As the Far West Elite Team heads into the 2014/2015 season, self-described program “recruiter” Martin Benes and team manager Roger Chaney reflect on the development of the team over the past four years.
While two Americans won Friday’s Frozen Thunder sprints, Canada had its revenge on Monday, taking four of six podium spots. In the men’s 10.8 k skate race, Devon Kershaw bested Kris Freeman by five seconds to take the win. In the Women’s 7.2 k race, biathlete Rosanna Crawford edged Liz Stephen for the win.
SMST2 Head Coach Gus Kaeding, 29, came to the striking realization this winter that he couldn’t see himself coaching in 10 years. With that in mind, he decided to plot a new future, which could include a master’s in finance. His contract is up at the end of June, but Kaeding plans to help Stratton transition to a new elite-team coach.
The 4 x 5 k relay made its way back into U.S. nationals for the first time in about 16 years, but with a new twist of two men and two women per team. APU showed its strength and depth early on, and its winning anchor, Kikkan Randall said she’s hoping the format makes it into the World Cup. She’s not alone.
Domestic racing continued with the SuperTour this past weekend in Craftsbury, Vt, where Caitlin Gregg podiumed in all three races, twice at the top, and second in the classic race to Rosie Brennan. On the men’s side, Scott Patterson captured two wins in a row, and Sam Naney took a victory in Sunday’s sprint.
The NorAm circuit resumed last weekend with the three-day Eastern Canadian Championships in Cantley, Quebec, where Graham Nishikawa and Alysson Marshall of the Canadian Senior Development Team both picked up two wins. Before the Western Championships Feb. 13-16, some are considering racing over in Europe.
Regardless of what happens with the official U.S. Olympic Nordic Ski Team naming on Wednesday, Caitlin Gregg says she’s happy. The last four years have been about balance, Gregg explains, and a journey with her husband that she wouldn’t trade for anything. “One of the greatest things though is that anticipation of not knowing that you made it,” she says.