RUMFORD, ME (Jan. 9) – The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team selected 13 athletes Saturday in Rumford, ME at the 2011 U.S. Cross Country Championsips to represent the U.S. in the 2011 World U-23 Cross Country Ski Championships. The World U-23 Ski Championships will be held in Otepaa, Estonia Jan. 27-31.
Athletes from different clubs and colleges, from east to west, will gather in Estonia with hopes of winning a World U-23 title. The U.S. skiers are strong, showcasing two 2010 U.S. champions, World Cup skiers and a former U-23 World Champion fourth place finisher.
“The U-23 Championships is the launch pad for World Cup racing. An exceptional performance at this event opens doors,” said World U-23 Head Coach Matt Whitcomb. “These U.S. athletes have competed internationally on multiple occasions, and their opportunity for success against the best in the world for their age is at a high.”
Leading the seven person men’s team are 2010 U.S. Champion Tad Elliot (Durango, CO) and the U.S. Ski Team’s Noah Hoffman, who has placed solid top 35 results in two World Cups this season. For the women, Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT), who earned a fourth at World U-23s last year, and 2010 U.S. champion Sadie Bjornsen (Methow, WA) will front the six person women’s team.
Over the course of five days, the USA skiers will compete in three events, beginning with the men’s and women’s 15/10k free technique Jan. 27. The Championships will end Jan. 31 with the men’s and women’s 30/15k pursuit.
“A podium at this event tends to be on par with a top-30 in a World Cup event,” explained Whitcomb of the level of the field that competes in the World U-23 Ski Championships.
The World U-23 Ski Championships is coupled with the World Junior Ski Championships which begins on Jan. 26.
2011 World U-23 Ski Championship Team
Tad Elliot, Durango, CO (Central Cross Country Skiing)
David Norris, Fairbanks, AK (University of Alaska-Fairbanks)
Alexander Treinen, Anchorage (University of Alaska-Fairbanks)
Reese Hanneman, Fairbanks, AK (Fairbanks Alaska Ski Team)
Noah Hoffman, Aspen, CO (Aspen Valley Ski Club)
Eric Packer, Anchorage (Dartmouth College)
Reid Pletcher, Hailey, ID (University of Colorado)
Ida Sargent, Orleans, VT (Dartmouth College)
Sadie Bjornsen, Methow, WA (Alaska Pacific University)
Jennie Bender, Johnson, VT (Central Cross Country Skiing)
Sophie Caldwell, Peru, VT (Dartmouth College)
Caitlin Patterson, Anchorage (University of Vermont)
Rebecca Rorabaugh, Hanover, NH (Alaska Pacific University)
Matt Whitcomb, World Junior Head Coach, U.S. Ski Team
Bryan Fish, U23 Head Coach, U.S. Ski Team
Randy Gibbs, Head Service, U.S. Ski Team
Andrew Johnson, Service, University of Vermont
Casey Fagerquist, Service, Alaska Pacific University
Justin Beckwith, Service, Green Mountain Valley School
Amy Caldwell, Coach, Boulder Nordic Sport
Daniel Weiland, Coach, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail
2011 World U-23 Ski Championship Schedule
Thurs., Jan. 27 Men’s and women’s 15/10k free
Sat., Jan. 29 Men’s and women’s 1.4/1.2k classic sprint
Mon., Jan. 31 Men’s and women’s 30/15k pursuit