May 19th, 2013
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) released its 2013 awards list on Friday, which named Erik Flora, the head coach at Alaska Pacific University (APU), Coach of the Year among all sports — a first for cross-country.
Flora, 40, was one of five recipients of the USSA Gold Awards, with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) also being honored as Club of the Year. Flora was also named Cross Country International Coach of the Year, and Stratton Mountain School T2 Team Head Coach Gus Kaeding, 29, was Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year.
Athlete of the Year honors went to Kikkan Randall (APU/U.S. Ski Team) for Cross Country and Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports/USST) for Nordic Combined. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail/Team HomeGrown was named Cross Country Club of the Year.
USSA Development Coach of the Year Award – Wes Preston
USSA Coach of the Year Award – Erik Flora
USSA Club of the Year Award – Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation
Beck International Award (top USSA athlete) – Ted Ligety
Westhaven Award (top USSA official) – Ed Albert
April 19th, 2013
One final video from Far West’s Skyler Mullings recapping the action at 2013 SuperTour Finals and U.S. Distance Nationals.
April 11th, 2013
NORDEN, Calif. – An early leader in Thursday’s 50 k classic mass start at Royal Gorge, Kris Freeman (Maine Winter Sports Center/U.S. Ski Team) went on to pace Andy Newell (SMST2/USST) and Norwegian Einar Ulsund (University of Utah) to top-three finishes. Freeman won comfortably after breaking away on the last 10 k lap, Newell notched second, and Ulsund took third at U.S. Distance Nationals.
Results were not immediately available, but FasterSkier was on site to watch Canadian Knute Johnsgaard (Yukon Elite Squad) outsprint Tad Elliott (SSCV/Team HomeGrown/USST) for fourth. Elliott took fifth and Reese Hanneman (APU) was sixth overall, fourth American.
April 10th, 2013
NORDEN, Calif. — Liz Stephen of Burke Mountain Academy and the U.S. Ski Team got down to business in the last race of the season at Royal Gorge Ski Resort , winning the women’s 30 k classic mass start by more than a minute over USST teammate Kikkan Randall (Alaska Pacific University).
Stephen completed the three-lap course in temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit late Wednesday morning in1 1:41.54.8. After skiing with her for the first lap and a half, Randall finished second, 1:02.5 behind. Rosie Brennan (APU) hung on for third, 2:04.4 behind Stephen and 2:03.7 ahead of Jessie Diggins (Stratton Mountain School T2 Team/USST) in fourth.
Diggins outsprinted teammate Sophie Caldwell (SMST2), Nicole Deyong (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation), Maria Graefnings (SWE), and Sadie Bjornsen (APU/USST), who finished fifth through eighth, respectively. Caitlin Gregg (Central Cross Country) came through eight seconds later in ninth and Linn Soemskar (SWE) was 10th.
April 9th, 2013
April 8th, 2013
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Liz Stephen (Burke Mountain Academy/U.S. Ski Team) overcame nearly 2 1/2-minute deficit in Monday’s 6-kilometer, hill-climb pursuit at Sugar Bowl Resort on Monday, beating USST teammate Kikkan Randall (Alaska Pacific University) by 38.3 seconds for the overall SuperTour Finals title in 30:23.7.
With a 1:19 lead over Sadie Bjornsen (APU/USST) at the start, Randall went off course shortly after the halfway point of the massive climb, more than 7,000 feet above sea level. She skied back down and back up the correct route for second, 56.9 seconds ahead of Bjornsen, who was third overall.
In the men’s race, Erik Bjornsen (APU/USST) held off Kris Freeman (Maine Winter Sports Center/USST) for his first SuperTour Finals crown in 25:28. Freeman was second, 20.5 seconds behind after starting 48 seconds back, and Mikey Sinnott (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation) placed third (+1:07.9).
April 7th, 2013
April 6th, 2013
SODA SPRINGS, Calif. — Two of the U.S. Ski Team’s most famous sprinters, Kikkan Randall (Alaska Pacific University) and Andy Newell (Stratton Mountain School T2 Team) did not disappoint on Saturday, winning their respective 1.5-kilometer classic sprint finals by comfortable margins at Auburn Ski Club.
Randall bested Ida Sargent of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP), who won the qualifier, quarterfinal and semifinal, finishing first ahead of Sargent in second and Sadie Bjornsen (APU/USST) in third. Rosie Brennan (APU) finished fourth, Sweden’s Maria Graefnings was fifth, and U.S. Biathlon A-teamer Susan Dunklee notched sixth.
