HomeCategory US Nationals

US Nationals is the premier event of the season. The top skiers in the country battle for championship titles. Coverage of events and related news.
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Racing at the 2020 U.S. Senior Nationals wrapped on Tuesday with a 1.5-kilometer classic sprint. Although the day came down to six skiers in both the men’s and women’s finals — as is the norm — what flummoxed a few skiers of note were the dicey conditions, which left the tracks covered with slow-me-down lake effect snow. Post-race interview with Hunter Wonders Canada’s Julien Locke (CNST) won the men’s final in 4:03.83 — a time...

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This post will be updated throughout the day with additional information. The last time Erik Bjornsen (APU/USST) raced at mid-season U.S. Nationals, it was January 2014. Competing at Soldier Hollow in a series of races designed to choose the American team for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Bjornsen captured his last mid-season national title when he won the 15-kilometer classic interval start race. He was followed by Reese Hanneman, Kris Freeman, and Sylvan Ellefson,...

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Midway through the 2020 U.S. Cross-Country Championships in Houghton, Michigan, a couple of things are becoming clear. SMST2 skiers are skiing very well, with podium finishes for Ben Saxton, Alayna Sonnesyn, Sonnesyn again, Kyle Bratrud, and Ian Torchia. APU skiers are skiing well, with podiums for Hailey Swirbul, Erik Bjornsen, and Swirbul again. And 19-year-old Gus Schumacher of Alaska Winter Stars has arrived, his brace of podium finishes announcing him as likely the most dominant American junior...

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This post will be updated throughout the day with additional information. At the final SuperTour stop before this week’s Cross-Country Skiing National Championships, Riitta-Liisa Roponen of Finland took the win in a 10-kilometer freestyle interval start race over the fastest Americans in Sun Valley in mid-December. Friday morning, the scene changed to Houghton, Michigan, but the final result was the same, as Roponen (Finland’s Oulon Hiihtoseura club team) covered two laps of the 5 k course...

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  The top name on the men’s side was no surprise: Gus Schumacher. The 19-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska captured his first career Senior National Championship today in the 1.5-kilometer skate sprint in Houghton, Michigan. Schumacher (USST/AWS) qualified in second at 3:10.85, behind JC Schoonmaker (UAA) in first (3:08.88). Schumacher won the second quarterfinal, and the second semi in a smoking time of 3:04.16.  Post-race interview with Gus Schumacher The men’s final shook out with Schumacher...

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On Saturday, the second day of racing at the U.S. Biathlon Fall Team Trials saw biathletes race mass start distance races outside Midway, Utah at Soldier Hollow (SoHo). Clare Egan (USBA) won the women’s 10-kilometer event in 29:55.81 minutes. Egan, coming off a career best year on the IBU World Cup, shot clean while prone and missed two targets standing. Susan Dunklee (USBA), the winner of Thursday’s sprint race, placed second in 30:41.10 (1, 1,...

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Sunday was the day. The day of all days when SuperTour Finals in Presque Isles, Maine witnessed the fastest 4 x 5-kilometer mixed relay team in the land. Over the last four years of the mixed relay competition at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard SuperTour Finals, also known as Spring Series, Alaska Pacific University APU won the first two iterations of the event, SMS T2 the two most recent. The foursome comprising APU 1: Rosie Brennan,...

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Link to skate sprint photo gallery. “I just love going fast. There are few things that can match the primal joy that comes from racing as fast as possible and beating someone. I definitely don’t always beat people, but that feeling is worth chasing again and again.” That quote comes from a younger, twenty-one-year-old Ben Saxton, when FasterSkier reached out to the SMS T2 skier after being named to his first World Juniors team. Saxton...

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  Link to skate sprint photo gallery. Julia Kern’s young season has been rife with success. Two SuperTour sprint wins, and a second place in this Craftsbury nationals in the classic sprint are among the twenty-one-year-old Kern’s peaks since 2018/2019 elite level domestic racing began in West Yellowstone days after Thanksgiving. As much as her season so far has been without pitfalls, her pathway to the women’s 1.5-kilometer finals was, for Kern, a test of...

