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Erik Flora

Nordic Nation: 2022 SuperTour Champion Rosie Frankowski in Transition

The Olympic Dream.  Perhaps the opportunity to compete at the highest level of sport would not be as sought-after and revered were it not for the inherent scarcity of opportunities to achieve it. This year, only eight women and six men were able to represent the United States in cross-country skiing in Zhangjiakou, down from a total of twenty – 11 women, 9 men – who were selected for PyeongChang in 2018.  Among those who...

Elite Team Preview: APU

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...

A Summer Without Snow: Athletes and Coaches on a Year with No Summer Skiing

The koan that skiers are made in the summer has been around for longer than this website. The related truism, that summer snow time is necessary to effectively compete as a high-level skier come winter, also has a venerable history.  For example, here’s Luke Bodensteiner, writing in Endless Winter about why he had journeyed to a place where “the weather sucks all year long” to ski on the Sognefjellet snowfields in August 1993: “We all...

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...

Still Charging: Erik Bjornsen Retires at 28

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...

After Winter Marred by Mono, Brennan Breaks Record at Alaska Run for Women

The last time Rosie Brennan was focused on competitive running, she was sporting a red, white and black singlet as a senior at Park City High School in Utah. In the 11 years since, the former U.S. Ski Team member’s running has shifted from a seasonal sport to supplemental training for her true passion: cross-country skiing. Yet earlier this month, on June 9, Brennan surged to the front of the Alaska Run for Women in...

Kikkan Randall: The Exit Interview (Part I): Looking Back

Kikkan Randall competed in her first World Cup race in 2001, and her last in 2018. In between, she won 14 World Cup races, three Sprint Cup Crystal Globes, three World Championships medals, and one Olympic gold medal accompanied by one very enthusiastic broadcast call from Chad Salmela. She appeared in television ads, received the Skis to the City from the mayor of Anchorage, and had an ice-cream flavor named after her. And long before...

Scott Patterson Wins Home U.S. Nationals 15 k by Nearly a Minute

(Note: This article has been updated to include comments from Noah Hoffman.) ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It was a day of homecomings and returns at snowy Kincaid Park for the first day of the 2018 U.S. Cross Country Championships. Scott Patterson returned to his childhood training grounds with a convincing victory, Noah Hoffman returned to racing at U.S. nationals with second, and Matt Liebsch returned to the nationals podium with third in the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle individual...

Logan Hanneman on Balancing Life and Skiing, and Enjoying It, in Olympic Quest

Earlier this season, Logan Hanneman talked with FasterSkier about his laser-like focus on the 2018 Winter Olympics, which start on Feb. 10 in PyeongChang, South Korea. The 24-year-old Fairbanks native, who now lives and trains 300 miles south in Anchorage with Alaska Pacific University (APU), was specifically eyeing the men’s individual classic sprint on Feb. 13. Although first he has to qualify to get there. Entering this season, Hanneman was fresh off a skate sprint in West...

Don’t Overfill Your Cup: APU Coach Erik Flora and the Complete Athlete

This week’s featured articles are made possible thanks to the generous support of Masters World Cup 2018. noted following the 2014 Man Camp at Eagle Glacier, “Flora has nailed the grooming. (It helps that he never sleeps.)”) Within a year, Erik’s parents, Sam and Berit Flora, had followed him to Bend. A period of athletic wanderlust and nomadism followed, as Flora fils “kind of bounced around to different places around the West.” There was a...

Masters Minds: From Texas to Eagle Glacier

By Jason Somers Introduction: Welcome to the jungle My quads were burning from too much snowplowing. My coach’s words were echoing in my head: “You are most stable when tucking.” I willed, begged, and pleaded with my legs to assume the position, but being in this aerodynamic position also meant I would go fast, too fast, because at the moment I had one small problem – I couldn’t see where I was going. This small...

Alaska Pacific University’s (APU) 25-year-old Scott Patterson isn’t easily distracted. His is a busy schedule with a repetitive cycle like something out of the movie “Groundhog Day”. In Patterson’s case, the routine goes something like this: wake, eat, train, eat, work, train, sleep … repeat. “My general plan is I try to put in about 25 hours a week,” Patterson said over the phone from his home base in Anchorage. Just so we’re clear, that’s...

After The Medals: Team-Sprint Bronze Medalist Sadie Bjornsen

LAHTI, Finland — While Monday marked a rest day for skiers competing in the 2017 Nordic World Championships, FasterSkier took the opportunity to sit down and chat with Sadie Bjornsen of the U.S. Ski Team, one day after she earned bronze with teammate Jessie Diggins in the women’s 1.3-kilometer classic team sprint. Not only was it Bjornsen’s first-career World Championships medal, it was the first for the U.S. women’s program in a World Championships classic race....

17 Questions for 2017: Rosie Brennan

Welcome to ’17 Questions for 2017′, where we are catching up with American and Canadian national-team members before the beginning of the winter season.  *** First named to the U.S. Ski Team in high school, Rosie Brennan dominated the 2015 SuperTour and earned rights to race in Europe, including at World Championships where she finished 16th in the 30 k classic. After a six-year absence she was renamed to the national team after that winter and...

Throwback Workout: Pace-Development Intervals with the NAWTA (Remember That?)

Everything's better with a group -- at least in terms of threshold interval workouts. In this "Throwback Workout" from three years ago, U.S. women's coach Matt Whitcomb explains why this was one of the best workouts he had seen back then. “It doesn’t need to be incredibly hard — today was roughly threshold and above during bursts of speed — but it was about the terrain that helped push the pace for us,” he said.