FasterSkier Cross-Country Skier of the Year
This award is given to the top North American cross-country skier.
Cross-Country Skier of the Year (women):
Kikkan Randall (USA). Kikkan’s season got off to a slow start, but she stepped it up when it mattered most, winning the first Championship medal ever by a US woman, when she took the Silver at the World Championships in Liberec. This race netted her the FasterSKier Performance of the Year.
In addition to her historic medal, Kikkan finished 6th in the World Cup sprint in Valdidentro, Italy in February. She scored World Cup points in 6 of 9 sprint starts and showed continued improvement in her distance racing, setting a personal best with a 23rd in the 10km classic in Kuusamo, Finland. She finished 26th in the same event at the World Championships and skied a strong first leg for the US relay team.
At the pre-Olympic World Cups in Whistler, Kikkan teamed with Liz Stephen to finish 4th in the Team Sprint, missing the podium by less than a second.
Kikkan also defended her National Title in the sprint – one of four National Championship medals this year, and climbed back into the World Cup Red Group by the end of the season.
Perhaps most impressively, she accomplished all of this after overcoming a dangerous health condition last spring. She is the repeat winner of this award.
Sara Renner (CAN). Sara firmly reestablished herself in the upper echelon of the World Cup. In her first full season back after a year off to have a child, Sara scored World Cup points in 9 of 14 starts, including three top-10 finishes. Her best performance came in the 10km classic in Valdidentro, Italy in February, where she finished 5th, just 11 seconds off the podium. She was 9th in the same event at World Championships, and teamed with Perianne Jones to finish 6th in the Team Sprint at those same Championships.
She finished the year ranked 21st in the overall World Cup rankings.
Cross-Country Skier of the Year (men):
Devon Kershaw (CAN). Kershaw joins Randall as a repeat winner of this award, buoyed by his versatility and consistency. Including World Championships, Kershaw had 29 starts on the World Cup this season, finishing in the top-30 20 times.
He finished the season ranked 18th overall in the World Cup, and was 14th in the distance standings. His best performance was a 3rd place result in the 15km classic handicap start during the Tour de Ski. He was also 5th in the Tour prologue and was battling in the top 10 in the Tour until illness struck. He still finished a solid 22nd in the event.
His best sprint finish of the season was an 8th in Whistler, and he scrambled for the Canadian relay team that took 5th at the World Championships. Kershaw led a break from the main pack, tagging off, along with Germany, 10 seconds up on the field.
Kershaw also finished an impressive 7th in the 50km classic in Trondheim, a performance that was overshadowed by teammate Alex Harvey’s 3rd. Overall he had six top-10 World Cup finishes.
Alex Harvey (CAN). Harvey, the FasterSkier Rookie of the Year and winner of the FasterSkier Performance of the Year, had an outstanding season. He finished with two World Cup podiums, one in the 50km classic in Trondheim, and one in the Team Sprint in Whistler. He had a total of four individual top-10 World Cup finishes and nine points scoring races. He also finished 6th in the four event World Cup final, and had a 4th and a 5th at the U23 World Championships in France.
He finished the season in the World Cup Red Group, and was ranked 26th in the overall World Cup. At the World Championships in Liberec, he was 22nd in the 30km pursuit and anchored the Canadian relay team that finished 5th.
He also started 11 Nor-Am races, winning three and finishing in the top 5 in all of them.
Andy Newell (USA). Newell has raised expectations to the highest level, and now nothing short of podiums seem to impress. But despite not breaking into the top-3 this season, and admittedly having an “off-year,” Newell remains the dominant force in North American sprinting. Including World Championships, Newell qualified for the heats in 11 of 12 starts. – the one miss coming when he fell during qualification. His best result of the season came in Rybinsk, Russia, where he was 5th and he had 6 top-12 finishes overall.
He also paired with Torin Koos to finish 4th in the Team Sprint in Dusseldorf. He finished the season ranked 15th in the sprint World Cup.
Kikkan Randall (USA)
Devon Kershaw (CAN)
FasterSkier Award Schedule