World Juniors/U23s: Meet the Team


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

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