World Junior and U23 Championships (official name: 2023 FIS Junior & U23 World Cross Country Championships) kick off in Whistler on Saturday morning. Nordic Insights will be there in person for all the races. Free live streaming will be available for all races; links coming later this week in a viewing guide.
For now, here’s a look at the 22 athletes who will be representing Team U.S.A., with hometowns and current team affiliations as per a recent USSS press release. Instagram profiles are embedded when the athlete has a public account.
U23 World Championship athletes
Sophia Laukli (Yarmouth, Maine): USST/University of Utah
Novie McCabe (Winthrop, Washington): USST/University of Utah
Anabel Needham (Houghton, Michigan): Michigan Tech University
Kate Oldham (Aspen, Colorado): Montana State University
Sydney Palmer-Leger (Park City, Utah): USST/University of Utah
John Steel Hagenbuch (Ketchum, Idaho): USST/Dartmouth College
Luke Jager (Anchorage): USST/University of Utah
Zanden McMullen (Anchorage): USST/APU Nordic Ski Center
JC Schoonmaker (Tahoe City, California): USST/Sugar Bowl Academy
Gus Schumacher (Anchorage, Alaska): USST/Alaska Winter Stars
(Kendall Kramer, Sophia Mazzoni, and Waverly Gebhardt, for the women, and Ben Ogden, for the men, all qualified for this team but declined their spots, per a USSS press release. Kramer is still listed in some online sources as racing for the U.S., but confirmed directly with Nordic Insights earlier this week that she will not be racing in Whistler.)
Junior World Championship athletes
Hattie Barker (Underhill, Vermont): University of New Hampshire
Haley Brewster (Avon, Colorado): University of Vermont
Rose Horning (Leadville, Colorado): Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Nina Schamberger (Leadville, Colorado): Summit Nordic Ski Club
Sammy Smith (Sun Valley, Idaho): USST/Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation
Ava Thurston (Waterbury, Vermont): Dartmouth College
Jack Conde (Bend, Oregon): Montana State University
Max Kluck (Butte, Montana): Bridger Ski Foundation
Adrik Kraftson (Minneapolis, Minnesota): Northern Michigan University
Jack Lange (Putney, Vermont): Dartmouth College
Luka Riley (Boulder, Colorado): University of Colorado
Anders Weiss (Aspen, Colorado): Montana State University
(Tabor Greenberg qualified for this team for the men but declined his spot, per the USSS press release. Greenberg intends to race in Finland next month on the U18 Nordic Nations Cup trip.)
Again, the first race in Whistler is on this Saturday, January 28; qualification for the Juniors classic sprint begins at 10 a.m. local time (Pacific Standard Time) Saturday morning. Nordic Insights will be reporting on site all week. My goal for my time at the venue is to talk with every American athlete after every race; stay tuned if you’re a reader, and look for me in the mixed zone if you’re an athlete.
Finally, please consider donating to our GoFundMe if you like what you’ve read here and this season and would like to help underwrite travel costs; in-person reporting is expensive. Thanks!
— Gavin Kentch