U.S. Ski & Snowboard earlier Wednesday announced the 23 athletes nominated to the cross-country skiing national team for the 2023/2024 season. All athletes named under objective criteria were accurately predicted on this website last week. Swap in Zak Ketterson (discretion) for Hunter Wonders (retired), and today’s announcement is precisely what was previewed here on May 1.
Athletes new to the national team this season include D-Team skiers Haley Brewster, Brian Bushey, Max Kluck, Ava Thurston, and Derek Richardson, universally known as “Buster.” Welcome to these five, and congratulations to all 23 athletes.
“This past season was an important one for USA XC ski racing, with the men moving up to sixth in the Nation’s Cup standings and earning the maximum World Cup quota for the first time in our history,” said Chris Grover, national team Program Director, in a USSS press release.
“We also witnessed the USA squad fighting for third in the Overall Nation’s Cup going into the last weekend of racing. As we set our sights on the 2023-24 season, we have aspirations of exceeding this past year’s performances by focusing on key strategies in technique, equipment and preparation. We have a young team that is still building valuable experience on the World Cup, and will no doubt turn more heads in the coming years.”
Notably, this 2023/2024 World Cup season presumptively features a half-dozen races in North America in February 2024, including four races in Canmore and two races in Minneapolis.
The official 2023/2024 World Cup calendar will be confirmed by FIS later this month following Spring Congress. The official national team naming — which should presumptively be coterminous with the names given here, unless someone like unexpectedly retires in the next few months or is busted for doping or some such — will occur this fall.
The official announcement is below. Domestic club affiliations are per USSS.
2023/2024 Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team
Rosie Brennan (club: APUNSC)
Jessie Diggins (SMS)
Julia Kern (SMS)
Ben Ogden (SMS)
JC Schoonmaker (APUNSC)
Sophia Laukli (Team Aker Dæhlie)
Novie McCabe (APUNSC)
Sydney Palmer-Leger (SMS)
John Steel Hagenbuch (Dartmouth College)
Luke Jager (APUNSC)
Zak Ketterson (Team Birkie)
Zanden McMullen (APUNSC)
Scott Patterson (APUNSC)
Gus Schumacher (Alaska Winter Stars)
Haley Brewster (University of Vermont)
Samantha Smith (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation)
Ava Thurston (Dartmouth College)
Brian Bushey (University of Utah)
Michael Earnhart (APUNSC)
Walker Hall (Methow Valley Nordic Team; University of Utah)
Max Kluck (Bridger Sports Foundation)
Will Koch (SMS)
Derek “Buster” Richardson (APUNSC)
Coaches and Staff
Cross Country Program Director: Chris Grover
Head Coach: Matt Whitcomb
World Cup Coach: Jason Cork
D Team Coach: Kristen Bourne
Development Team Coach: Greta Anderson
Cross Country Sport Development Manager: Bryan Fish
Cross Country Sport Coordinator: Adam St. Pierre
Cross Country Press Officer: Leann Bentley
Head of Service: Oleg Ragilo
World Cup Service: Bjørn Heimdal
World Cup Service: Tim Baucom
World Cup Service: Eli Brown
World Cup Service: Chris Hecker
World Cup Service: Karel Kruuser
— Gavin Kentch