PARK CITY, UT (Nov. 24, 2015) – The 2015-16 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team was announced today, just before the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup opener in Ruka, Finland. A total of 16 athletes were named to the A, B and D Teams, including 2015 World Championship medalists Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg.
The team will be missing the leadership of Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) this season who is a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team and one of its most decorated stars in history. Randall is taking the 2015-16 season off, as she and husband Jeff Ellis are expecting their first child. Randall plans to spend some time at selective World Cups this season as a spectator to maintain contact with the sport and will return for the 2016-17 season.
- A total of 16 athletes were formally named to the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team—the most athletes the Team has carried in many years.
- World Championships medalists: Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg, who took a historic podium by placing second and third at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, are both members of the 2015-16 team.
- Move to A team: After a breakout 2015 season, Ida Sargent moved to the A team from the B team. Sargent sprinted her way to a fifth place in the World Cup opener in Ruka, Finland, landing her a career-best individual finish.
- U.S. Ski Team debuts: 2010 Olympian and World Champion bronze medalist Caitlin Gregg (Minneapolis, MN) and 2014 and 2015 national champion Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT) are making their official debut on the U.S. Ski Team.
- Off-season prep: The team kicked off summer training at the Snow Farm in Wanaka, New Zealand, followed by impressive top-10 finishes from several athletes at the Toppidrettsveka roller ski tour in Norway in August. The team wrapped up fall training with the Park City camp and mini-tour. The team headed to Gaellivare, Sweden in the beginning of November where they had a nine-day on-snow camp prior to the World Cup season, which begins November 27.
- There are two major eight-stage tours this season—the Tour de Ski in January and the Ski Tour Canada in March. Both tours will be focal points for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team.
- A Season Without Randall: The 14-year veteran of the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team and one of its most decorated stars in history is taking a season off as she and husband Jeff Ellis are expecting their first child. Randall plans to spend time at selective World Cups this season as a spectator to maintain contact with the sport and will return for the 2016-17 season.
- The World Cup opens November 27-29 in Ruka, Finland, while the SuperTour kicks off the same weekend in West Yellowstone, MT.
- The U.S. Cross Country Championships take place Jan. 2-9, 2016 in Houghton, MI.
Chris Grover, Head Coach
The 2015-16 season is going to be a very exciting one for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. With 16 athletes spread between the A, B and D Teams, we have more athletes on the roster than we’ve carried in many years, which is reflective of the quality of American athletes rising from our development ranks. We are also looking at a historic season with 37 World Cup starts and two major tours on the calendar. We’ve never had so many World Cups in one season nor two eight-stage tours to focus on. The Team is excited to tackle these challenges. The Team is both healthy and fit, so look for many breakout performances by American athletes this season.
Robert Lazzaroni, Nordic Domestic Program Director
I had the chance to spend some time with the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team athletes during their fall camp in Park City, UT. On top of being strong, technically and physically, what impressed me most was the team spirit. Like a big family, everyone looked after each other and shared the moments together with lots of smiles. That is probably the secret weapon!
I'm very excited to begin the season as a member of the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team! This will be my fifth year and the team has become family to me. One of our strengths as a nation is our focus and emphasis on having good team chemistry and creating an atmosphere where everyone works together to help each other succeed. It makes spending four months traveling together a lot of fun, and helps us get closer to our goals as individuals and a nation.
2015-16 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Roster
Name (hometown; home club) (skis, boots, poles, eyewear, gloves) birthdate
** World Championship Team member
*** Participating in Westminster College partnership program
- Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center) (Fischer, Fischer, Swix, Rudy Project, Swix) 11/21/1989 * **
- Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT; SMS T2) (Fischer, Fischer, Swix, Rudy Project, Johaug) 3/22/90 * **
- Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN; SMS T2) (Salomon, Salomon, One Way, Rudy Project, Toko) 8/26/1991 * ** ***
- Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO; SMS T2) (Fischer, Fischer, Swix, Oakley, Swix) 5/14/1987* **
- Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT; SMS T2) (Fischer, Fischer, Swix, Rudy Project, Swix) 11/30/1983 * **
- Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center) (Fischer, Fischer, Yoko, Rudy Project, Yoko) 12/31/1982 * **
- Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT; Craftsbury Green Racing Project) (Madshus, Madshus, Swix, Rudy Project, Toko) 1/25/1988 * **
- Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT; Burke Mountain Academy) (Rossignol, Rossignol, Exel, Rudy Project, Johaug) 1/12/1987 * **
- Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center) (Rossignol, Rossignol, Swix, Oakley, Toko) 7/14/1991 * **
- Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center) (Rossignol, Rossignol, Exel, Rudy Project, Toko) 12/2/1988 **
- Caitlin Gregg (Minneapolis, MN; Loppet Nordic Racing) (Madshus, Madshus, Madshus, Bliz, Toko) 11/7/1980 * **
- Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) (Madshus, Madshus, Madshus, Julbo, Toko) 8/1/1989 * **
- Patrick Caldwell (Lyme, NH; SMS T2) (Fischer, Fischer, Swix, Rudy Project, Swix) 2/18/1994
- Julia Kern (Waltham, MA; Stratton Mountain School) (Fischer, Alpina, One Way, Rudy Project, Toko) 9/12/1997
- Katharine Ogden (Landgrove, VT; Stratton Mountain School) (Fischer, Fischer, Swix, Rudy, Project, Toko) 11/17/1997
- Ben Saxton (Lakeville, MN; SMS T2) (Fischer, Fischer, Swix, Julbo, Toko) 6/3/1993
2016 CROSS COUNTRY STAFF
- Chris Grover, Head Coach
- Matt Whitcomb, Woman’s Coach
- Jason Cork, Men’s Coach
- Bryan Fish, Development Coach
World Cup Service Team
- Oleg Ragilo, Head of Service
- Jean-Pascal Laurin, World Cup Service
- Marek Sander, World Cup Service
- Tim Baucom, World Cup Service
- Andrew Morehouse, World Cup Service
CROSS COUNTRY SPONSORS AND SUPPLIERS
Official Cross Country Suppliers - Uniforms
Ski Equipment and Soft Goods
- Buff, Inc.
- Exel Poles
- Johaug Gloves
- One Way
- Rudy Project
- Vertical Brands
Wax, Tools and Training Devices
- BOSU Fitness
- Reliable Racing
- Sun Valley Ski Tools
- World Cup Supply
Uniform Logo Sponsors
- High Sierra
- Nature Valley