US Nationals: Preview

NordicNationals

The 2015 USA Cross Country Skiing Championships will be held in Houghton Michigan from the 4th to the 10th of January. A host of Australian athletes will be taking part including Paul Kovacs, Mark Pollock, Jessica Yeaton, Casey Wright and Kat Paul.

The United States boasts the largest cross country skiing community in the world. You often hear it said that as many people cross country ski in America as live in Norway. Understanding this it is not surprising to hear that hundreds of competitors will line up from across the country to compete. When the author of this report was young the US Nationals start list would be close to one thousand competitors. Now a days the fields have reduced somewhat but the competitiveness has remained with the US Ski Team using the event to finalise their World Championships, World Junior Championship and World U23 Championship Team.

For the Australians competing this is an excellent opportunity to race in a high profile event against solid competition. The races available are a freestyle 10/15km individual start, a classic sprint, a classic 5/10/20/30km mass start and a skate sprint.

Paul Kovacs: “I’m really excited to be heading to US nationals. The conditions are perfect with huge snowfalls, cold temperatures and sunshine. I am aiming for big distance results and looking for a top 10-15 place finish or better. In sprinting it’s a little more of an unknown. I hope to make heats, I race heats better than time trials but it will be tough to qualify. I’m nervous about racing at low altitude I do wish it was higher.”

Mark Pollock: “I’m super excited to race again and see what I can produce. The last couple of weeks have been awesome training and I feel like I have made some significant technique gains. I would love to get a couple of results under 120 and am chasing an under 90 for a-qualification for worlds. That’ll be super tough though and everything would have to align but keen to give it my best shot!”

For information on every aspect of the championships including start list and results visit the event homepage at: http://www.nordicchampionship.org/index.html.

You can also follow the event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nordicnationals and their twitter handle is @nordicnationals or you can go to https://twitter.com/nordicnationals

For those who are super keen there is a video spliced with a map and profile of the 5km loop at: http://trailgenius.com/trail-genius-map/michigan-tech-trails-nordic-ski-trails?trail=0&view=NA&time=0.

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