Sun Valley Community School graduating seniors Johnny Hagenbuch and Sydney Palmer-Leger were nominated Monday, May 4 to the Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team for the 2020-21 season.
U.S. Ski and Snowboard announced next year’s 23-athlete team in a press release. Nominated athletes are due to open the season with their initial yet-unscheduled training camp at Park City, Utah—subject to COVID-19 considerations.
Hagenbuch, 18, and Palmer-Leger, 18, are prominent members of the largest U.S. Nordic Development Team (D Team) ever nominated with 11 athletes, six men and five women.
They are also products of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) program.
Davis U.S. Cross Country Team program director Chris Grover of Hailey said, “The 2021 U.S. Cross Country Team has more depth than any team in modern American cross-country ski racing history.
“Athletes in this group have systematically broken down every barrier in cross-country performance that traditionally has blocked American athletes—including World Junior gold, to World Championships gold, and to Olympic gold.”
The new Development Team includes three members of Team USA that won back-to-back FIS Junior World Championship gold medals in the 4x5-kilometer men’s relay, March 6 at Oberwiesenthal, Germany and for the first time in Jan. 2019 at Lahti, Finland.
Hagenbuch was a member of both gold medal teams, as were 2021 D Team nominees Luke Jager, 20, of Anchorage, Ak. and University of Utah, and Ben Ogden, 20, of Landgrove, Vt. and the University of Vermont.
Gus Schumacher, 19, of Anchorage, Ak. was the fourth member of the gold medal winning relay team. He nominated to the 2020-21 “B Team” along with Kevin Bolger, 27, of Wisconsin and the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.
Palmer-Leger played a big role for the U.S. Junior Women’s relay team that captured the silver medal in the FIS Junior World Championship 3x3.3k women’s relay March 6 at Oberwiesenthal, Germany.
The Americans finished just 4.9 seconds behind the gold medal team from Switzerland to score the best-ever finish for U.S. women in the Junior Worlds relay event. There were 16 teams finishing the race.
All four members of that team including Palmer-Leger were nominated for the new U.S. Cross Country “D Team.” They were Kendall Kramer, 17, of Fairbanks, Ak., Novie McCabe, 18, of Winthrop, Wash. and Sophia Laukli, 19, of Yarmouth, Me. and Middlebury.
Each athlete accepting nominations to the U.S. Ski Team receives world-class program support, access to the USSA Center of Excellence, and many athletic benefits including elite coaching, sport science and educational opportunities.
Here is a U.S. team list:
• “A Team” men (1): Simi Hamilton, 32, of Aspen, Co.
• “A Team” women (6): Sadie Maubet Bjornsen, 30, of Winthrop, Wash.; Rosie Brennan, 21, of Anchorage, Ak.; Sophie Caldwell, 30, of Peru, Vt.; Jessie Diggins, 28, of Afton, Minn.; Julia Kern, 22, of Waltham, Mass.; and Hailey Swirbul, 21, of Aspen, Co.
• “B Team” men (4): Kevin Bolger, 27, of Minocqua, Wisc.; Scott Patterson, 28, of Anchorage; Gus Schumacher, 19, of Anchorage; and Logan Hanneman, 26., of Anchorage.
• “B Team” women (1): Katharine Ogden, 22, of Landgrove, Vt.
• “D Team” men (6): Johnny Hagenbuch, 18, of Ketchum; Luke Jager, 20, of Anchorage; Noel Keeffe, 20, of Steamboat Springs, Co.; Ben Ogden, 20, of Landgrove, Vt.; JC Schoonmaker, 19, of Tahoe City, Ca.; and Hunter Wonders, 21, of Anchorage.
• “D Team” women (5): Sydney Palmer-Leger, 18, of Park City, Utah; Hannah Halvorsen, 22, of Truckee, Ca.; Novie McCabe, 18, of Winthrop, Wash.; Kendall Kramer, 17, of Fairbanks, Ak.; and Sophia Laukli, 19, of Yarmouth, Me.