Kikkan Randall – is a third ski her secret weapon?
Kikkan was a member of the 2002 Olympic team and is a part of the APU program from Anchorage, Alaska. She is here along with team members James Southam, Collin Quinn Hurst, Erik Flora and Coach Jim Galanes.
Kikkan, you didn’t race in West Yellowstone? How are you prepared for these races and what are your plans and goals?
â€œI decided to skip the West Yellowstone races. The skiing was great in Anchorage and I have not spent a Thanksgiving at home for six years. There competition program is also tough with many races from now through Nationals. I also needed to get in some training.
I love the courses at Soldier Hollow and it’s nice to be in a warm place for a change. I’m not concerned about the altitude I’m used to racing at this elevation. We arrived five days ago. I’m planning on doing all five races. I have never done a sprint classic race before. I’m looking forward to it. It should be a good learning experience. It’s also good to race here and get ready for the U-23 Worlds — that’s my big goal for the season.
I have trained the best ever and am looking for podium finishes!â€
Andrew Johnson, US Ski Team Member — All-round skier
Zack skied for the University of Utah last year and is now a part of the Maine Winter Sports Center program. His main focus is sprint racing.
Zack, you placed 11th in the sprint race in West Yellowstone. Are you prepared to go fast again and what’s your strategy?
â€œI have been focusing 100% on sprint this year. It’s an experiment. I’m spending part of my time in Maine and some in Utah where I have been getting good help from the National Team coaches. They have helped me with max strength training and improving my technique. This will be my first ever sprint classic race but I feel prepared for it. Three of my four podium finishes in last years college races came in classic.
My strategy is to move my feet as fast as possible in the two uphills and have good momentum over the top of the hill.
I tested myself on the course on Wednesday and did it in approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds. My hardest competitors should be Newell, Coos and Cook.
Wendy should win the women’s raceâ€.