Jessie Diggins, shown here at the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships, is among the top U.S. cross country skiers chosen for the Under 23 World Championships and Junior World Championships to be held in Turkey in February. (USSA-Bryan Fish)
PARK CITY, UT (Jan 17) – The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team named its 2012 FIS Junior World Championship Team and Under 23 World Championship Teams. The athletes were selected based on results at the 2012 U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships in Rumford, ME Jan. 2-8. The Junior Worlds will be held Feb. 19-26 in Erzurum, Turkey.
UVM's Scott Patterson (Anchorage), making his third Junior Worlds team, is the senior member of the men's squad with a focus on distance events.
Cambridge Sport Union's Corey Stock (Lincoln, MA) will lead the women's Junior Worlds team with strength in both distance and sprint, with Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's Emily Hannah (Steamboat Springs, CO) strong in freestyle sprint. Both are first time team members
The U23 Team will be led by U.S. Ski Team veterans Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) and Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO), both members of the 2011 World Championship Team.
Diggins was 7th in the 5k freestyle and 12th in pursuit at the 2011 Junior World Championships. She is the current SuperTour leader in all categories and just combined with Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) for a World Cup podium in a team sprint.
Hoffman was 9th in the 15k freestyle at the 2011 U23 World Championships and will focus on the 15k classic and 30k skiathlon at this year's Championships.
Erzurum is located in Eastern Turkey at relatively high elevation. It was the host for the World University Games in 2011.
The Team will first travel to Madona, Latvia and Albu, Estonia for training and competition in Scandinavian Cup events before heading to Erzurum.
QUOTES Bryan Fish, Coach Both the Junior World and U23 teams are a blend of seasoned veterans and fresh faces. We'll prepare for the Championships by bringing the teams together for a training camp and competitions in Latvia and Estonia to allow them to work into a rhythm and build confidence before toeing the line in Erzurum.
Veteran Scott Patterson will lead the men's Junior Worlds Team with strong newcomers Corey Stock and Emily Hannah for the women.
On the U23 squad, Jessie Diggins is coming off a strong U.S. Championships earning the title in every event and a great sprint weekend in Milan. Noah Hoffman was very impressive in the 30k class winning by 53.6 seconds at U.S. Championships. Both of these athletes have podium potential.
2012 JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM Men Logan Hanneman, Fairbanks, AK (University of Alaska-Fairbanks) Forrest Mahlen, Anchorage (Alaska Pacific University) Cole Morgan, Bozeman, MT (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation) Scott Patterson, Anchorage (University of Vermont) Mike Vigers, Vail, CO (Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) Will Wicherski, Boise, ID (Williams College)
Women Emily Hannah, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) Stephanie Kirk, Anchorage (Alaska Winter Stars) Mary O'Connell, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) Corey Stock, Lincoln, MA (Cambridge Sports Union)
2012 UNDER 23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM Men Erik Bjornsen, Winthrop, WA (U.S. Ski Team/Alaska Pacific University) Reese Hanneman, Fairbanks, AK (Alaska Pacific University) Noah Hoffman, Aspen, CO (U.S. Ski Team/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) Eric Packer, Anchorage (Dartmouth College) Ryan Scott, Bozeman, MT (Ski and Snowboard Club Vail/Montana State University
Women Sadie Bjornsen, Winthrop, WA (U.S. Ski Team/Alaska Pacific University) Jessie Diggins, Afton, MN (U.S. Ski Team/Central Cross Country Ski Association) Becca Rorabaugh, Anchorage (Alaska Pacific University)