Two-time Junior Worlds medalist Sarah Hendrickson (shown here in a recent World Cup win) heads a team of 35 U.S. athletes at the Nordic Junior World Championships and U23 Championships getting underway in Liberec, Czech Republic. (Getty Images/Bongarts)
LIBEREC, Czech Republic (Jan. 21) – A team of 35 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association athletes are competing this week in the International Ski Federation Junior Nordic World Ski Championships and U23 (under 23) World Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic Jan. 21-27. The team blends a significant number of newcomers along with veterans like ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) who will be making her fifth appearance at Junior Worlds with both a silver and bronze medal from past Championships. Liberec, located north of Prague, was the site of the 2011 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships.
The FIS Junior Nordic World Championships (athletes 19 and under) and U23 (under 23) Championships take place in Liberec, Czech Republic Jan. 21-27.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association named 35 athletes to the championships teams in cross country, nordic combined and ski jumping.
The team blends experience with a large number of newcomers. Ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) brings the most experience heading to her fifth Junior World Championships with two medals (silver and bronze) to her credit.
ROSTER Cross Country Junior World Championships Team Men Forrest Mahlen, Anchorage 4/10/93 (APU Nordic) Tucker McCrerey, Frisco, CO 8/12/93 (Univ. of Utah Ski Team) Sawyer Kesselheim, Bozeman, MT 7/3/93 (Bridger Ski Foundation) Kyle Bratrud, Eden Prairie, MN 2/9/93 Logan Hanneman, Fairbanks, AK 6/2/93 (Univ. of Alaska-Fairbanks) Ben Saxton, Lakeville, MN 6/30/93 (Minnesota Valley Ski Team)
Women Corey Stock, Lincoln, MA 6/20/94 (Cambridge Sports Union) Mary O'Connell, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) Emily Hannah, Steamboat Springs, CO 7/30/94 (Harvard Ski Team) Anika Miller, McCall, ID 4/23/95 Heather Mooney, Middlebury, VT 2/27/94 (Middlebury College Ski Team) Sloan Storey, Ketchum, ID 5/6/94 (Univ. of Utah Ski Team)
U23 World Championships Team Men Eric Packer, Anchorage 7/3/90 (Stratton Mountain School) Sam Tarling, Foreside, ME 6/1/90 (Dartmouth Ski Team) Erik Bjornsen, Winthrop, WA 7/14/91 (U.S. Ski Team/Alaska Pacific University) Skyler Davis, Jericho, VT 12/22/91 (U.S. Ski Team/SMS T2) David Norris, Fairbanks, AK 12/12/90 (Montana State Univ. Ski Team)
Women Sophie Caldwell, Peru, VT 3/22/96 (Dartmouth Ski Team) Caitlin Patterson, Craftsbury Common, VT 1/30/90 (Craftsbury Nordic Ski Team) Annie Pokorny, Spokane, WA 11/16/92 (Middlebury College Ski Team) Elizabeth Guiney, Durham, NH 9/28/89 (Univ. of New Hampshire) Anne Hart, Stillwater, MN 8/20/92 (Dartmouth Ski Team)
Nordic Combined Junior World Championships Team Ben Berend, Steamboat Springs, CO 6/29/95 (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) Aleck Gantick, Steamboat Springs, CO 6/9/94 (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) Jasper Good, Steamboat Springs, CO 5/10/96 (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) Erik Lynch, Steamboat Springs, CO 6/9/94 (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) Tyler Smith, Park City, UT 5/14/93 (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Ski Jumping Junior World Championships Team Men Brian Wallace, Woodbury, MN, 7/3/93 (St. Paul Ski Club) Nick Matoon, Eau Claire, WI (Flying Eagles Ski Club) Christian Friberg, Roseville, MN, 9/8/94 (St. Paul Ski Club) Will Rhoads, Park City, UT, 6/8/95 (Park City Nordic Ski Club)
Women Sarah Hendrickson, Park City, UT, 8/1/94 (Women’s Ski Jumping USA) Manon Maurer, Park City, UT 8/306 (UOP Sports Clubs) Emilee Anderson, Eau Claire, WI 12/13/95 (Flying Eagles Ski Club) Nina Lussi, Lake Placid, NY, 3/29/94 (New York Ski Educational Foundation)
QUOTES Paolo Bernardi, Women’s Ski Jumping Coach Sarah Hendrickson is looking for another medal and going into the Junior Worlds in increasingly better shape. Looking back to her World Cup victory last weekend in Hinterzarten she's ready to fight for the gold.
Nina Lussi is having some good jumps in training and I'm looking for a top 20 from her. Emilee Anderson will have her first start at Worlds and she's there to learn and to gain experience for the future. Manon Maurer is also looking forward to her first start and she did a great job qualifying and she's there with the same goal as Emilee.
Bryan Fish, Cross Country Coach Last year, we had a young team, however that has paid off in experience this year with 14 of the 22 cross country skiers with former Junior World Ski Championship competition experience. This group all knows each other and has formed into a tight-knit team. They have been training together and pushing one another.
Our U23 team is led by athletes Sophie Caldwell, Erik Bjornsen and Skyler Davis. All three competed in the Liberec World Cup a week ago and remained in Liberec to prepare.
Kerry Lynch, Nordic Combined Coach The Junior Worlds Nordic combined team is comprised of two athletes with prior experience and three newbies. We are a young team compared to the powerhouse teams from Germany, Norway and Austria. The jump in Liberec is difficult with the prevalent changing wind conditions which spreads the field because at this level, there are no adjustments or points added or deducted for wind or changing start gates. We have been jump training on the WJC complex and the guys have had competitive jumps in about every kind of wind condition they will face in the competition. Their confidence is high.