RacingWorld CupHere Come More Americans: Your Guide to the U.S. Men Racing in Québec City and Minneapolis

Gavin Kentch Gavin KentchMarch 10, 2020
Kevin Bolger on his way to qualifying 16th overall and finishing 18th on the day: Planica, Slovenia’s World Cup skate sprint in December 2019. (Photo: NordicFocus)

You may have heard that the World Cup is returning not only to North America, but also to American soil, within the next few weeks. The world’s best skiers will be contesting sprint races in Québec City on March 14 and 15; a sprint in Minneapolis on March 17; and distance races plus a mixed relay in Canmore on March 20-22.

For all six races, including the five across the border, the U.S. has an expanded nation’s group start quota (thanks, Canada, for letting us count as Canadian for a week), meaning that a remarkable thirty skiers total will toe the line in that distinctive candy-cane uniform. Here is a brief overview of the fourteen men currently announced with start rights in the three sprints (some of the sprinters will not be racing in Canmore, where some distance-oriented athletes will have starts instead).

In alphabetical order, with pictures where available (an asterisk by a name denotes an athlete making his first World Cup start in Québec City):

Kevin Bolger of the U.S. Ski Team on his way to qualifying 32nd in the Ruka, Finland classic sprint in November 2019. (Photo: NordicFocus)

Kevin Bolger

Team and club: SVSEF Gold Team; United States Ski Team (USST) B-Team

Currently lives in: Idaho

Selected career highlights: 11th in his first-ever World Cup sprint, March 2018; 18th, skate sprint, 2019 World Championships; 1st, 2017 U.S. nationals classic sprint; 2nd, 2018 U.S. nationals skate sprint

Instagram page: @kevinbolger

Age: 26

Logan Diekmann as a University of Utah freshman (Courtesy photo)

Logan Diekmann*

Team and club: University of Utah

Currently lives in: Montana

Selected career highlights: 38th, 15km classic, 2020 U23 World Championships; 10th, classic sprint, 2020 U.S. nationals; 11 top-five finishes in RMISA races, member of 2017 and 2019 NCAA championship teams

Instagram page: @logandiekmann

Age: 22

In his return to World Cup sprinting, Simi Hamilton skis to 14th overall on Stage 3 of Ski Tour 2020. (Photo: NordicFocus)

Simi Hamilton

Team and club: Stratton Mountain School, or SMS; USST A Team

Currently lives in: Vermont

Selected career highlights: Three-time Olympian; four individual World Cup podiums, including one win; 6th, team sprint, both 2014 and 2018 Olympics; 9th, individual skate sprint, 2019 World Championships

Instagram page: @simihamilton

Age: 32

Logan Hanneman of the U.S. during the Falun, Sweden classic sprint qualifier in February 2020. (Photo: NordicFocus)

Logan Hanneman

Team and club: Alaska Pacific University, or APU

Currently lives in: Alaska

Selected career highlights: 2018 Olympian; 26th, 2019 World Championships; six individual top-30 World Cup results; two national championship podiums

Instagram page: @logan.hanneman

Age: 26

Peter Holmes during the qualifier in the 1.6 k classic sprint at the 2019 U23 World Championships in Lahti, Finland. (Photo: Doug Stephen)

Peter Holmes

Team and club: SVSEF Gold Team

Currently lives in: Idaho

Selected career highlights: 27th, classic sprint, 2019 U23 World Championships; multiple top-1o finishes, national championship and SuperTour sprints

Instagram page: @vacationholmes

Age: 24

Mulleted and proud: Luke Jager destroys the field, opening a gap of 25 seconds on the lead-off leg of the 2020 World Juniors relay earlier this month. (Photo: Doug Stephen)

Luke Jager*

Team and club: University of Utah/APU; USST D Team

Currently lives in: Alaska

Selected career highlights: Gold medal, relay, 2019 and 2020 World Juniors; silver medal, relay, 2018 World Juniors; 10th, 10km classic, 2020 World Juniors; 2nd American, classic sprint, 2020 U.S. Nationals; three podiums in RMISA races this season

Instagram page: @lukejageryo (also: @lukememesdank)

Age: 20

Noel Keeffe during the 1.6 k classic sprint qualifier at Junior World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland. (Photo: Doug Stephen)

Noel Keeffe

Team and club: University of Utah/Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club; USST D Team

Currently lives in: Colorado

Selected career highlights: 12th, classic sprint, 2019 World Juniors; 3rd, skate sprint, 2019 U.S. Nationals; three top-10 finishes in RMISA races; made World Cup debut in Oberstdorf earlier this season

Instagram page: @noel.keeffe

Age: 20

APU’s Tyler Kornfield (126) celebrates as he crosses the line first in the men’s 30-kilometer classic mass start on Sunday at 2018 U.S. Cross Country Championships in Anchorage, Alaska. Eric Packer (118) finished second and Denver University’s Eivind Romberg Kvaale (124) placed third.

