletes were once again back on top with Rosie Brennan on the podium in second, Jessie Diggins only seconds behind in fourth and Ben Ogden in eighth in the 10k classic.

The classic tracks were wet from moisture, the air was warm and the start list was packed with talent. Athletes skied around the course twice, racking up 11k of trail when it was all said and done. Among the seven American men starters, Ogden led the way. At each time check, he was in the mix, skiing a smart and tactical race, honing in on his classic ski strength to finish in eighth. Not far behind was the young Alaskan Zanden McMullen in 29th, adding another World Cup top-30 result to his resume. 

For the women, Brennan reaffirmed her dominance, showcasing her versatility in every event. Starting conservatively, Brennan accelerated mid-race and never relinquished her podium position. At the 5.2k mark, she trailed the leader by a mere 10 seconds, closing the gap the more she skied. In the final stretch, Brennan put down a powerful sprint, crossing the line in second place, just two seconds ahead of Sweden's Ebba Andersson and 19 seconds behind the day's victor, Victoria Carl of Germany. Diggins was just off the podium in fourth place. 

Reflecting on the team's exceptional performance, Brennan said, "It's been an incredibly strong start from our entire team. It's not something we planned, but we'll gladly take it. Our team is in excellent shape, skiing well, and things are moving in a positive direction."

After four weeks of racing, the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team closed out the first period of racing with one of the program's most impressive starts to a season in history. Throughout the 10 races, spanning four different venues and three countries, the team landed on the podium nine times, in both individual and team pursuits. Overall, the 23-athlete-strong roster is third in the Nations Cup standings, ahead of powerhouse countries like Finland, Germany, France and Italy. 

In the battle for the overall title, Jessie Diggins maintains her lead, with Brennan closely trailing in third—a historic positioning with two Americans occupying the top two spots. Individually, Brennan, currently ranked second in the World Cup overall, has consistently finished within the top 10 in every race of the season but one. On the men's side, Ben Ogden continues to make waves, securing another top-10 result and hovering on the edge of the top 10 in 11th place for the World Cup overall.

As the team looks back on the achievements of period one, there is much to celebrate—multiple podiums, outstanding skis in each race, career-best results and a strong sense of camaraderie within the team.

"Podiums are always fun for the team, and even when it’s coming from just one athlete," said Matt Whitcomb, Head Coach. "So imagine what it feels like to come out of period one with five athletes that have stood on it. And beyond that, we have new athletes in the top 30 and top 15 for the first time. We’ve built some depth, and that depth is like a ladder of possibility that extends down to the racers back home. More American athletes know they can do it. And they are going to. You’ll hear their names soon."

Anticipation builds for the upcoming Tour de Ski, with the American team emerging as the one to watch, but for now, the entire team will take a break for the holidays.