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Four Alaskans retain spots on U.S. Ski Team's nordic squad

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published May 3, 2016

Four cross-country skiers from Alaska kept their spots on the U.S. Ski Team on Tuesday, including one who will have a baby on board when the new season begins.

Anchorage's Kikkan Randall, a four-time Olympian and three-time World Cup sprint champion, is poised to return to action next winter after skipping last season while pregnant. She was a member of the national team but did not compete.

Randall, 33, and husband Jeff Ellis three weeks ago celebrated the birth of their son, Breck. Randall said she and Ellis, who works for the International Ski Federation, will take Breck to Europe with them next season.

"We're excited to bring the baby on the road and have (him) travel around with us," Randall said last month.

Randall and Sadie Bjornsen of Anchorage both retained their spots on the A team. Back on the B team are Erik Bjornsen, Sadie's brother, and Rosie Brennan. All four skiers train with the Alaska Pacific University nordic program.

Sadie Bjornsen, 26, is coming off the best season of her career. She scored points in 30 World Cup races and cracked the top 10 in eight individual races to finish the season ranked 14th in the world.

Bjornsen skied on two medal-winning relay teams, earning silver in one and bronze in another. Brennan skied a leg on the bronze-medal winning team.

Brennan, 27, finished 54th in the world rankings during her first season as a member of the U.S. Ski Team. She collected World Cup points in five individual races by placing in the top 30.

Erik Bjornsen, 24, tallied World Cup points in five individual races and two relay races last season. He and his sister were both members of the U.S. team that competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.

A total of 10 women and six men were named to the 2016-17 national team.

Women's A team -- Sadie Bjornsen, Anchorage; Sophie Caldwell, Peru, Vermont; Jessie Diggins, Afton, Minnesota; Kikkan Randall, Anchorage; Ida Sargent, Orleans, Vermont; Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, Vermont.

Women's B team -- Rosie Brennan, Anchorage.

Women's D team -- Hannah Halvorsen, Truckee, California; Julia Kern, Waltham, Massachusetts; Katharine Ogden, Landgrove, Vermont.

Men's A team -- Simi Hamilton, Aspen, Colorado; Andrew Newell, Shaftsbury, Vermont.

Men's B team -- Erik Bjornsen, Anchorage; Noah Hoffman, Aspen, Colorado.

Men's D team -- Patrick Caldwell, Lyme, New Hampshire; Ian Torchia, Rochester, Minnesota.

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