In the men’s final, Newell overtook Pat O’Brien (CGRP) on the second-to-last hill before the finish. O’Brien secured silver, and Erik Bjornsen (APU/USST) came from behind for third. Tim Reynolds (CGRP) took fourth, Norwegian Rune Odegard (University of Colorado) was fifth, and Mike Sinnott (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation) finished sixth.
Results will be posted here
April 6th, 2013
SODA SPRINGS, Calif. — Andy Newell (Stratton Mountain School T2 Team/U.S. Ski Team) double poled to a distinctive qualifying win in Saturday’s 1.5 k classic sprint, posting the fastest time of 2:39.22 at Auburn Ski Club.
Gustav Nordstrom of the University of Colorado was 5.38 seconds behind in second, and Mike Sinnott (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation) took third (+6.82).
In the women’s race, Ida Sargent (Craftsbury Green Racing Project/USST) won the 1.5 k qualifier by 1.35 seconds. Sophie Caldwell (SMST2) was second, Switzerland’s Bettina Gruber was third (+7.28), and two-time World Cup sprint champ Kikkan Randall (Alaska Pacific University/USST) was just 0.01 seconds out of third in fourth.
Men’s Top 10 (unofficial)
1. Andy Newell (SMST2/USST) 2:39.22
2. Gustav Nordstrom (CU) 2:44.60
3. Mike Sinnott (SVSEF) 2:46.04
4. Sylvan Ellefson (SSCV/Team HomeGrown) 2:46.62
5. Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess (BEA) 2:47.32
6. Torin Koos (BSF/Rossignol) 2:47.54
6. Sam Naney (MOD/Madshus) 2:47.54
8. Ryan Scott (SSCV/Team HomeGrown) 2:48.42
9. Skyler Davis (SMST2/USST) 2:49.03
10. David Norris (MSU) 2:49.99
Also: 13. Erik Bjornsen (APU/USST)
Women’s top 10 (unofficial)
1. Ida Sargent (CGRP/USST) 3:13.16
2. Sophie Caldwell (SMST2) 3:14.51
3. Bettina Gruber (SUI) 3:20.44
4. Kikkan Randall (APU/USST) 3:20.45
5. Hannah Falk (SWE) 3:23.0
6. Sadie Bjornsen (APU/USST) 3:23.91
7. Linn Somskar (SWE) 3:26.91
8. Susan Dunklee (CGRP) 3:27.08
9. Caitlin Patterson (CGRP) 3:27.43
10. Jessie Diggins (SMST2/USST) 3:27.76
Also: 15. Liz Stephen (BMA/USST); 16. Rosie Brennan (APU); 18. Annelies Cook (USBA/MWSC); 19. Hannah Dreissigacker (USBA/CGRP)
April 5th, 2013
SODA SPRINGS, Calif. — In the second stage of SuperTour Finals, Kikkan Randall (APU/USST) continued her victory tour with 36.6-second win in the 10 k classic mass start at Auburn Ski Club.
She broke away on the first lap up the major A-climb near the end of the loop and never looked back, surprising even herself with the gap she was able to put on the rest of the field. Sadie Bjornsen (APU/USST) and Sweden’s Lisa Larsen (Sundbybergs IK) tried to follow her, but ultimately Randall was untouchable and came into the finish before the next racer even came into the stadium. Larsen took herself out on one of the last downhills before the finish and dropped to fourth while Bjornsen kept pace to take second. Liz Stephen (BMA/USST) moved up from a few places back to finish a strong third, ten seconds behind Bjornsen.
Sweden’s Maria Graefnings (Falun Borlange SK) won a sprint finish with Ida Sargent (CGRP/USST) and took fifth, half a second ahead of Sargent. Sophie Caldwell (SMS T2) was seventh, Rosie Brennan (APU) took eighth and Annelies Cook (MWSC/USBA), in her first classic race in over a year, finished ninth, two minutes behind Randall’s winning mark. Switzerland’s Bettina Gruber rounded out the top 10, five seconds behind Cook.
In contrast to the rain and snow that met athletes at spectators during Thursday’s race, the weather for the classic race was warm and sunny. The women started at 10:30 a.m., by which time the course started to break down and create an extra challenge for the service crews.