Freeman, Swenson lead eight-member U.S. cross-country team for 2004-05

Freeman, Swenson lead eight-member U.S. cross-country team for 2004-05{mosimage}USSA — Kris Freeman, who produced the best U.S. cross-country results on the World Cup in 20 years last winter, and two-time Olympian Carl Swenson, who had three top-15s, head an eight-member U.S. Cross-Country Ski Team for the 2005 season.

The team of six men and two women includes five Olympians. There is also a four-member development team, which includes two more skiers with Olympic experience.

The U.S Cross-Country Team
(* designates Olympian)
Justin Freeman, 27; Andover, NH
* Kris Freeman, 23; Andover, NH
* Andrew Johnson, 26; Greensboro, VT
* Torin Koos, 23; Leavenworth, WA
Andy Newell, 20; Shaftsbury, VT
* Carl Swenson, 34; Park City, UT
Rebecca Dussault, 23; Gunnison, CO
* Wendy Wagner, 30; Park City, UT

Development Team

Chris Cook, 23; Rhinelander, WI
Leif Zimmermann, 20; Bozeman, MT
* Kikkan Randall, 21; Anchorage, AK
* Lindsey Weier, 19; Mahtomedi, MN

Freeman, a former University of Vermont racer, is a diabetic who self-administers up to six insulin shots daily. He was fifth and sixth in two races in December, the best World Cup results for a U.S. skier since Jim Galanes was fifth in a race in 1984. Swenson, a Dartmouth College graduate who finished fifth in the 50-kilometer race concluding the 2003 World Championships in Italy, equaled his World Cup best by finishing 11th twice last season.

“This is a solid team with excellent potential for more success. Everything for these athletes is focused on the World Championships [in February in Oberstdorf, Germany] and staying healthy,” said U.S. nordic director Luke Bodensteiner. “Obviously, Kris and Carl are among the top skiers in the sport and we want to maximize their opportunities. But Andy and Torin have shown they’re starting to move up in sprinting, and, now that’s she committed to racing, we want Rebecca to get more experience so she can start to challenge.”

Bodensteiner said head coach Trond Nystad has designed “an aggressive World Cup schedule” in which both Freemans, Swenson, Johnson and Wagner will train and race in Europe from early November as they aim for their top results during the World Championships. Sprint specialists Koos and Newell, as well as Dussault, will stay in North America. Bodensteiner noted the return of Dussault, back for her second season after taking time off to start a family, adds significant strength to the women’s team.

“We’re looking to reduce the wear and tear from travel,” Bodensteiner said, “so Trond has come up with a creative plan that will have the sprinters in North America to train and race in early SuperTour events while Kris, Carl and the others get right at it on the World Cup.”

The team participates in a residence program in Park City, Utah, living and training together throughout the preseason.

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