Ten cross-country skiers with Alaska ties named to US Ski Team
Nearly half of the US Cross Country Ski Team is from Alaska.
Ten of the 23 athletes – five men and five women – were named to the three-tier squad that will open the World Cup season later this month in Finland.
Another Alaskan, Chris Grover of Anchorage, serves as program director for the US Cross Country Ski Team.
“Needless to say, this year was the most atypical season of preparation that the cross country team has had, with athletes mainly training at home in their smaller club groups,” Grover said.
“Given this limitation, it’s impressive to see the level of fitness that many athletes have attained this fall, smashing personal records on time trials and local events. I have no doubt that when the team gets their snow-feet underneath them this winter, they will have some extraordinary results.”
Leading the way is the women’s A Team, which consists of Anchorage’s Sadie Maubet Bjornsen, Rosie Brennan and Hailey Swirbul. All three are part of the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center.
Maubet Bjornsen is a two-time Olympian who racked up career-best third- and fourth-place finishes on this same Finland course in the 2019 season opener. A week later in Lillehammer, Norway, Maubet Bjornsen helped the Team USA 4x5K earn a silver medal.
The men’s B Team features Anchorage’s Gus Schumacher, Scott Patterson and Logan Hanneman. Schumacher’s club is the Alaska Winter Stars and Patterson and Hanneman are with APU.
Schumacher, of Service High fame, made US Ski Team history in March when he became the first American male to win an individual Junior World Championship. He also anchored the American relay team to a gold medal and was named winner of the Beck International Trophy.
The Development Team features Kendall Kramer of Fairbanks and Anchorage’s Luke Jager, Hunter Wonders and Hannah Halvorsen.
Kramer, of West Valley High fame, was on the team last year and earned a breakout fourth-place finish at the World Junior Nordic Ski Championships.
Jager, of West High fame, helped make US Ski Team history with the country’s first gold medal in the U20 men’s 4x5K relay at the World Junior Championships.
Jager, Wonders and Halvorsen all ski club with APU.