NORTH ELBA, NY – On Friday morning was the mixed team sprint semifinals and Mt. Van Hoevenberg during the FISU World Games and finals for cross-country and a Vermont Catamount had a top three finish.

Rain poured in the early morning hours, but right as the races were set to begin at 9 a.m., big snowflakes began to fall. The rain affected the conditions during the semifinals, but U.S. skiers Finn Sweet, a sophomore at UVM, and his racing counterpart, Renae Anderson an graduate of Maine’s Bowdoin College did what was needed to finish the semifinals within the 10 qualifiers. That moved them to the finals where they finished in second place.

“[We] kinda came into the day with not really a ton of expectations, just looking to have fun,” said Sweet, following the podium finish. “We had a solid semifinal in the kind of questionable conditions. Then we hit the final and our skis came together and the team kind of nailed it.”

While Sweet, a Waterbury, VT native, got the U.S. out to a good start in the finals, it was Anderson who finished strong. She began the final lap in third place, but found an extra gear to claim second for her team. “Just trusting that in the last one, my skis were gonna be feeling good,” said Anderson. “I just wanted to let loose on the last hill and it felt good.”

With the podium finish was secured, Sweet’s college teammates weren’t far from his mind. “I know it means as much to the UVM athletics community as it does to me,” said said. “I just thank all of them for their support to help us be the best athletes we can be.”

The newest Catamount hero said this experience at Lake Placid is unlike any competition he’s done before. “Coming here and being able to represent the U.S., but also being able to represent college athletics in the United States is really cool.”

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The FISU World Games will continue through January 22. Stay up to date with the events on mychamplainvalley.com.