Gavin Kentch

HomeAuthor 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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Team name and location: Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (APU, or APUNSC); Anchorage, Alaska Coaches: Erik Flora (head coach/director), Jack Novak (assistant coach) Current roster: Penny Smyth, APUNSC Marketing & Communications, writes: “Women’s Team: Rosie Brennan (USSS A Team), Hailey Swirbul (USSS A Team), Hannah Halvorsen (USSS D Team), Rosie Frankowski (World Cup Alternate), Becca Rorabaugh, Anna Darnell, Annie Gonzales, Marit Flora, Lily Pannkuk, Zoe Noble “Men’s Team: Logan Hanneman (USSS B Team), Scott Patterson (USSS B Team), David Norris...

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The following article was originally published on FasterSkier on February 24, 2004. It was reprinted from press releases from the U.S. Ski Team and Cross Country Canada. Andy Newell, who is now the head coach for the BSF Pro Team, had 220 individual World Cup starts in his career. His first ever start came the weekend before this: Stockholm, February 18, 2004, 1.1-kilometer classic sprint, 43rd in qualifying. That race was won by Norwegian Jens...

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Team name and location: Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation XC Gold Team (Sun Valley or SVSEF); Ketchum, Idaho Coach: Chris Mallory Current roster: Kevin Bolger, Katie Feldman, Sarah Goble, Sam Wood, Karl Schulz, Johnny Hagenbuch, Peter Holmes, Peter Wolter, Jake Adicoff Who’s new: Peter Wolter and Jake Adicoff Who’s missing: n/a Who’s still on this team, or otherwise involved in American skiing, from when we did this in 2012: No one; Simi Hamilton recently retired, and Patrick...

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Team name and location: Team Birkie; Minneapolis, Minnesota (also Hayward, Wisconsin) Coach: Caitlin Gregg (co-coach), Leo Hipp (co-coach), Jeremy Hecker (technique coach and wax tech) Current roster: For the men: Zak Ketterson, Christian Gostout, Andrew Millan, Tony Mathie, Brian Gregg; Women: Ingrid Thyr, Julie Ensrud, Jordan Schuster, Abbie Drach, Amanda Kautzer (focusing on biathlon) What’s new: “Everything,” Gregg writes. While elite teams have existed in the Midwest in the past, Team Birkie is new this year....

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Team name and location: SMS T2 Team; Stratton Mountain, Vermont Coach: Patrick O’Brien Current roster: Jessie Diggins, Julia Kern, Katharine Ogden, Alayna Sonnesyn, Lina Sutro (women); Ian Torchia, Bill Harmeyer, Ben Ogden, Will Koch (men) Who’s new: Lina Sutro, coming from the University of Vermont ski team Who’s moved on: Sophie Caldwell Hamilton and Simi Hamilton, who celebrated their second wedding anniversary earlier this year, retired from pro skiing last spring and are beginning a new life...

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Team name and location: Bridger Ski Foundation Nordic Pro Team (BSF); Bozeman, Montana Coaches: Andy Newell (Nordic Pro Team), Hannah Cole (Post Grad Team) Current roster: Finn O’Connell, Graham Houtsma, Hannah Rudd, Lauren Jortberg, Leah Lange, Logan Diekmann, Mariah Bredal, Reid Goble, Simon Zink, Erika Flowers Who’s still on this team, or otherwise involved in American skiing, from when we did this in 2012: No one; Torin Koos and Leif Zimmermann haven’t raced in years,...

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GOVERNMENT PEAK RECREATION AREA, above Palmer, Alaska — High-end nordic ski racing was last seen in this country in mid-April, when a bevy of national-team members who call Alaska home competed in a pair of FIS races in mid-winter conditions, followed by a more vernal 2,000’ hill climb the following weekend. Less than seven months later, as Alaska kicks off another season of ski racing, little has changed: the country’s deepest domestic fields, single-digit temps,...

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We tend to highlight World Cup races on this website, but those results, and those athletes, don’t happen in a vacuum. Skiers are made in the summer, as the well-worn saying accurately has it, and summer training means time spent with a domestic ski club. So we’re going to be highlighting the athletes on several prominent American ski clubs over the next few weeks, only a small portion of whom will be starting on the...

