Ski Team Nordic Combined News
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Strong Weekend for Rhoads
EINSIEDELN, Switzerland (Sept. 7) - Will Rhoads (Park City, UT) flew to a career best fourth and fifth in FIS Cup jumps this weekend on the 117 meter hill in Einsiedeln. Rhoads moved from ninth to fifth Sunday, winning the second round with the longest jump. Swiss Lukas Mueller won on Saturday with Poland's Andrzej Stekala victorious Sunday.
- Top Finish: Will Rhoads (Park City, UT) scored his best international results finishing fourth and fifth in FIS Cup jumps in Einsiedeln.
- What it means: Career best international results for Rhoads, but also continuing strong performance by U.S. champion Christian Friberg with a pair of top-10s.
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 13:19:32 +0000
Englund Scores FIS Cup Podium
FRENSTAT, Czech Republic (Aug. 30) – Nita Englund (Iron Mountain, MI) soared to a career best international FIS Cup finish, capping a two-event weekend with a third place finish in Frenstat on Aug. 30. Englund was fourth a day earlier. Nina Lussi (Lake Placid, NY) was fifth both days as the two Visa Women's Ski Jumping Team athletes had a strong weekend. The field included 23 athletes from five countries.
- Top Finish: Nita Englund (Iron Mountain, MI) was third and fourth in a pair of FIS Cup ski jumping events in Frenstat, Czech Republic.
- What it means: Englund's podium was her first ever in an international FIS Cup.
- Sidebar: First event for new traveling coach Vasja Bajc, a native of Slovenia.
- Next up: Continental Cup in Trondheim, Norway at the end of September.
I am very happy with this weekend. The hill was challenging in a good way and was a great start to our training camp. The FIS Cup helped me build my confidence and prepare me for more challenging competitions. Nina is one of the best teammates to have, because she is motivational and positive. Vasja is a great fit as the new U.S. travel coach, due to his unique insights on the ski jump. I am excited to be coached by him the rest of this summer and upcoming winter.
Although I really enjoyed the experience here in Frenstat, I was not 100% satisfied with my jumping. However, it was great spending time with our male American counterparts. Having our competitions together definitely added to the overall morale. I am very excited about our new coach and the connection to Slovenia―I know this will beneficial for future success. Even on this trip we had ski service assistance and help from the Slovenian men's coach in tailoring our suits. I look forward to working hard alongside Nita and Vasja. This is just the start of many great things to come. We make an excellent team!
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 04:42:56 +0000
Debut Jump Title for Friberg
PARK CITY, Utah (Aug. 3) - Fresh off a pair of top FIS Cup finishes in Europe, St. Paul Ski Club jumper Christian Friberg (St. Paul, MN) picked up his first U.S. title Sunday in the large hill event at the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City. Olympian Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) won her 11th U.S. crown.
It's definitely cool - kind of an adrenaline rush. This is a big step forward. Things have been progressing well this summer. It's a good steppingstone for the future. - U.S. Champion Christian Friberg
- Christian Friberg's win came on the heels of a pair of strong finishes in FIS Cup events in Villach, Austria earlier in July including a top 10.
- Friberg soared 130.0 meters on his first ride to take a commanding lead over Olympian Nick Alexander.
- The 19 year old is a three-time World Junior Team member.
- Jessica Jerome went 121.5 and 122.5 meters to take her 11th U.S. title.
- World Champions Sarah Hendrickson and Lindsey Van were both sidelined with injuries.
- The normal hill U.S. Championship will be held in October during the Flaming Leaves tournament in Lake Placid, NY.
1 - Christian Friberg (St. Paul, MN)
2 - Nick Alexander (Lebanon, NH)
3 - Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, IL)
NOTE: Canadian Matt Rowley jumped to second, but only Americans are eligible for U.S. Championships results.
1 - Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT)
2 - Nita Englund (Steamboat Springs, CO)
3 - Tara Gereghaty-Moats (Fairlee, VT)
Christian Friberg, men's champion
It's definitely cool - kind of an adrenaline rush. This is a big step forward. Things have been progressing well this summer. It's a good steppingstone for the future. In a couple weeks we're heading back to Slovenia to train in Kranj and some Continental Cups.
Jessica Jerome, women's champion
It was a great competition today. I wish more of my teammates were here and not injured - I like competing against them and we push each other.
