Team CXC's Jessie Diggins leads the pack in the A final over Caitlin Gregg and Jennie Bender in the opening freestyle sprint at the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships at Rumford's Black Mountain. (USSA/Bryan Fish)
RUMFORD, ME (Jan. 3) - Torin Koos (Wenatchee, WA), skiing out of the Bridger Ski Foundation, and Jessie Diggins ( ) picked up opening day freestyle sprint titles as the U.S. Cross Country Championships opened at Rumford's Black Mountain. The duo both repeated their freestyle titles from 2011 at Rumford. It was the sixth career U.S. title for Koos and second for Diggins. Dakota Blackhorse von Jess took silver and Tyler Kornfield bronze in men's, with Caitlin Gregg (Minneapolis) second and Jennie Bender (Johnson, VT) third as Central Cross Country (CXC) swept the women's podium. Action continues Thursday with men's 15k and women's 10k freestyle.
Sixth U.S. title for Torin Koos, second for Diggins
Koos and Diggins repeated as skate sprint champions
Koos swept both sprints at Rumford in 2011
Team CXC swept the women's podium led by the U.S. Ski Team's Diggins, who will join the World Cup team next week in Milan.
Caitlin Compton Gregg, a 2010 Olympian, took silver.
Jennie Bender, a World Junior and U23 Team member, was third.
Dakota Blackhorse von Jess, a Dartmouth graduate, moved up from a fifth last year in the classic sprint to take silver
Tyler Kornfield, the 2010 classic sprint champ, took bronze.
The event was delayed by one day due to warm weather. Temperatures dropped dramatically for the race.
The new schedule has the men's 15k and women's 10k freestyle on Thursday.
Organizers at Black Mountain in Rumford have done an amazing job in making snow and preparing courses for the U.S. Championships.