Schumacher, Jager part of historic USA gold medal in Finland
The United States has really never been known for cross-country skiing.
But Anchorage’s Gus Schumacher and Luke Jager are changing that.
The Alaskans helped Team USA make history with the country’s first gold medal in the U20 men’s 4x5K relay at the World Junior Championships in Lahti, Finland.
Jager skied the first classic leg, Vermont’s Ben Ogden the second classic leg, Idaho’s Johnny Hagenbuch the first skate leg and Schumacher the anchor leg. The Americans beat second-place Russia by 3.8 seconds.
It was just one of many marvelous moments by Alaska skiers, including Kendall Kramer of Fairbanks, at the weeklong World Junior Championships.
Schumacher, of Service High fame, turned in a sensational sixth-place finish in the men’s 10k skate race in what the Anchorage Daily News reported was believed to be the best finish in a distance race by an American man in the history of the junior championships.
The 18-year-old placed fourth in men’s 30K classical, just missing a medal.
Jager, of West High fame, was 13th in the 30K classical
In 2018, Schumacher and Jager were part of another historic American finish when they helped the U.S. finish second in the men’s 4x5K relay.
Kramer, of West Valley High fame, led the U.S. women with a team-best finish in the 5K skate (15th overall) and 15K classical race (fourth).
Earlier this month, Kramer dominated the U.S. Cross Country Championships in Vermont, where she captured multiple junior national titles.