It was nice to see some of the younger development girls step up and have good runs. Nationals is always timed right for me as I start to get a good rhythm this time of the summer. Now it will be interesting to see how I stack up internationally.
Sun, 03 Aug 2014 23:30:18 +0000
U.S. Ski Jumpers Compete for Champs Title
PARK CITY, UT (Aug. 1) – U.S. Ski Team ski jumping and nordic combined athletes will be vying for the title of U.S. Champion this weekend at the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships at the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) in Park City Sunday, Aug. 3. The event is part of the UOP’s 16th annual Springer Tournee. Defending champion Nick Fairall is back to compete along with 2012 Champion Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT), who is looking to earn her 11th U.S. Champion title. Defending Champion Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) and Lindsey Van (Park City, UT) will not be competing this year. Jumping Championships are set to start with the trial round at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3.
- The 2014 U.S. Large Hill Ski Jumping Championships will take place during the summer for the seventh straight year on Aug. 3 at the 2002 Olympic venue in Park City, UT on the HS134 meter hill.
- Nick Fairall will look to defend his U.S. Champion title after winning the large hill event last year.
- Olympians Bryan Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher, Nick Alexander and Anders Johnson will also compete.
- 2012 Champion Jessica Jerome is looking to earn her 11th U.S. Champion title.
- U.S. Ski Team’s Sarah Hendrickson and Lindsey Van are recovering from surgeries and opted not to participate in this year’s championships.
- Jumping Championships are set to start with the trial round at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3.
- The nordic combined and normal hill ski jumping U.S. Championships will take place at the Flaming Leaves Festival in Lake Placid, NY Oct. 11-12.
Men’s Large Hill
Nick Fairall, Andover, NH (1 title)
Women’s Large Hill
Sarah Hendrickson, Park City, UT (2 titles)
Sunday, August 3th
8:00 a.m. U.S. Ski Jumping Championships (men and women HS 134-large hill)
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 20:52:14 +0000
Athlete Spotlight: Erik Bjornsen
As the second half of the Bjornsen nordic clan, Erik Bjornsen continues to carve out his own niche on the U.S. Cross Country Team, making his Olympic debut in 2014 and competing in six events.
In his first Olympic Games, the Washington native helped the men’s classic sprint relay team reach the finals in Sochi. That successful Olympic debut comes on the heels of a breakthrough 2013, where Bjornsen made his World Cup debut, had top-10 and top-15 finishes at U23 World Championships, and earned his first U.S. title in the 15k freestyle. He also skied in his first World Championships, finishing 14th in the team sprint, and then capped the year with two SuperTour Finals victories.
Bjornsen terrorized the SuperTour scene in 2012, with enough impressive finishes to take third overall in the four-part miniseries. He also made his mark on the collegiate scene, earning All-America honors as a freshman at Alaska Pacific University.
Name: Erik Bjornsen
Sport: Cross Country Skiing
How/when did you decide you wanted to compete: Before I can remember
Biggest accomplishment in your career so far: 6th in the team sprint at the Olympics
Favorite moment from Sochi: My five seconds of glory when when I was leading the Olympics!
Goals for next season: Score world cup points in both disciplines and both techniques
Favorite snow destination: Praz De Lys, France
Favorite non-snow destination: Mazama, Washington
Favorite candy: Sour Skittles
If you weren't a professional athlete what would you be: A professional business man
If you could have dinner with one person dead or alive, who would it be: My grandma
One thing you can’t live without: Chef Rosie Brennan
Favorite USSA athlete outside your sport: Julia Mancuso
Advice to others who want to follow in your footsteps: Nothing special, just train hard and enjoy it!
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:30:41 +0000
2015 Cross Country Team Nominated
PARK CITY, UT (June 2) – World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) headlines a powerhouse team of women nominated to the 2015 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. All five A Team women reached the World Cup podium during the 2014 season. On the men’s side, veteran sprinter Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) and rising talent Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO), who won a Tour de Ski stage last season, anchor the American men for the 2015 World Championship season.
- Three-time World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) highlights a powerhouse team of six women nominated to the 2015 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team.
- Randall, along with Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN), are the defending team sprint World Champions.
- Veteran Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) anchors a men’s team of six athletes including Olympians Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) and Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO).