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U.S. Cross-Country Ski Nationals at Craftsbury, Vermont  1.5 k Freestyle Sprint In the men’s 1.5-kilometer freestyle sprint on Tuesday, the final day of racing at U.S. nationals, Ben Saxton (SMS T2) won the final in a time of 2:58.51 minutes. Saxton was fifth in qualification behind fastest qualifier on the day Logan Hanneman (APU). Hanneman went on to place second in the final, crossing the finish line .32 seconds after Saxton. Noel Keeffe (University of Utah),...

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Link to mass start skate race photo gallery. Always a threat in the grinding and longer distance races, APU’s David Norris positioned himself as the primary disruptor in the men’s 30-kilometer freestyle mass start at the U.S. Cross-Country Ski National Championships in Craftsbury, VT. With the men racing after the women’s 20 k, the 5 k ski loop used for the mass starts had been skied in, with a faster, narrower best-line often making for...

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Link to mass start skate race photo gallery. Another distance race at U.S. Cross-Country Nationals in Craftsbury, Vermont and another win for Caitlin Patterson of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project. Count them up: eight U.S. national championships for the twenty eight year old. And in as many days at her home course, Patterson has further solidified both her legacy and the fact she is the distance racer to watch and match as the start gun...

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FIS World Cup Tour de Ski Stage Val di Fiemme, Italy 9 k Freestyle Pursuit Alpe Cermis Hill Climb Sunday was the day for the steeps, the V1, and some single pole sticks as the Tour de Ski’s (TdS) final Stage 7 9-kilometer skate pursuit up the Alpe Cermis played out. Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg began the stage with a 53.4-second head start on Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva who skied off in bib 2 as the...

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  Link to Cross-Country Nationals Classic Sprint Gallery. With the thirty men who qualified for the men’s classic sprint heats on Friday in Craftsbury, VT. winnowed down to six in the final, Ben Saxton had already made made his mark in the quarterfinal. The SMS T2 skier laid down the fastest qualifier in 3:18.58 minutes. He won his qualifier ahead of second place skier Zak Ketterson (who eventually made the finals as a lucky loser)...

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Link to Cross-Country Nationals Classic Sprint Gallery. For many, there’s no place like home. Tucked into the Northeast Kingdom, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center takes pride first and foremost for making outdoor sport accessible to the region’s children. The icing on the cake is when one of those local kids goes big, skis on the World Cup, and comes home for a classic sprint national championship. Although the in-between details are missing, that’s the short-version story...

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U.S. Cross-Country Ski Championships Craftsbury, Vermont 1.5 k Classic Sprint Friday at U.S. nationals, the women were up first with the 1.5 k classic sprint. In the qualification round, racing for the U.S. Ski Team (USST) and the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP), Ida Sargent marked the fastest time in 3:51.30 minutes. Kelsey Phinney (SMS T2) was second fastest in 3:54.04, and Julia Kern (SMS T2/USST D-Team) in third with a time of 3:54.42. Sargent advanced...

If there’s one skier on the U.S. domestic circuit who knows how to time his wins, it’s Kyle Bratrud. The 25 year old now has three U.S. Cross Country Championship titles to his name–his most recent coming on Thursday in the men’s 15-kilometer classic race in Craftsbury, Vt–with all of these wins simultaneously falling on Championship years. In 2015, while still a senior at Northern Michigan University, he earned his first national title by winning the...

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Link to photo gallery. The attention of the domestic racing scene has focused on Northen Vermont’. Thursday was the first day of racing at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center which featured a 10-kilometer classic interval start for the women. The home club, Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP), had athletes take first and third in the women’s race. Patterson won in a time of 30:44.7 minutes. At twenty-eight-years-old, Caitlin Patterson won her seventh national title on Thursday. This...

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FIS World Cup Tour de Ski Stage 5 15 k/10k Freestyle Pursuit Oberstdorf, Germany Men’s Report | Women’s Report  Today’s Tour de Ski (TdS) Stage 5 15-kilometer freestyle pursuit in Oberstdorf, Germany began and ended simply enough: Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo wearing the Tour’s blue leader’s bib started first with a 15 second lead over second overall skier Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov.   By 2 k into the race, the pair had linked up and ceded...