HomeTag APU

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What comes to mind when you think of a cross country ski race? Depending on your location and how you choose to interact with the sport, there are likely a variety of answers to the question, but it’s likely that there are some common themes.  “Cross country events are pretty much all the same when you boil them down, you know?” said retired US Ski Team member and 2018 Olympian Reese Hanneman. “It’s a test...

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It’s hard not to root for David Norris.  Often affectionately described by Devon Kershaw as a “grinder”, the humble 31-year-old Fairbanks, AK native has been an eternal underdog, despite consistently performing among the best American distance racers of his generation on the World Cup. Highlighting his career, Norris has finished in the top-20 three times during his appearances in the 2019 and 2021 World Championships. His best result arrived in last year’s Championships in Oberstdorf,...

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ZHANGJIAKOU, CHINA — Just about everyone involved with the U.S. Ski Team has a story about physiotherapist Zuzana Rogers fixing some weird corner of their body. “I had a dislocated cuboid bone, and she diagnosed it over Skype and essentially talked me through repositioning it, and I was better,” said Holly Brooks, the retired Olympic cross-country skier from Alaska. “It was insane.” Eli Brown, one of the team’s ski technicians, thought he had an Achilles...

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By Rachel Bachman Perkins and Ben Theyerl After a brief break, the SuperTour picked up in Lake Placid this weekend, with a fluoro-free Period III kicking off with a 1.5-kilometer classic sprint. The frigid forecast called for overnight lows of -5 Fahrenheit, with a wind chill as low as -23F. Highs during the day were only predicted to climb into the low single digits. Qualifiers were scheduled for 10/10:45 am, with quarterfinals for the open...

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Editor’s note: We are thrilled to have John Wood start off our new series here at FasterSkier, “Letters to my younger self.” Lauren Fleshman provided the modern locus classicus for this genre, and John has written a superb, ski-specific first installment for this site. He sets a pretty high bar, but the general theme of this series is clear: If you were writing a letter to your younger self, what would you want to tell...

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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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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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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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This is part one of a two-part story about U.S. skier David Norris who was recently diagnosed with Covid-19. Part-one explores how Norris experienced the illness, whereas part-two will look into some of the medical literature around athletes and COVID and how Norris plans to build fitness post-illness.     There’s been drama this season on the World Cup. The opening act was the superb racing in Ruka – it was exactly the fist-bump we needed....

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The razor-thin margin for national team selection in the U.S. played out again this season with David Norris (29) not discretioned onto the U.S. team – the sporting actuaries stated he lacked future medal potential.  On both sides of the aisle, making the team or not, the platitudes didn’t cushion the blow for a skier who has doggedly pursued endurance speed for over a decade. Norris earned his first national championship podium with a third...

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This series comes to FasterSkier from the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club A Day in the Life: APUNSC is checking in with Elite Team members of the course of the next few months to get a glimpse into what life looks like for elite athletes as training starts up again during a global pandemic. APUNSC is also running a fundraiser in which the Elite Team is working towards skiing 1,000 kilometers as a team...

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  This series comes to FasterSkier from the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club A Day in the Life: APUNSC is checking in with Elite Team members of the course of the next few months to get a glimpse into what life looks like for elite athletes as training starts up again during a global pandemic. Today we check in with David Norris (29), a 2019 World Championship team member who has been competing on...

Although the training cycle has officially begun, it decidedly has a different vibe and look. Adding some complexity to our short-term new normal are a crosshatch of state, county, and city regulations as it relates to mitigating the community spread of Covid-19. The core question elite cross-country ski programs are asking is this: How can we most responsibly promote safe and effective training for their athletes?  (The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has...

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This series comes to FasterSkier from the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club A Day in the Life: APUNSC is checking in with Elite Team members of the course of the next few months to get a glimpse into what life looks like for elite athletes as training starts up again during a global pandemic. Today we check in with Rosie Frankowski (28), a 2018 Olympian, 2019 World Championship team member, and SuperTour podium regular....

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This series comes to FasterSkier from the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club A Day in the Life: APUNSC is checking in with Elite Team members of the course of the next few months to get a glimpse into what life looks like for elite athletes as training starts up again during a global pandemic. Today we check in with Hannah Halvorsen (22), a member of the 2017 bronze medal winning 4×3.3km Junior World Championship...

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Bright lights in PyeongChang. The men’s second semifinal of the Olympic freestyle team sprint was a career highlight moment for Erik Bjornsen. Fourteen teams would crowd the start lanes with Martin Johnsrud Sundby in bib 1. The Norwegian was paired with Johannes Høsflot Klæbo: The duo blessed with Sundby’s stamina and his younger counterpart’s break-from-the-pack speed. With Simi Hamilton racing the second, fourth, and sixth legs for the U.S., and Bjornsen leading off, the semi...

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This series comes to FasterSkier from the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club. A Day in the Life: APUNSC is checking in with Elite Team members over the course of the next few months to get a glimpse into what life looks like for elite athletes as training starts up again during a global pandemic. Today we check in with Tyler Kornfield (29), a 2018 Olympian and 3x National Champion who was born and raised...

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On December 15th, 28-year-old Rosie Frankowski scored her first World Cup points after finishing 23rd in the 10-kilometer skate in Davos. She then flew back to Minneapolis to spend Christmas with her family before heading to Houghton, Michigan for US Nationals where despite coming down with a stomach bug, she finished 7th in the 10 k skate, 5th in the 20 k classic, and 6th in the classic sprint. FasterSkier connected with Frankowski as she...