Sports

Five U of U athletes nominated to U.S. Cross Country Ski Team

PARK CITY, Utah. — U.S. Ski & Snowboard nominated 22 athletes to the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team for the 2022-23 season, several of which included University of Utah athletes. Nominations include those active athletes who qualified based on the published selection criteria in the prior season.

Despite representing different hometowns, five University of Utah athletes were nominated to the roster, including Novie McCabe, Sophia Laukli, Luke Jager, Sydney Palmer-Leger and Walker Hall. While they are some of the youngest on the roster, these five Utes demonstrated a lot of promise during their recent NCAA Championship, especially McCabe who made the podium in each of her 10 2021 races and was pivotal in the Championship. She was nominated to the women’s A team.

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Notably, while also representing the U, Sydney Palmer-Leger claimed Park City as her hometown. During the 2021 season with the Utes, Palmer-Leger was named the National Nordic Skier of the Year and won the National Championship in the 5K Classic and the 15K Freestyle. She was nominated to the women’s Development team.

“This team is the largest in U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s XC history, and it could become our most successful one, too,” noted Head Coach Matt Whitcomb. “There is clear talent, as well as a history of impressive results, but most importantly, these are individuals from many different clubs in the U.S. that are interested in connecting and believing in one another, and pushing hard. Talent and past results don’t get me as excited as a bunch of athletes that are ready to lock in together.”

Notable retirements following the 2021-22 season include 2022 Olympian Hannah Halvorsen, and Junior World Championships bronze medalist Katharine Odgen.

The 2022-23 FIS Cross Country World Cup season is scheduled to kick off with races in Ruka, Finland Nov. 25-27. The 2023 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships are scheduled for Feb. 21 through March 5 in Planica, Slovenia.

A 2022-23 staff announcement will be forthcoming, while an official U.S. Cross Country Ski Team announcement will be made in the fall.

2022-23 Cross Country Nominations

A TEAM

Women

Rosie Brennan (Anchorage, Alaska; Alaska Pacific University Ski Nordic Center; 12/21/88)

Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.; Stratton Mountain School Elite Team; 8/26/91)

Julia Kern (Waltham, Mass.; Stratton Mountain School Elite Team; 9/12/97)

Novie McCabe (Winthrop, Wash.; Methow Valley Nordic Team/University of Utah; 12/15/01)

Men

Ben Ogden (Landgrove, Vt.; Stratton Mountain School Elite Team/University of Vermont; 2/13/00)

Scott Patterson (Anchorage, Alaska; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center; 1/28/92)

JC Schoonmaker (Tahoe City, Calif; University of Alaska Anchorage/Sugar Bowl Ski Team and Academy; 8/12/00)

B TEAM

Women

Sophia Laukli (Yarmouth, Maine; University of Utah; 6/8/00)

Hailey Swirbul (Aspen, Colo.; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center; 7/10/98)

Men

Kevin Bolger (Minocqua, Wisc.; Sun Valley Gold Team; 4/11/93)

John Steel Hagenbuch (Ketchum, Idaho; Sun Valley Gold Team; 10/1/2001)

Luke Jager (Anchorage, Alaska; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center/University of Utah; 1/17/00)

Zak Ketterson (Bloomington, Minn; Team Birkie/Northern Michigan University; 4/2/97)

Finn O’Connell (Bozeman, Mont.; Bridger Ski Foundation; 6/26/1998)

Gus Schumacher (Anchorage, Alaska; Alaska Winter Stars; 7/25/00)

Hunter Wonders (Anchorage, Alaska; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center; 8/7/98)

DEVELOPMENT TEAM

Women

Sydney Palmer-Leger (Park City, Utah; Sun Valley Gold Team/University of Utah; 2/4/2002)

Sammy Smith (Boise, Idaho; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation; 9-22-2005)

Men

Michael Earnhart (Anchorage, Alaska; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center; 8-11-2002)

Walker Hall (Winthrop, Wash.; Methow Valley Nordic Team/University of Utah; 6-11-2002)

Will Koch (Peru, Vermont; Stratton Mountain School T2/University of Colorado; 2-21-2002)

Zanden McMullen (Anchorage, Alaska; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center/Montana State University; 5/31/2001)

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