PARK CITY, Utah — Northern Michigan's Ian Torchia was nominated for the 2016-17 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) announced Tuesday.
Torchia was among six men selected to the team. He was the only current collegian to be named to either the men's or women's squads and was placed on the D team.
"We are excited that Ian has been named to the national ski team's development team," head coach Sten Fjeldheim said. "Ian is very deserving of this honor, and his performance at international events this year really put him on the national team's radar. This year's national team is a very small, elite group of skiers from across the nation. Training with them will give Ian an opportunity to test himself against the other top national team skiers."
Torchia won four events over the course of the season, including two in the junior division at the U.S. Cross Country Championships in January. He earned first team All-American accolades in the 10K freestyle (2nd, 22:17.4) and the 20K classic (4th, 50:22.1) at the NCAA National Championship in March.
Torchia also had the opportunity to race against the best skiers in his age group at the World Junior Championships in February. There, he was the top U.S. finisher in the 15K freestyle, posting a time of 32:43.3 to take 15th.
"Our skiers are very proud and happy for Ian," Fjeldheim said. "At the same time, I am sure they are thinking, 'Hey, if he can make it so can I.' This creates very positive energy for our program and is positive for our entire university."
Fjeldheim estimates that 18 Wildcats have raced for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. Most recently, 2007 national champions Lindsey Weier and Lindsay Williams received the honor.