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It is the season of darkness.  When I first thought of this piece, on November 1, Anchorage had 8 hours, 27 minutes, and 57 seconds of daylight. That’s a moving target, however, as we’re losing roughly 5.5 minutes a day. Another week has gone by, and we’ve moved an additional 38 minutes to the darkness side of the ledger.  You can do the math on your own, but at some point sunset...

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FasterSkier often publishes long profiles of athletes. This is not that article. Instead, please enjoy precisely 22 words about each of the 21 athletes currently on the U.S. Ski Team in this extremely brief, but numerically pleasing, preview of the 2021/2022 season. Athletes are presented alphabetically within each team, with age as of this season’s first World Cup race. All photos are screenshots from the current USST roster site. Any evocation of a certain song by...

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The following article was originally published on FasterSkier on October 15, 2008. It was written by CXC (Central Cross Country Skiing) athletes Kristina Owen and Heather Zimmerman. Roughly contemporary photos have been added for this reprinting; the pictures that originally appeared with this article are no longer available. The piece is simultaneously from very much another era, yet also completely timeless. On the one hand, “Caitlin Compton” now has a different last name; Jessie Diggins,...

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We’re almost as old as the SNS Pilot binding system: FasterSkier turns 20 years old this season. The site went live on February 1, 2002, a week before the Winter Olympics began in the Salt Lake City backyard of site founders Torbjorn Karlsen and Cory Smith. While the first few months worth of coverage has been lost to the sands of time, or at least to the ravages of our CMS system (2002 Olympics coverage...

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This summer, the U.S. Ski Team announced that it had hired Greta Anderson as the new Development Team Coach. FasterSkier caught up with Anderson on the afternoon of the official announcement to delve deeper into her coaching philosophy, precise job description, and only sort of tongue-in-cheek plans for world domination. Anderson’s hire was widely praised by both current and former athletes. Here’s Luke Jager, who’s known Anderson for nearly a decade starting in Alaska junior...

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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. In fall 2021, following last-minute revelations that a long-promised fluoro-detecting device did not, actually, work as efficiently as planned, FasterSkier previewed an upcoming domestic race season in which U.S. Ski & Snowboard-sanctioned races would ban the use of fluorocarbon waxes, but anything would be fair game at FIS races. (For an overview of the difference between the sanctioning bodies and the rankings lists they generate, see...

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An autumnal survey of who’s got early snow is somewhere between a trope and a cliché in these pages. Consider, for example, “Early Season at Hatcher Pass: A Photo Essay,” “Early-Season Snow: A Photo Roundup,” or “Alaskans Revel in October Skiing at Hatcher Pass, Birch Hill” (with photos). You may sense a theme here. But the earliest on-snow dates in these articles are October 6, October 14, and October 15. How would...

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ANCHORAGE — As allegories for skiing development go, the uphill run time trial is tough to beat. It’s hard to start with, it gets harder as you approach your goal, and success requires pushing all the way to the finish. “Paying the tax on the road to the podium,” as Sadie Maubet Bjornsen once wrote of a photo of her on Gasline. Tuesday morning in Anchorage, a group of the state’s top juniors took on...

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Men’s race Most athletes pay their dues as they work their way up the results list for Mount Marathon, the grueling 5-kilometer, 3,000-foot-gain out-and-back race in Seward, Alaska, that dates to 1915. There is no substitute for experience on the technical course, and most people need to get their rookie run out of the way before they can even think of challenging for the overall victory in subsequent times on the mountain. David Norris is...

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Part I of this article examined Sadie Maubet Bjornsen’s childhood, World Cup debut, and the injuries that she overcame along the way. This article, Part II, starts with a frank look at some of the challenges of being an American World Cup skier, then discusses her overall career highlights, her final World Championships earlier this year, and what comes next. In addition to the injuries, there are some challenges to life on the World Cup...

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To classic ski, and to do so well, requires an athlete to perform an almost stupidly large number of tasks at the same time. You have to move two arms, two legs, and two ankles in alternation, in almost infinite variations depending upon the snow, the wax, the course, and your remaining energy. You have to mediate between power and finesse, kick and glide, stimulus and weight transfer. In short, you have to balance a...

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  ANCHORAGE — The calendar said April, but the thermometer said January, as a small but well-credentialed field of athletes competed in a pair of FIS races at Anchorage’s Kincaid Park over the weekend. The April 10 and 11 events appear to have been among the latest FIS races held in this country in the past 30 years. Saturday morning in Anchorage dawned clear and cold. Anchorage broke its all-time temperature record for April 10 with...