Hunter Wonders of Anchorage parlayed a strong showing at the U23 World Championships into a spot on the U.S. cross-country ski team headed to the World Championships in Germany.
Wonders, a 22-year-old who trains with the Alaska Pacific University nordic program, was one of three late additions to the team, along with Vermont’s Ben Ogden and Maine’s Sophia Laukli. All were added to the squad based on their performances at the recent World Junior Championships and U23 World Championships in Finland.
Wonders was part of America’s U23 mixed-relay team that placed fifth, but his biggest result came in the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle, where he placed 13th.
He joins a 17-member U.S. team that will compete in the Feb. 24-March 7 World Championships in Oberstdorf. He’s one of nine Alaskans on the squad — others are Rosie Brennan, Hailey Swirbul and Sadie Maubet Bjornsen for the women and Gus Schumacher, David Norris, Scott Patterson, Logan Hanneman and JC Schoonmaker.
Schumacher and Wonders were the top American men at the U23 championships, with Schmacher’s placing 9th in the 15K and joining Wonders on the relay team. Zanden McMullen of Anchorage was the top American man in World Junior competition for U20 skiers, finishing fifth in the 10K freestyle, 14th in the first 30K of his career and 21st in the sprint.