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Sverre Caldwell Named USSA Domestic Nordic Coach of the Year

(press release)

Park City, Utah – Stratton Mountain School Nordic Program Director Sverre Caldwell has been named the Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). This is the country’s highest coaching honor, and one that Sverre has won three times prior in 2009, 2003 and 2001.

“I’m honored that USSA has named me Domestic Coach of the Year,” Caldwell said. “Our athletes have had a great year, and I’m proud to share in their success.”

In the 2014-2015 season, the SMS Nordic Team and SMS T2 Team scored four top-10s at World Championships (including one silver medal), two top-10s at U23 World Championships, a sixth-place finish at World Juniors, and 14 of 21 team members qualified for Junior Nationals, and eight of these 14 earned All American status (top-10 or top-3 relay). At Junior Nationals, the SMS Nordic Team extended its streak of winning at least one Junior National gold medal for 19 straight years.

In 2014, the SMS Nordic Program and the SMS T2 Team won the USSA Cross Country Club of the Year, the third time SMS has received this honor. Also in 2014, former SMS T2 Team Coach Gus Kaeding (SMS ’02) won the Cross Country International Coach of the Year, and he was named the Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year in 2013.

“We are inspired by Sverre’s long-time leadership in the world of Nordic skiing, and his commitment to driving the success of Nordic skiing development,” said SMS Headmaster Chris Kaltsas. “He has inspired athletes at SMS since 1980, and he is known nationally as in Nordic skiing as the top coach at the development level.”

In a letter, USSA CEO Tiger Shaw said, “Congratulations Sverre, on your efforts and the leadership you provide to the development of your athletes.”

Stratton Mountain School is a ski and snowboard academy located at the base of Stratton Mountain. SMS serves students in grades 7 – 12. The SMS community of students, faculty, coaches and staff share the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence.

April 23 Roundup: OTP, Winter Olympic Future, Northug Drama

- According to a press release from Cross Country Canada, the country’s high-performance athletes will receive more financial support in their quest for success through the Own the Podium program. The Canadian government committed to match up to $20 million over four years of private sector investment to support the next generation of athletes who are anywhere from five to eight years away from potential Olympic or Paralympic medals. The increased funding will allow for additional coaches, improve training opportunities, and give athletes increased resources to pursue their respective sports. – Will there always be a Winter Olympics? The writers at Vice Sports suggest that we shouldn’t take the world’s most competitive event in snow sports for granted. Due to climate change and a lack of water and precipitation they make the case that it will become harder and harder to pick a Winter Olympic venues that can and want to host the event….

April 21 Roundup: Retirements and Springtime Rounds

- The 2015 cross country season has ended and as always spring has brought several retirements to the nordic ski community. According to a variety of sources, including FIS and NRK Sport, at least eight of our favorite athletes will no longer compete in the World Cup. Notable women retirees include Canada’s Perianne Jones, Finland’s Riika Sarasoja-Lilja, Germany’s Claudia Nystad, and two Norwegians Celine Brun-Lie and Kristin Størmer Steira. Steira, the most notable of the retirees, has won eight World Championships medals and two Olympic medals including bronze in the Sochi 30 k and gold in the Whistler 4 x 5 k relay. Her 2015 season was marked with injury. She battled to earn a spot on the 2015 World Championship team after a double hip fracture earlier in the year, but suffered an ankle injury days before the 30 k that prevented her from competing. “I am privileged to have had the opportunity to work together…

Wadsworth, Bouchard to Lead Canadian World Cup Team, Part of Integrated Coaching Structure

(Press release) CANMORE, Alberta — Cross-Country Ski de Fond Canada will start the 2015 season with coaches Louis Bouchard and Justin Wadsworth and will continue to invest in developing Canadian coaching talent while focusing on putting the maple leaf back onto the international podium in 2018 and beyond. Wadsworth and Bouchard, who have worked closely together to deliver record-setting results for Canada’s cross-country ski athletes over the last five years, will share World Cup coaching duties. In addition, American-born Wadsworth, who has made his home in Canmore for much of the last decade, along with Quebec’s Bouchard, will guide a talented group of active coaches across the country whose focus will be on developing the next generation of Olympians from coast-to-coast. “If we truly want to put Canada’s cross-country ski athletes on the Olympic podium in 2018 and 2022, then I believe it is critical at this time to put the…

