CampsTrainingUSSA Names NTG Participants

Avatar Topher SabotJune 8, 20109

With just several days before the first-ever National Training Group camp in Park City, USSA has released a list of participants, including many of the top young skiers in the country.

Dartmouth's Rosie Brennan, Ida Sargent, and Sophie Caldwell lead an Eastern Collegiate race this year. All three will be at the NTG camp.

The group is led by Ida Sargent, currently attending Dartmouth College and a member of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project. With a strong season, Sargent established herself as arguably the second-best female sprinter in the US behind only Kikkan Randall. She placed an impressive 4th in the U23 Championship sprint in Hinterzarten, Germany, and was the runner-up to Randall in the classic sprint at the SuperTour finals.

She is joined by newly minted Alaska Pacific University (APU) skier Sadie Bjornsen, who also performed well internationally, racing at World Juniors and in a number of European Continental Cup events.

Former US Ski Team (USST) members, Rosie Brennan and Alexa Turzian will also be in attendance.

On the mens side, the charismatic Tad Elliott heads an impressive group that also includes another former USST athlete Matt Gelso, and Alaskan up-and-comers David Norris and Reese Hanneman.

19 of the 25 participants are either currently enrolled in college, graduated this spring, or will be starting their freshman year in the fall.  One other skier graduated a year ago.  Dartmouth College is impressively represented with seven athletes attending the camp.  The University of Colorado is sending four past or current skiers.

United States World Cup sprint star Andy Newell will attend a some of the camp workouts, and will also participate in the sprint time trial.

A full report on the upcoming camp can be read here.

2010-11 Cross Country National Training Group
Ida Sargent, Craftsbury Green Team, Dartmouth College
Sadie Bjornsen, Methow Olympic Development Team / APU
Rosie Brennan, NSF / Dartmouth College
Alexa Turzian, SVSEF / CU
Becca Rorabaugh, APU
Caitlin Patterson, Alaska Winter Stars / UVM
Sophie Caldwell, SMS / Dartmouth College
Joanne Reid, Auburn Ski Club / CU
Kate Dolan, BSF / DU
Annie Hart, Minneapolis Ski Club / Dartmouth College
Jessie Diggins, CXC
Isabel Caldwell, SMS / Dartmouth
Tad Elliot, Durango Nordic / CXC
Matt Gelso, Auburn Ski Club / CU
Sylvan Ellefson, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail
Reid Pletcher, SVSEF, CU
Pat Johnson, Alaska Winter Stars, Middlebury College
Reese Hannemann, FAST / APU
David Norris, FAST / UAF
Scott Patterson, Alaska Winter Stars / UVM
Sam Tarling, BMA / Dartmouth College
Andrew Dougherty, Alaska Winter Stars / DU
Eric Packer, Alaska Winter Stars / Dartmouth College
Tyler Kornfield, Alaska Winter Stars / UAF
Erik Bjornsen, Methow Olympic Development Team

Read the USSA press release here.

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Topher Sabot

Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.

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9 comments

  • Avatar
    crashtestxc

    June 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    These choices appear to be blatantly biased and not representative of the “best young skiers in the US”.

    Why not host a camp and be able to rightfully say that “ALL” the top juniors and U-23 athletes will be in attendance.

    What is the objective criteria to qualify for this camp, or does a prospective junior just have to set everything aside and hope that he or she is chosen to attend this camp?

    Here’s an example of overall points based on the last USSA ranking list through last season for people born 1987-1995 (which includes all junior and U-23 athletes):

    *Note: Simi Hamilton (1) and Noah Hoffman (3) are already on the USST B Team.

    Overall Ranking of all U-23/Junior Athletes in U.S Attending NTG Camp:

    Tad Elliot 2
    Matt Gelso 4
    Sylvan Ellefson 5
    David Norris 6
    Reid Pletcher 7
    Pat Johnson 8

    **seems straight-forward, until we carry on!

    Scott Patterson 10
    Sam Tarling 14
    Andrew Dougherty 15
    Eric Packer 18
    Tyler Kornfield 19
    Reese Hanneman 20
    Eric Bjornsen 38

    Why were the athletes ranked 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 16th, 17th, 21st-37th omitted from this camp?

    Clearly the “TOP” junior and U-23 athletes are not in fairly represented at this NTG camp! This is a blight in ignoring those other skiers.

    USST, Please tell me how this NTG group was selected and how a junior/U-23 athlete can qualify for the camp in 2011?

