U.S. Ski Team names 27 for Canadian nordic World Cups


U.S. Ski Team names 27 for Canadian nordic World Cups{mosimage}Twenty-seven skiers were named Saturday night to represent the U.S. Ski Team at five cross-country World Cup races next month in Canada as part of the leadup to the Olympics in February.

The group, including 16 men and 11 women, was named following SuperTour races Friday and Saturday on the Rendezvous Ski Trails in West Yellowstone, Montana. The athletes will race in two events Dec. 10-11 at Sovereign Lake in Vernon, B.C., and in three more races Dec. 15-18 at Canmore, Alberta, the 1988 Olympic cross-country venue.

“This is the largest team we’ve ever taken outside the United States,” said U.S. nordic director Luke Bodensteiner. “We have a chance to expose a lot of athletes, many of whom will be racing at the Olympics, to strong international fields and we’re taking advantage of it.” Selection was based on SuperTour and other results, Bodensteiner said.

“This is a good group. We’ve got some veterans, several college skiers, and it’s going to be a good opportunity for many of them to see what happens at the World Cup level. It will be the first World Cup race for some of them, and I think,” said head coach Trond Nystad, “it’s going to be a real eye-opener for some of these athletes, but it’s also an excellent opportunity, especially in an Olympic season, to rise to the occasion and show what they can do.”

The team named for Canadian World Cups (*designates 2002 Olympian):

Men
Carl Swenson (Park City, Utah*), Torin Koos (Leavenworth, Wash.*), Andrew Johnson (Greensboro, Vt.*), Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, Vt.*), Kris Freeman* and Justin Freeman (both Andover, N.H.), Chris Cook (Rhinelander, Wis.), James Southam (Anchorage, Alaska), Lars Flora (also Anchorage*), Eli Enman (Huntington, Vt.), Dave Chamberlain (Bethel, Maine), Dave Stewart (Ripton, Vt.), Colin Rogers (Limestone, Maine), Leif Zimmerman (Bozeman, Mont.), Chad Giese (St. Paul, Minn.) and Kevin Hochtl (Vail, Colo.).

Women
Wendy Wagner (Park City, Utah*), Sarah Konrad (Laramie, Wyo.), Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, Alaska*), Alison Crocker (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), Brooke Hovey (Ketchum, Idaho), Kate Whitcomb (Presque Isle, Maine), Taz Mannix (Anchorage, Alaska), Lindsay Williams (Hastings, Minn.), Rebecca Dussault (Gunnison, Colo.), Abi Larson (Bozeman, Mont.) and Lindsey Weier (Mahtomedi, Minn.*).

“This is an Olympic year,” Nystad said, “and all of these skiers are fighting for an Olympic spot. These races will be a chance to help separate themselves from some of the others.”

- Courtesy USSA News Bureau

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