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Sports Notebook: Heise leads USA, Diggins to Olympics, Heitman USATF winner

Red Wing senior Taylor Heise scored two goals to lead Team USA to a 6-2 victory over Canada in the preliminary round of the U18 Women's World Championship in Dmitrov, Russia on Tuesday. The win gave Team USA the top seed out of Group A and a bye to the semifinals.

Five different players scored for Team USA against Canada, including five-straight to take a 6-1 lead in the second period. Heise, the team captain who was named player of the game, scored the team's fourth and fifth goals.

On Sunday, Heise scored the first and last goals for Team USA in an eventual 5-3 win over Russia. Team USA also beat Sweden, 2-1, in overtime on Saturday.

The semifinals take place Friday, with the bronze- and gold-medal games following on Saturday. Team USA has won three-straight golds.

Diggins going back to Olympics

Afton native Jessie Diggins qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics by finishing in the top eight three times, including a bronze in the 10-kilometer freestyle pursuit at the Tour de Ski in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on Monday. The finish was the first time an American has finished as high as third. The previous best was Diggins' fifth-place showing last year.

The games, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, begin Feb. 9. This will be the second Olympic Games for Diggins.

Heitman wins USATF award

Lake City's Ethan Heitman was named the Minnesota recipient of USA Track and Field's Boys’ High School Athlete of the Year award.

In June, Heitman placed third in both the long jump (22 feet, 1.23 inches) and the high jump (6-4) at the Class A state meet as a sophomore.

Heitman and all the other USATF Minnesota award winners will be recognized Feb. 3 at Braemar Country Club in Edina.

RE Sports

The Red Wing Republican Eagle covers local sports in Goodhue County and surrounding areas. 

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