  • Avatar
    Zach Hudson

    June 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Overall Ranking of all U-23/Junior Athletes in U.S Attending NTG Camp:

    Tad Elliot 2
    Matt Gelso 4
    Sylvan Ellefson 5
    David Norris 6
    Reid Pletcher 7
    Pat Johnson 8

    **seems straight-forward, until we carry on!

    Scott Patterson 10 -World Junior 2010 (top qualifier)
    Sam Tarling 14 -World Juniors team
    Andrew Dougherty 15
    Eric Packer 18- World Juniors team
    Tyler Kornfield 19 -World Juniors National Classic Sprint Champion
    Reese Hanneman 20- World U23 team member
    Eric Bjornsen 38 3x World Juniors team raced in Europe exstensvely this season

    hmmm still seems pretty straightforward to me. The USSA ranking list is fairly meaningless, especially for Junior/U23 racers. While there are still a couple of omissions it is possible, even likely, that they were invited and declined the invitation due to injury or personal reasons.

    It seems to me that a comment based only on the ranking list is fairly uninformed, especially since the skiers you name in your non- straight forward list are some of the most accomplished skiers in the country. So clearly the TOP U.S. juniors are represented in the NTG!

  • Avatar
    crashtestxc

    June 8, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Okay, so obviously you believe the “World Juniors” qualification to be the metric of deciding who attends the NTG camp.

    “While there are still a couple of omissions it is possible, even likely, that they were invited and declined the invitation due to injury or personal reasons.”

    I highly doubt that these people were ever informed of a camp in anyway!!

    The usst *MUST* figure out some objective criteria for deciding who goes to these camps. If it is in fact qualifying for World Juniors, placing in the top-10 on the USSA or FIS ranking list, or having a race below a certain marker, then so be it!

    But “let it be known”….!

  • Avatar
    skierout

    June 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Okay Crash,

    When you say you, “highly doubt” it sounds like you don’t really know, so maybe you shouldn’t pretend like you do.

    Maybe there is a mix of objective and subjective. Maybe some kids were offered, but declined. I would imagine if one of the kids ranked higher on the list contacted Whitcomb and said, “Hey, I really want in this camp” they would make room for him.

    I don’t think it is a “MUST” to pick a team or a camp solely on objective criteria. They don’t do it in all of the other sports when they pick AAU travel squads, or Select Camps.

    It seems like they have a pretty damn good group of skiers in this mix and I’m excited that it’s happening.

  • Avatar
    gfunk

    June 9, 2010 at 1:44 am

    YES DARTMOUTH

  • Avatar
    goneskiing

    June 9, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Perhaps Crash is fired up because maybe he in fact is a young man who is ranked well within the group of boys named… That would explain alot. He probably wasn’t invited but has spent seasons rubbing shoulders with these other boys, beating other boys… and then a group of boys is named without clear criteria. If I were him I would be wondering why I wasn’t included as well.
    You don’t have to pick a team camp SOLELY off objective criteria but it should dang sure be a starting point. For example, look at major events (junior worlds, u23s, NCAAs, junior nationals) have a set number of spots that are based on performance…. junior world and u23 participants, top ranked u23/jrs competing at the NCAA level, perhaps look at junior nationals. Take a set number (range) from performance lists, look at USSA rankings, USSA histories, and then have a set number of discretionary spots. This way junior athletes can physically see what they need to accomplish to take the “next step through the pipe line” of the USST.
    Then perhaps crash could say, well….they really wanted kids with international racing experience, huh? maybe next season I will sacrifice the money fly across the country and race senior nationals.

  • Avatar
    Zach Hudson

    June 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I guess a large part of my point is that the points list is not necessarily a good measurement of skier quality, those skiers who are selected to ski at world juniors/U23 often miss large portions of the domestic race season and lose out on opportunities to have good points races that count for the NRL. I don’t disagree that there should be publicized criteria for attending the NTG camp, I was just attempting to defend a group of very accomplished skiers that Crash seemed to be saying were not deserving of a spot at the NTG. I never said that making the world Juniors team should be a qualifying standard, but it is a pretty good measure of athletes who have both the commitment to achieving success at a high level and of those capable of doing it. I think we can all agree that there should be published criteria for how one becomes eligible for the NTG camp, but even without that the USST has done a pretty good job of selecting deserving athletes for this year’s camp.

  • Avatar
    skierout

    June 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the published criteria for this camp. Stop your whining, people. You act like so many kids got snubbed when you don’t even know the background story. These are some damn good skiers in this group and it’s a good thing that they’re getting together.

  • Avatar
    crashtestxc

    June 9, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I wasn’t trying to slight anyone that is actually attending the camp.

    My main point is that USST should release PRIOR to the camp, the criteria for qualifying, whether it be totally discretionary or objective.

    People should have an idea of what it takes to make this camp. Instead of “hoping” that their name is drawn randomly out of a hat.

    skierout: would you mind providing a link to the published criteria?

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