- The 2015 Cross Country World Cup season is slated to open Nov. 29-30, 2014 in Kuusamo, Finland.
- The 2015 Cross Country World Ski Championships will take place Feb. 18 – March 1, 2015 in Falun, Sweden.
2015 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Nominated Athletes
Name, Hometown, Club, Date of Birth
* Denotes Olympian
Simeon Hamilton (Aspen, CO; SMS T2, 5/14/87)*
Andrew Newell (Shaftsbury, VT; SMS T2, 11/30/83)*
Jessica Diggins (Afton, MN; SMS T2, 8/26/91)*
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center, 12/31/82)*
Elizabeth Stephen (East Montpelier, VT; Burke Mountain Academy, 1/12/87)*
Sadie Bjornsen (Mazama, WA; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center, 11/21/89)*
Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT; SMS T2, 3/22/90)*
Erik Bjornsen (Mazama, WA; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center, 7/14/92)*
Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, 8/1/89)*
Ida Sargent (Craftsbury Common, VT; Craftsbury Green Racing Project, 1/25/88)*
Patrick Caldwell (Hanover, NH; Dartmouth Ski Team, 2/18/94)
Ben Saxton (Lakeville, MN, SMS T2, 6/30/93)
Mon, 02 Jun 2014 17:56:05 +0000
Bjornsen-Hoffman Claim U.S. Distance Titles
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (March 29) – U.S. Cross Country Ski Team athletes Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) and Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) both capped their respective seasons Friday with U.S. distance titles to wrap up the 2014 U.S. Cross Country Championships. Hoffman battled with Finnish skier Aku Nikander (University of New Mexico) throughout the men’s 50k classic, where Nikander took the win but the title went to the top U.S. athlete. Bjornsen teamed up with Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) to lead the women’s 30k and emerged with the victory and distance title.
- U.S. Cross Country Ski Team athletes Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) and Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) both capped their respective seasons Friday with U.S. distance titles to wrap up the 2014 U.S. Cross County Championships.
- Hoffman battled with Finnish skier Aku Nikander (University of New Mexico) throughout the men’s 50k classic, repeatedly trading off the lead on the challenging 10k Spencer Loop course. Nikander eventually took the win but the title went to the top U.S. athlete.
- It was the second title for Hoffman at 2014 U.S. Championships after his win in the 15k freestyle race last Saturday.
- Reese Hanneman (APU Nordic; Fairbanks, AK) took the third spot on the podium while Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) skied into sixth and Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) seventh.
- Bjornsen teamed up with Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) to lead the women’s 30k ahead of Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) and Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN). Bjornsen led throughout out the downhill and flat sections while Stephen led the pace on the tough uphill sections.
- In the end Bjornsen emerged with the victory and distance title with Stephen second, Randall third, Diggins fourth and Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) fifth. Rookie Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) finished sixth to cap an incredible first season with the U.S. Ski Team.
- It was Bjornsen’s third career title after winning the skate sprint and 20k classic at U.S. Nationals in Midway, UT in 2013.
- Friday’s event took place on the APU Nordic training site, which meant a hometown advantage for Bjornsen, Randall, Hanneman and other APU athletes.
- The 2014 U.S. Cross Country Championships mark the end of the competitive season for the athletes, who return home for a break before beginning the training cycle again this summer.
I didn’t really know anything about Aku, I didn’t even know his name. He’s a good skier. I didn’t like my chances coming into the final stretch, but part of me was just glad to be with him. I did try a little bit over the final hills, but I just didn’t have a chance getting away from him.
He was better than me double poling all day. I was struggling and it’s been a long season and he was impressive and I’m glad to be done.
This is probably one that I’m going to remember most for the season, this and Holmenkollen, because I feel like it’s the hardest race. Since joining APU I’ve realized I may be more of a distance skier than a sprinter and, you know, I prefer that. I always want to sprint, but distance skiing is so fun for me.
We were just pushing so hard out there, making sure nobody was catching us. You always go into this race, the last race of the season like, ‘Oh, I hope we don’t go as hard as we can the whole time because I’m so tired,’ but when it comes down to it, it’s always more fun to do that anyway.
I was secretly hoping Sadie was going to win this race. I had a feeling a few days ago this was going to be her day.
I certainly felt like today the caliber is the highest it’s ever been for one of these races. I know these guys can ski really well on the Word Cup so it’s like, you know you’ve got to bring you’re A-game on a day like this.
