The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team for the 2016-17 season has been named. Top row, left to right: Bryan Fish, Matt Whitcomb, Patrick Caldwell, Noah Hoffman, Simi Hamilton, Erik Bjornsen, Andy Newell, Chris Grover, Tim Baucom, Andrew Morehouse, Jason Cork. Bottom row, left to right: Sadie Bjornsen, Jessie Diggins, Rosie Brennan, Kikkan Randall, Julia Kern, Katharine Ogden, Ida Sargent, Liz Stephen, Sophie Caldwell, Hannah Halvorsen.
PARK CITY, UT (Nov. 22, 2016) – The 2016-17 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team was announced today, just before the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup opener in Ruka, Finland on Nov. 26. A total of 16 athletes were named to the A, B and D Teams.
Head Coach Chris Grover is anticipating a strong season with stars on both the men’s and women’s side, and an especially deep women’s team with the return of Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK), who took last season off for the birth of her first child.
The season kicks off in northern Finland and will feature the 11th running of the Tour de Ski in early January, FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland in late February, plus the USANA FIS Nordic Junior World Championships and U23 World Championships on the Olympic trails at Soldier Hollow near Midway, UT.
A total of 16 athletes were formally named to the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team.
The past season tied the best in USA World Cup team history with 11 podiums total.
Randall returns: Veteran Kikkan Randall is returning to World Cup racing after the birth of her son Breck this past April.
Jessie Diggins and Sophie Caldwell both had World Cup wins last season (first for Caldwell) with Diggins collecting seven podiums and Caldwell two podiums. Simi Hamilton had his best season ever with two World Cup podiums.
Women’s relay success: Last season, the 4x5k women’s relay team had the best finish in the history of U.S. women’s skiing with a second place in Nove Mesto.
World Championships: All eyes are on the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships this year, taking place in Lahti, Finland.
U.S. Ski Team debuts: Ian Torchia and Hannah Halvorsen make their U.S. Cross Country Ski Team debuts this season.
Off-season prep: The team had productive camps this year in Bend, OR, Mt. Bachelor, OR, Eagle Glacier, AK, Wanaka, New Zealand and a dryland camp in Park City, UT.
Soldier Hollow: The Olympic venue of Soldier Hollow near Midway, UT will play host to the U.S. Cross Country Championships Jan. 7-12, 2017 and the USANA 2017 FIS Nordic Junior and U23 World Ski Championships Jan. 28-Feb. 8, 2017.
The World Cup opens November 26-27 in Ruka, Finland.
Top row: Hannah Halvorsen, Katharine Ogden, Sophie Caldwell, Rosie Brennan, Julia Kern. Bottom row:Liz Stephen, Ida Sargent, Jessie Diggins, Kikkan Randall, Sadie Bjornsen.
Chris Grover, Head Coach I believe the 2016-17 squad will be the strongest team in the history of USA cross country ski racing. With the return of Kikkan Randall, we have an incredibly experienced and veteran group of podium performers headed to Europe this fall. We’ve had a very productive preparation period that has included more time working on technique on snow than ever before. The Team is healthy, fit and stoked for the 11th edition of the Tour de Ski, the 2017 Lahti Nordic World Championships and the World Cup in general.
Robert Lazzaroni, Nordic Domestic Program Director The 2016-17 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team has experienced skiers and younger skiers, a great staff and a very strong team spirit. It’s a very important season for U.S. cross country skiing. With the USANA 2017 FIS Nordic Junior and U23 World Ski Championships taking place in Park City, UT—the first time in the U.S. since 1986—we have the opportunity to showcase the talent we have domestically. On the World Cup side, this is the last season before the 2018 Olympics. The Lahti 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships will be the key focus of the season. Go USA!
Left to right: Patrick Caldwell, Noah Hoffman, Simi Hamilton, Erik Bjornsen, Andy Newell.
2015-16 U.S. CROSS COUNTRY SKI TEAM ROSTER Name (hometown; home club) (skis, boots, poles, eyewear, gloves) birthdate * Olympian ** World Championship team member *** Participating in Westminster College partnership program