U.S. Skiers Find Success in Austrian Cup as Women Sweep, Men Land Two on Podium

It was a strong day for the U.S. in Eisenerz, Austria as both the women and men dominated the podium of the weekend’s Austrian Cup. In the women’s 7.5 k classic individual start, Chelsea Holmes of Alaska Pacific University led her teammates to a podium sweep with a time of 22:24.4. Just behind her were SMST2 teammates Annie Pokorny and Annie Hart who finished 40.1 and 43.3 seconds behind Holmes. Sun Valley’s Mary Rose finished fourth while APU skier Rosie Fankowski placed seventh. Erika Flowers of SMST2 finished ninth, followed by Paige Schember of Sun Valley in 10th and Craftsbury’s Liz Guiney in 11th. In the men’s 15 k classic interval start APU’s Lex Treinen won with a time of 40:29.2 His teammate Eric Packer finished 7.4 seconds behind to claim second and land two Americans on top of the podium. Reese Hanneman, also of APU, and Ben Saxton of SMST2 finished sixth and…

Gelso Bummed to Drop 50 k, but ‘Made the Right Call’

FALUN, Sweden — After striving for years, Matt Gelso made his first World Championships team this season, traveling with the U.S. Ski Team to Falun. The Truckee, Calif., native, who nows skis for Sun Valley, placed 54th in the 30 k skiathlon at the beginning of the Championships. He started Sunday’s 50 k classic mass start to provide the other bookend, but was disappointed to have to drop out after 22 k. “I was feeling completely spent,” Gelso wrote in an email. “From the beginning of the race I was struggling and once I came off the main pack I went backwards quickly. I dropped the race because of how bad I felt and where I was. Not even halfway through the race and I was feeling really bad and way out the back. It was a hard course and really hard conditions and I had nothing in the tank…

Women’s Ski Jumping USA President Deedee Corradini Dies at 70

(WSJ-USA press release) PARK CITY, Utah (March 1, 2015) – Women’s Ski Jumping USA has lost its tenacious and loved leader, and the world has lost a great influencer in sport equality and women’s rights. Deedee Corradini died March 1 at her home in Park City, Utah. She was 70. In a statement issued by the family: “Our amazing mother, wife, sister, aunt, friend, and mentor, died today at her home in Park City, surrounded by the light, love, and gratitude of her loved ones. She fought a fierce six-month battle with stage 4 metastasized non-small cell lung cancer (the non-smoking type).   Our lives will never be the same without her, yet we celebrate her legacy with such JOY. We feel her grace, and know she will continue to guide us deeply though her courageous spirit and extraordinary light that lives within us all.” As the only president of Women’s Ski Jumping USA…

U.S. Starters for 30 and 50 k Classic Races at World Championships

The U.S. Ski Team announced its starters for the women’s 30 k classic mass start, to be held on Saturday in Falun, Sweden, and the men’s 50 k mass start scheduled for Sunday. In the 30 k, the Americans will start Sadie Bjornsen, Rosie Brennan, Liz Stephen, and Jessie Diggins – the same lineup they used in Thursday’s 4 x 5 k relay, which placed fourth. “Right now, Sophie [Caldwell] and Ida [Sargent] are a little more focused on sprint, Caitlin [Gregg] is quite a bit stronger in skate than she is in classic, and Kikkan [Randall] came down with a cold the other day after the race,” U.S. Ski Team Head Coach Chris Grover said after Friday’s men’s relay. “So they’re gone. Then we have these four who are feeling good, in good shape, that’s why they were in the relay – so they are the four we could…

Excitement Builds Before Women’s Relay at World Champs

FALUN, Sweden — Fans are pouring into Falun’s Lugnet Ski Stadium as the world’s best cross country skiers prepare to compete in the women’s 4 x 5 k relay at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. The Norwegian relay team of Marit Bjørgen, Therese Johaug, Heidi Weng, and Astrid Jacobsen enter the race as heavy favorites. Tuesday’s 10 k freestyle proved the Norwegians aren’t invincible, however, as Weng skied to their top finish in 22nd after complaining of poor wax. The Swedish team featuring 10 k gold medalist Charlotte Kalla and star sprinter Stina Nilsson will look to repeat its stunning gold-medal performance in the 2014 Olympics in front of a home crowd. After a historic double podium in the 10 k freestyle by Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg, the Americans are hoping to earn the U.S. Ski Team’s first medal in a relay event. The Americans’ best championships relay…

Team Sprint Day at World Champs

FALUN, Sweden — Fans are lining the sprint course as 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships welcomes another day of racing in the form of the 1.2 and 1.4 k freestyle team sprints. The American women, the defending world champions in the women’s team sprint, will field a new team at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Sophie Caldwell will join Jessie Diggins as the U.S. attempts to defend its title in a field that features fierce competition in the form of Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Sweden’s Stina Nilsson and Ida Ingemarsdotter. Read more about the decision to start Diggins and Caldwell here. In the men’s 1.4 k freestyle team sprint, the Americans will start Andy Newell and Simi Hamilton while the Canadians will feature Jesse Cockney and Len Valjas. Racing begins at 12:30 CET (6:30 EST). Start lists: women | men