Tahoe area athletes highlight U.S. Ski & Snowboard teams


October 22, 2022 - 228 views

As a weekend storm threatens to bring snow to the Sierra, the area’s winter athletes are gearing up for another season on the slopes.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard this week announced lineups the 2022-23 alpine, snowboard, and cross-country teams, and several of the regions athletes again litter the list of those named to the national squads.

Alpine


The Tahoe area will once again have a strong staple of alpine athletes among the 43 named to represent the nation this season.

Longtime U.S. Alpine Ski Team members Bryce Bennett and Travis Ganong, each representing Tame Palisades Tahoe.


Ganong, 34, finished last season 11th in downhill points and 14th in super-G. He posted six top-10 finishes in World Cup racing last year and was 12th in super-G at the Winter Olympics.

Bennett, 30, finished 12th in the World Cup downhill standings. He picked up his first World Cup victory last year, taking first in downhill at Val Gardena-Groeden, Italy. Bennett took 17th in super-G and 19th in in downhill at the Winter Olympics.

Team Palisades Tahoe’s Nina O’Brien, 24, landed on the A Team as well. O’Brien claimed a ninth-place finish at a World Cup giant slalom event last year.

Local standout AJ Hurt was named to the B Team. Hurt, 21, made several World Cup starts last year, including a 20th place in giant slalom to open the season. She also finished 34th in slalom at the Winter Olympics.

Another Team Palisades Tahoe skier, Keely Cashman, 23, was also named to the B Team. Cashman’s best World Cup result came in June in Austria where she finished 23rd in super-G. She was 17th in downhill and 27th in super-G at the Olympics.

Team Palisades Tahoe skier Erik Arvidsson, 26, was named to the B Team as well. Arvidsson’s best finish in World Cup racing came in May when he finished 31st in downhill.

Sugar Bowl Academy’s Luke Winters was also named to the B Team. Winters, 25, has already competed in giant slalom this season on the Australian New Zealand World Cup, finishing sixth in giant slalom. Winters claimed three top-10 finishes in World Cup racing last season.

Team Palisades Tahoe’s Alix Wilkinson, 22, was named to the C Team. Her best World Cup result last season was an 18th in downhill.

This season will feature four World Cup events in the US, including the women’s slalom and giant slalom races at the Heroic Killington Cup November 26-27, the Xfinity Birds of Prey men’s speed events at Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado December 3-5, the men’s tech series at Palisades Tahoe, February 25-26, and a men’s speed series in Aspen, Colorado March 3-4. 

“We’re really looking forward to the season starting and are ready to hit the ground running starting here in Soelden on October 22,” said Alpine Director Patrick Riml in Wednesday’s announcement. “This year, we have a solid group of veterans who are consistently improving and an extremely talented group of young athletes climbing the ranks throughout all disciplines. The future of alpine skiing in America is looking very promising.”

Snowboard

Three-time Olympian Jamie Anderson leads the U.S. Snowboard Team into another season.

The South Tahoe two-time Olympic gold medalist is the most decorated woman in X Games history with 19 total medals. Las year she added to that total with a second-place finishes in big air and slopestyle. Anderson, 32, also won the slopestyle World Cup event at Mammoth Mountain last year. She was ninth in slopestyle and 15th in big air at the 2022 Olympics.

Another rider with local ties, Hailey Langland was also named to the Pro Team. Langland, 22, took 11th in slopestyle and 12th in big air at the Olympics.

Truckee’s Toby Miller, 22, was named to the Halfpipe Pro Team. Miller made a pair of World Cup starts last season, finishing 15th and 13th in halfpipe.

“The U.S. Snowboard Team is in a great spot going into this 2022-23 season,” said JJ Thomas, Head Coach of the U.S. Snowboard Halfpipe Team in Tuesday’s announcement. “We are currently wrapping up a huge camp in Saas Fee, Switzerland. Our veterans are in form while the development team is a whole new group of talented athletes that are improving daily.”

Cross-Country

Tahoe City’s JC Schoonmaker heads the list of cross-country athletes.

Schoonmaker, 22, posted three top-10 finishes in World Cup racing last season. He also took 15th in sprint and helped the U.S. to a ninth-place finish in the team sprint at the Winter Olympics.

“Over the course of the year, the coaching staff has been continually impressed by the dedication, professionalism, and preparedness of this amazing group of athletes, and we’re so excited to see what they can do this season,” said U.S. Cross Country Team Directory Chris Grover in Monday’s announcement.

Athletes named to the various levels of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard teams receive different amounts of training and financial support.

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