RUMFORD, ME (Jan. 7) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association named 12 skiers Saturday to the World Junior Cross Country Ski Championship Team that will compete later this month in Otepea, Estonia Jan. 26-31. The Team was selected based on the results at the 2011 U.S. Cross Country Championships in Rumford.
Six men and six women will pool together from ski clubs, programs and colleges across the country to represent the U.S. as they compete in four events with hopes of being crowned Junior World champion. Among the list of accomplished up-and-comers are seven returning 2009 World Junior Championship Team members.
“The World Junior Ski Championship Team is the foundation for a successful U.S. Ski Team,” explained World Junior Head Coach Matt Whitcomb. “It is likely that some of these athletes will be U.S. Ski Team and Olympic Team members in less than four years.”
On the men’s team, 2009 U.S. Sprint Champion Tyler Kornfield (Anchorage) and 2009 World Junior Ski Championship top-25 finishers Erik Bjornsen (Mazama, WA) and Scott Patterson (Anchorage) will lead the six man team in the four events. Also joining the roster is World Junior veteran George Cartwright (Lander, WY) as well as World Junior rookies Skyler Davis (Jericho, VT) and Andrew Doughtery (Denver).
Fronting the women’s team are three returning skiers including all-around standout Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN), Amy Glen (Anchorage) and Joanne Reid (Palo Alto, CA). Leading the new-comers charge is classic sprint extraordinaire Heather Mooney (Peru, VT), the youngest member of the Team, Isabel Caldwell (Peru, VT) and Kinsey Loan (Eagle River, AK).
“As a nation, our clubs are developing stronger athletes more regularly. The best athletes are no longer anomalies. They are products of a club’s training system,” explained Whitcomb. “A very strong team has qualified for this year’s Championships in Estonia. Over 80 percent of them either won or were second in one qualifying event. This Team can compete at a high international level.”
The World Junior Ski Championships will open with the men’s and women’s 10/5k free technique on Wednesday, Jan. 26. Coupled with the U-23 World Ski Championships, the event will span over a six day period closing with the men’s and women’s relays.
2011 World Junior Ski Championship Team
* Denotes returning World Junior Ski Championship Team members
Erik Bjornsen, Mazama, WA (University of Alaska Anchorage)*
Tyler Kornfield, Anchorage (University of Alaska-Fairbanks)*
Scott Patterson, Anchorage (Alaska Winter Stars)*
Skyler Davis, Jericho, VT (Stratton Mountain School)
George Cartwright, Lander, WY (Northern Michigan University)*
Andrew Doughtery, Denver (Denver University)
Isabel Caldwell, Peru, VT (Dartmouth Ski Team)
Amy Glen, Anchorage (University of Vermont)*
Joanne Reid, Palo Alto, CA (University of Colorado)*
Kinsey Loan, Eagle River, AK (Alaska Pacific University)
Heather Mooney, Peru, VT (Stratton Mountain School)
Jessie Diggins, Afton, MN (Central Cross Country Skiing)*
Matt Whitcomb, World Junior Head Coach, U.S. Ski Team
Bryan Fish, U23 Head Coach, U.S. Ski Team
Randy Gibbs, Head Service, U.S. Ski Team
Andrew Johnson, Service, University of Vermont
Casey Fagerquist, Service, Alaska Pacific University
Justin Beckwith, Service, Green Mountain Valley School
Amy Caldwell, Coach, Boulder Nordic Sport
Daniel Weiland, Coach, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail
2011 World Junior Ski Championship Schedule
Wed., Jan. 26 Men’s and women’s 10/5k free
Fri., Jan. 28 Men’s and women’s 1.4/1.2k classic sprint
Sun., Jan. 30 Men’s and women’s 20/10k pursuit
Mon., Jan. 31 Men’s and women’s 4×5/3.3k relay