Strong XC Team Named for World Champs

2015-01-26 15:16
PARK CITY, Utah (Jan. 26, 2015) – Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT), Kikkan Randall (Anchorage), Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) and Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) lead a team of 16 cross country athletes named by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to compete in the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships Feb. 18 – March 1 in Falun, Sweden. 
Randall and Diggins are the defending champions in the team sprint from 2013 in Val di Fiemme, Italy. The team balances newcomers and veterans in a strong and diversely talented team. 
“There are good opportunities for us in bringing a big US Team to Falun,” said Head Coach Chris Grover. “We have a mix of experienced World Cup skiers and some new faces looking to make their mark at the highest level. Over the past few weeks, many US athletes have been building their fitness and it could be seen in their results in the Rybinsk World Cup this past weekend. We expect to see some peak performances in Falun.”
  • The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association named 16 athletes to the team that will compete in the 2015 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Falun, Sweden.
  • Defending team sprint champion, and three time overall sprint World Cup winner, Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) will compete in her eighth World Championship.
  • Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN), also defending the team sprint title, enters the Falun World Championship after two strong top-five finishes in the Rybinsk World Cup.
  • Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT), fresh from a second place World Cup finish in Rybinsk and a historic fifth place in the Tour de Ski finish, will attend her fourth World Championship. Stephen is currently ranked sixth overall in the FIS World Cup standings.
  • Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) and Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) will look for sprint success in their respective third and seventh World Championship events.
  • Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA), Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) and Sophie Caldwell (Peru VT) each return to the World Championships with deep World Cup experience and World Cup points scored in both distance and sprint events.
  • Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) enters this World Championships with his first complete season of World Cup competition behind him. It will be his second Worlds.
  • Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) will compete in his eighth World Championship in Falun.
  • Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) will return to competition at the World Championships after sustaining a leg injury in the first World Cup this year.
  • Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess (Bend, OR), Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT) and Kyle Bratrud (Eden Prarie, MN) each won races at the U.S. Cross Country Championships in Houghton, MI. This will be the first World Championship for each of them.
  • The World Championship Team will train in Davos, Switzerland with a pre-Championships World Cup in Oestersund on February 14-15.
  • The World Championships begin February 18th and conclude on March 1st. Information on live streaming to America will be announced in early February.
2015 U.S. World Championship Cross Country Team
Name, Hometown, Birthdate, USSA Club, Past Championships
Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess, Bend, OR, 3/18/86, Bend Endurance Academy
Kyle Bratrud, Eden Prairie, MN, 2/9/93, Northern Michigan University Ski Team
Erik Bjornsen, Winthrop, WA, 7/14/91, Alaska Pacific University Nordic (2013)
Matt Gelso, Truckee, CA, 7/18/88, Sun Valley Ski Education Founation Olympic Development Team
Simi Hamilton, Aspen, CO, 5/14/87, Stratton Mountain School/T2 (2011)
Noah Hoffman, Aspen, CO, 8/1/89, Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (2011, 2013)
Kris Freeman, Andover, NH, 10/14/80, Freebird XC, (2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT, 11/30/83, Stratton Mountain School/T2 (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
Rosie Brennan, Park City, UT, 12/2/88, Alaska Pacific University Nordic
Sadie Bjornsen, Winthrop WA, 11/21/89, Alaska Pacific University Nordic (2011, 2013)
Sophie Caldwell, Peru, VT, 3/22/90, Stratton Mountain School/T2 (2013)
Jessie Diggins, Afton MN, 8/26/91, Stratton Mountain School/T2 (2011, 2013)
Caitlin Gregg, Minneapolis, 11/7/80, Team Gregg (2009)
Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, 12/31/82 Alaska Pacific University Nordic (2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013) 
Ida Sargent, Orleans, VT, 1/25/88, Craftsbury Green Racing Project (2011, 2013)
Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, VT, 1/12/87, Burke Mountain Academy (2009, 2011, 2013)
FIS Nordic Ski World Championships
Falun, Sweden
Feb. 18 – Opening Ceremony
Feb. 19 – Classic Sprint
Feb. 21 – Skiathlon 
Feb. 22 – Freestyle Team Sprint
Feb. 24 – Women’s 10k Freestyle
Feb. 25 – Men’s 15k Freestyle
Feb. 27 – 4X10k Relay
Feb. 28 – 30k Women’s Classic Mass Start 
Mar. 1  – 50k Men’s Classic Mass Start


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