PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 16, 2017) - The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has named a team of 10 athletes to represent the USA in the upcoming Under 23 Cross Country World Championships. The U23 Championships will be held Jan. 30-Feb. 5 at the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center along with the USANA FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships - the first time the event has been held in the USA since 1986 in Lake Placid.
More than 500 athletes from nearly 40 nations are expected to take part in the Junior World and U23 Championships.
The team of five men and five women was chosen based on results of USSA SuperTour competitions as well as trials during the recently completed L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships at Soldier Hollow.
VAL DI FIEMME, Italy (Jan. 15, 2017) - Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) capped a three-event weekend in Val di Fiemme, finishing 13th in a nordic combined World Cup.
Fletcher jumped to 33rd but turned on the gas during the 10k cross country to record the second fastest time, finishing 56.8 seconds behind winner Eric Frenzel of Germany and seven seconds outside the top 10. Brother Taylor was 30th.
The weekend opened on Friday with Frenzel also taking the win on the HS134 meter hill and 10k cross country. Taylor Fletcher jumped to 46th, but boosted it to 21st after finishing fourth in cross country.
In Saturday’s team sprint, brothers Fletcher combined to finish eighth - 40 seconds behind winning Norway. The Czech Republic was second with Italy third. Germany was uncharacteristically off the podium in fifth and sixth.
The tour now heads to one of its iconic sites in Chaux-Neuve, France for a pair of individual events next weekend.
TOBLACH, Italy (Jan. 15, 2017) - Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) and Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) combined for a strong sixth place finish in the men’s team sprint to close out the World Cup weekend in Toblach.
Canada took the win over Sweden and Italy. The U.S. women - with Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) and Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) were 10th, with Russia taking a three-way photo finish over Sweden and Norway.
Hamilton turned in some impressive legs, winning his first of three rounds and anchoring with the second-fastest time of the final leg.
WENGEN, Switzerland (Jan. 15, 2017) – Battling a tough weekend of weather, Robby Kelley (Starksboro, VT) was the top American in the classic Wengen slalom and scored his first slalom points, finishing 25th.
Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway was victorious in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup race over Marcel Hirscher of Austria in second. Felix Neureuther of Germany was third.
It was Kelley’s first slalom points in his career. “I was really happy with how I skied first run,” said Kelley, who finished 19th first run. “I was fourth on the pitch first run, so I was trying to get a little more going on the pitch second run, but I went too straight into it. Bummer. I didn’t have a great run but I had to get some points.”
After finishing eighth first run, hopes were high for David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO). He came out of the start with a vengeance, but straddled about halfway down the course and did not finish.
LAKE PLACID, NY (Jan. 14, 2017) – The U.S. Ski Team aerials athletes put on a show at the Olympic Jumping Complex Saturday night to close out the Putnam Investments Freestyle Cup weekend. Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, VA) and Mac Bohonnon (Madison, CT) both landed on the podium, with Caldwell taking the win for the women and Bohonnon finishing second for the men.
The Lake Placid world cup stop is extra special for the U.S. athletes because many of them got their start there as part of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s (USSA) Elite Aerial Development Program. Both Caldwell and Bohonnon were part of that program and have progressed to become two of the best jumpers on the U.S. team.
“Winning in Lake Placid is amazing,” said Caldwell. “I trained here for five years, so to come out here and show everyone that all that hard work I put in so many years ago is still paying off is a nice feeling.”