“In a world of uncertainty, we remain determined and excited to nominate one of the deepest teams we have fielded in years,” said Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team Director Jesse Hunt as the team announced its nominations for the 2020-21 competition season.
Hunt, who grew up in Vermont and raced at Stowe’s Mount Mansfield Academy has helped the team build its talent pool over the last season.
This year’s team includes Vermont-bred A-teamer Ryan Cochran-Siegle (far right in opening photo) of the Cochran ski racing family. Also on the men’s team: Green Mountain Valley School grad Jimmy Krupka of Waitsfield, another Waitsfield/GMVS local star, Ben Ritchie (B Team), and George Steffey, a Stratton Mountain School grad.
University of Vermont’s Paula Moltzan and Stratton Mountain School grad Alice Merryweather return to the B team. In addition to Mikaela Shiffrin, other Burke Mountain Academy skiers made the women’s team: Nina O’Brien and Zoe Zimmerman also made the cut. Killington Mountain School’s Bradshaw Underhill is on the Development Team.
The 2019-20 season was a step in the right direction for the Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team, with 15 FIS Ski World Cup podiums, one Junior World Championship medal, and seven NorAm titles.
Double-Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin and 2019 Xfinity Birds of Prey victor Tommy Ford headline the list of both accomplished and emerging athletes heading into the 2020-21 season.
Mikaela led the way with 13 podiums and six victories in 19 World Cup starts, despite missing nine races. She’ll head into 2020-21 as the winningest slalom skier of all-time, with 43 slalom victories, and ranked fourth on the all-time win list behind Marcel Hirscher (67), U.S. Ski Team alumna and Land Rover ambassador Lindsey Vonn (82), and Ingemar Stenmark (86).
The men’s team was highlighted by Tommy, with solid and consistent skiing, finishing his career-best season ranked fifth in the world in giant slalom with six top-15 results, four top-five results, two podiums and a massive victory by .80 seconds in Beaver Creek, Colo. He is joined by a men’s team with considerable depth, specifically the men’s speed team—which had four athletes finish in the top-20 in the world in downhill for the first time ever: Travis Ganong (13th), Ryan Cochran-Siegle (14th), Bryce Bennett (16th) and Steven Nyman (20th).
The 2020-21 season will feature the much-anticipated FIS Ski World Championships in Cortina d’ Ampezzo, Italy, February 8-21, 2021. Following the premature end to the 2019-20 season with the cancellation of FIS Ski World Cup Finals in Cortina d’Ampezzo due to the coronavirus outbreak, the athletes are looking forward to competing in the Dolomites. Cortina d’Ampezzo is a favorite classic venue on the women’s World Cup circuit where the U.S. women’s speed team has enjoyed a lot of success.
The 43 athletes nominated will be supported by a strong coaching staff, committed to “winning at every level,” which is Alpine Director Jesse Hunt’s mantra. “In a world of uncertainty, we remain determined and excited to nominate one of the deepest teams we have fielded in years,” noted Jesse. “We have a great mix of veteran athletes and bold young prospects, from World Cup winners Ted Ligety, Steven Nyman, Travis Ganong, Tommy Ford, Alice McKennis, and Mikaela Shiffrin to our recently named development team athletes. We are building a system to win at every level of the alpine pipeline.”
Athletes nominated to the team are scheduled to open the season with their first on-snow training camps this summer, pending COVID-19 considerations.
Each athlete accepting the nomination to U.S. Ski Team receives world-class program support, along with access to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Center of Excellence, as well as athletic benefits including an elite coaching, sport science, sports medicine, and high-performance staff, and education opportunities.
A 2020-21 staff announcement will be forthcoming, while an official Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team announcement will be made in the fall.
2020-21 Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team Nominations
(Hometown; Club; Birthdate)
Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 7/14/1992)
Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.; Cochran’s/Mount Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club; 3/27/1992)
Tommy Ford (Bend, OR; Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation; 3/20/1989)
Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 7/14/1988)
Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard; 8/31/1984)
Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard/Sundance Ski Team; 2/12/1982)
Breezy Johnson (Victor, Idaho; Rowmark Ski Academy; 1/19/1996)
Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.; Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation; 8/17/1988)
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.; Burke Mountain Academy/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 3/13/1995)
Sam DuPratt (Park City, UT; Park City Ski Education Foundation; 11/28/1993)
Bridger Gile (Aspen, Colo., Aspen Valley Ski Club and Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 10/15/1999)
Jared Goldberg (Holladay, Utah; Snowbird Sports Education Foundation; 6/15/1991)
Jimmy Krupka (Waitsfield, Vt.; Dartmouth College and Green Mountain Valley School (7/15/1998)*
Sam Morse (Carrabassett Valley, Maine; Carrabassett Valley Academy; 5/27/1996)
Kyle Negomir (Littleton, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 10/3/1998)
River Radamus (Edwards, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 2/12/1998)
Ben Ritchie (Waitsfield, VT; Green Mountain Valley School; 9/5/2000)
Jett Seymour (Steamboat, Colo.; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club/University of Denver Ski Team; 11/5/1998)
George Steffey (Lyme, N.H.; Stratton Mountain School; 8/8/1997)
Luke Winters (Gresham, Ore.; Sugar Bowl Academy; 4/2/1997)
Keely Cashman (Strawberry, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 4/4/1999)
Alice McKennis (New Castle, Colo.; Sunlight Winter Sports Club/Rowmark Ski Academy; 8/18/1989)
Alice Merryweather (Hingham, Mass.; Attitash Race Team/Stratton Mountain School; 10/5/1996)
Paula Moltzan (Prior Lake, Minn.; Buck Hill Ski Team/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail; 4/7/1994)
Nina O’Brien (Edwards, Colo.; Burke Mountain Academy/Squaw Valley Ski Team; 11/29/1997)
Jacqueline Wiles (Aurora, Ore.; White Pass Ski Club; 7/13/1992)
Cooper Cornelius (Glenwood Springs, Colo.; Aspen Valley Ski Club; 6/20/1999)
Isaiah Nelson (Wayzata, MN.; Buck Hill Ski Racing Club; 4/3/2001)
Katie Hensien (Redmond, Wash.; Rowmark Ski Academy; 12/1/1999)
AJ Hurt (Carnelian Bay, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 12/5/2000)
Nicola Rountree-Williams (Edwards, Colo.; Loveland Ski Area; 7/7/2002)
Zoe Zimmermann (Gilford, N.H.; Burke Mountain Academy; 5/16/2002)
Jacob Dilling (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, 10/19/1999)
Kellen Kinsella (Edwards, Colo.; Dartmouth College and Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 8/7/2001)
Trent Pennington (Shalimar, Fla.; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail; 5/8/2002)*
Jack Smith (Sun Valley, Idaho; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation; 4/24/2001)
Bradshaw Underhill (Newbury, N.H.; Killington Mountain School; 3/10/2000)*
Lauren Macuga (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski & Snowboard; 7/4/2002)
Ainsley Proffit (St. Louis, MO; Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy; 3/21/2001)
Allie Resnick (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 9/1/2001)*
Emma Resnick (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 7/23/2003)
Alix Wilkinson (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 8/2/2000)
Isabella Wright (Salt Lake City, UT; Snowbird Sports Education Foundation; 2/10/1997)*
*Newly named to the U.S. Ski Team
Opening photo: Tommy Ford, Ted Ligety and Ryan Cochran-Siegle of the U.S. Men’s Alpine A Team. Photo by Max Hall/USSA