(scroll down for men’s and women’s results)
Sat, 29 Mar 2014 23:36:37 +0000
Jerome Fifth in Large Hill Finale
PLANICA, Slovenia (March 22) – Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) jumped into the top five Saturday, taking advantage of the second large hill competition of the year and making a statement at the final World Cup of the 2014 season. Jerome soared to 117 and 124 meters, scoring 232 points behind the day’s winner and World Cup champion Sara Takanashi of Japan. Jerome finished the season 10th in the season-long World Cup standings, her third consecutive season ranked in the top 10 in the world.
- Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) jumped into fifth Saturday, taking advantage of the second large hill competition of the year and making a statement at the final World Cup of the 2014 season.
- Jerome landed 117 and 124-meter jumps, scoring an impressive 232 points.
- She finished the season 10th in the season-long World Cup standings, her third consecutive season ranked in the top 10 in the world.
- World Cup champion Sara Takanashi of Japan was the day’s winner, while Japanese teammate Yuki Ito occupied the second spot on the podium with Julia Clair of France third.
- Takanashi claimed the overall title with 1720 points, a full 914 points ahead of Olympic champion Carina Vogt of Germany in second. Yuki Ito finished third on the season.
Official World Cup Standings
Sat, 22 Mar 2014 17:07:12 +0000
Randall Tops for USA to Close Season
FALUN, Sweden (March 16) – World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) skied into 13th Sunday in the 10k freestyle pursuit, closing the three-day Falun mini-tour and putting a stamp on another successful World Cup season. In addition to her third-straight World Cup sprint title, Randall finished sixth in the overall standings behind overall champion Therese Johaug of Norway, who also won Sunday’s pursuit. Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) topped for the USA in the men’s 15k pursuit, where Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby skied away with the victory as well as both the distance and overall World Cup titles.
- World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) skied into 13th Sunday in the 10k freestyle pursuit, closing the three-day Falun mini-tour and putting a stamp on another successful World Cup season.
- In addition to winning her third-straight World Cup sprint title last week, Randall took sixth in the overall standings.
- Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) also put forth a strong effort in the Falun mini-tour, where her 17th-place finish helped her reach the top 15 in the overall distance standings.
- World Champion Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) ended her season ranked 20th overall, posting 21st in distance and 23rd in sprint. She finished Sunday’s race 36th.
- Rookie Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) climbed to an impressive eighth in the sprint standings during her first year on the U.S. Cross Country Team, which put her into 23rd overall.
- Overall World Cup champion Therese Johaug of Norway took the victory during Sunday’s pursuit and was joined on the podium by teammates Marit Bjoergen and Heidi Weng. Johaug, Bjoergen and Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen also managed a Norwegian podium sweep in World Cup overall standings.
- Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) led the USA in the men’s 15k pursuit Sunday, as well as pulled out the best U.S. result in the distance standings with 28th.
- Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby skied away with the 15k victory as well as both the distance and overall World Cup titles. Russia’s Alexander Legkov ended his season ranked second overall after a third-place finish in Falun, while Canadian Alex Harvey took second in Falun and third in the overall standings.
I really feel like I left it out there today. I had a chance to catch up to 10th place but unfortunately face-planted with 500m to go. I definitely skied a hard race.
It feels really good to wrap up the World Cup season. I didn't accomplish all the goals I set, but I gave it my best effort and that's what matters most to me. I’m feeling fired up to improve for next year!
Sun, 16 Mar 2014 18:37:12 +0000
Wind Cancels Jumping in Falun
FALUN, Sweden (March 16) – Strong wind gusts on the jump hill created impossible conditions for the nordic combined and ski jumping athletes Sunday, forcing officials to cancel the final nordic combined World Cup of the season. A women’s normal hill jumping competition was also canceled earlier in the day. Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) now heads with the women to jump on the large hill in Planica, Slovenia for the final competition of the season.
- Strong wind gusts on the jump hill created impossible conditions for the nordic combined and ski jumping athletes Sunday, forcing officials to cancel the final nordic combined World Cup of the season. The event will not be rescheduled.
- A women’s normal hill jumping competition was also canceled earlier in the day.
- Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) now heads with the women to jump on the large hill in Planica, Slovenia for the final World Cup of the season.
Sun, 16 Mar 2014 17:14:10 +0000