Tyler Kornfield

Team and club: APU

Currently lives in: Alaska

Selected career highlights: 2018 Olympian; seven national championship podiums, including three national championships; 19th, skate sprint, 2014 U23 World Championships

Instagram page: @tkornfield

Age: 29

Forrest Mahlen (APU) racing to fifth in the men’s 1.4 k classic sprint qualifier in February 2020 at the SuperTour in Craftsbury, Vermont. (Photo: John Lazenby/Lazenbyphoto.com)

Forrest Mahlen*

Team and club: APU

Currently lives in: Alaska

Selected career highlights: 10th, classic sprint, 2019 U.S. Nationals; dozens of SuperTour top-10 finishes, including one victory; 3rd, 2018 Tour of Anchorage

Instagram page: @forrest_mahlen

Age: 26

Andy Newell during the sprint qualifier in Obertsdorf, Germany, in January 2020. (Photo: NordicFocus)

Andy Newell

Team and club: Bridger Ski Foundation

Currently lives in: Montana

Selected career highlights: Four-time Olympian; three individual World Cup podiums; 5th, classic sprint, 2007 World Championships; 7th, team sprint, 2015 World Championships; top-10 in Sprint Cup standings six times from 2006–2013; made the heats in every World Cup sprint he started for nearly a decade straight

Instagram page: @andynewellskier

Age: 36

Thomas O’Harra*

Team and club: APU

Currently lives in: Alaska

Selected career highlights: 6th, skate sprint, 2020 U.S. Nationals; 5th, 2019 American Birkebeiner; first, 2017 Tour of Anchorage; ten top-10 SuperTour finishes since 2016/2017 season

Instagram page: @thomasoharra

Age: 23

Ben Saxton races in the sprints at 2020 U.S. Nationals. (Photo: Reese Brown)

Ben Saxton

Team and club: SMS

Currently lives in: Vermont

Selected career highlights: six national championship podiums, including two national championships; dozens of SuperTour podiums; 54th, classic sprint, 2015 World Championships; 44th, Otepää classic sprint, 2018/2019 World Cup season

Instagram page: @saxtonskier

Age: 26

Gus Schumacher skis the final leg of the men’s relay at World Juniors earlier this month. (Photo: Doug Stephen)

Gus Schumacher

Team and club: Alaska Winter Stars; USST D Team

Currently lives in: Alaska

Selected career highlights: Gold medal, relay, 2019 and 2020 World Juniors; silver medal, relay, 2018 World Juniors (anchor leg for all three races); gold medal, 10km classic, 2020 World Juniors; two podiums at 2020 U.S. Nationals, including one national championship; 41st time of day, 15km pursuit, 2019 Québec City World Cup

Instagram page: @gus.schumacher

Age: 19

Senior men Logan Hanneman, Hunter Wonders, and Tyler Kornfield. (photo: courtesy CCAK)
From left, Logan Hanneman, Hunter Wonders, and Tyler Kornfield make up the podium at a December 2018 Besh Cup race. (photo: courtesy CCAK)

Hunter Wonders*

Team and club: APU

Currently lives in: Alaska

Selected career highlights: National champion, classic sprint, 2020 U.S. Nationals; 8th place, 15km classic, 2020 U23 World Championships; fifth place, mixed relay, 2020 U23 World Championships; six top-10 SuperTour or NorAm finishes, including two podiums

Instagram page: @wonderboy_hup77

Age: 21

 

* The athlete is making his World Cup debut in Québec City.

Gavin Kentch

Gavin Kentch

Gavin Kentch is a lifelong Alaskan. He skis with the Alaska Pacific University Masters team in Anchorage, plays with his two adorable daughters, and occasionally works as a solo attorney. He has a cat named Marit. He was probably on snow this year before you were.

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