HomeTag U-23 Championships

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For U.S. ski fans, this year’s World Junior and U-23 Championships, which begin Wednesday in Estonia, have the potential to be pretty sweet. On paper, the American squad is as good as any from the last five years, and deeper, too. No fewer than five of its athletes will go on to compete at the World Ski Championships in Oslo later this winter. With Estonia experiencing one of its best winters in years, and two...

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Identifying talent in endurance athletics at a young age can be a challenging task.  My goal in this article is to give you a sense of what different levels of success at WJC/U23s might indicate and how much variability there is between athletes in this respect. Our basic tool will be a graph of FIS points versus age for distance results, broken down by their best result (finishing place) at WJC/U23s.  This gives us a...

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After Petr Sedov’s domination of the junior 20k pursuit here yesterday, it seemed unlikely that anyone would be able to outdo that performance in the 30k U-23 version today. Enter Paul Constantin Pepene of Romania. As a dense, 30-skier group made its way up the course’s big climb on its sixth of eight laps, Pepene put in a huge acceleration—the biggest that second-place Ole Marius Bach said he had ever seen. Using a quirky skate...

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After a mishap in a race in Canada, Simi Hamilton said that he secured the grips on his Swix Stars with “about a pound” of glue. It still wasn’t enough. Leading his heat through the initial downhill in the U-23 skate sprint today, a Norwegian skied over one of Hamilton’s baskets as he came out of a tuck. The grip came off, and the whole pack went by. Hamilton was left screaming at the fans...

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When Simi Hamilton lost a pole and was bounced from his quarterfinal heat, it was up to Ida Sargent to salvage the American hopes in the U-23 skate sprint. She didn’t disappoint. After qualifying in fourth, Sargent advanced easily through the quarters and semis, faltering only midway through the A-final. After some bad luck and tactical errors by the Americans over the last two days, you could almost hear the sigh of relief from her...

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He’s the real deal. That’s what U.S. Ski Team Development Coach Matt Whitcomb said this morning about Simi Hamilton, after the skate sprint national champ took first place in the qualifying round of the same event here in Hinterzarten. After some drizzle overnight, the race trails at the Notschrei Nordic Center were covered with a thin icy crust this morning, which made for some slick skiing and a fast qualifying round—Hamilton’s time was around 2:20....

The U.S. Ski Team named its 2010 World Junior, Under 23 and Scandinavian Cup teams yesterday at the 2010 ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships in Anchorage. The top two results from each athlete’s three races this week were used to determine the teams. The group “is peppered with some very strong skiers, some of whom will have a chance to take a swipe at a podium or top ten finish,” said Matt Whitcomb, the U.S....