Alaska qualifies 9 skiers for the 2022-23 U.S. cross country ski team
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Of the 22 skiers selected to the 2022-2023 U.S. cross country team, nine are Alaskan or have an Alaska connection.
The state of Alaska continues to be hotbed for the U.S. national team after a strong 2022 Winter Olympics showing.
National sprint champion and former UAA Seawolf JC Schoonmaker as well as National team regular Rosie Brennan and Scott Patterson have made the A-team.
Gus Schumacher, Hailey Swirlbul, Luke Jager and Hunter Wonders made the B-team.
Michael Earnhart and Zanden McMullen will be participating on the U.S. Developmental team where many great skiers have spent time.
Schumacher is one of the athletes coming off of the Olympic games and is starting to notice just how deep the team really is.
“I had a pretty great year not last season but the one before, didn’t do as well this season but Ben Ogden and JC Schoonmaker and Luke even and really filled those shoes, and Scott,” Schumacher continued. “We don’t need one person getting all the results because we are all starting to do better as a group.”
The American women have had success in the past with medals and top-five finishes on the international stage, but for the American men that has yet to come. The majority of the American men on the team are just 21 years old or even younger, and they believe that they are building something special.
“Just be patient with us, I feel like it’s coming. I really think that we have such a great group right now and we have those girls on our team that we are kind of chasing after,” Schoonmaker continued. “We can learn so much from them. They are so inspiring and I really feel like our time is coming. We are about to do some big things.”
The team is currently in Bend, Oregon for a training camp before they all go their separate ways before meeting up for the first big international competition of the year in November in Ruka, Finland.
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