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World Cup Squad for Canmore

Fri, Jan  11, 2008 - By Pete Vordenberg

Here are the names of the athletes selected for the World Cup races in Canmore at the end of the month:
 
Men 
  • Garrot Kuzzy
  • Leif Zimmermann
  • Lars Flora
  • Kris Freeman
  • Zach Simons
  • Mike Sinnott
  • Dave Chamberlain
  • Zach Violett
  • James Southam
  • Andy Newell
  • Torin Koos
  • Colin Rodgers
  • Brian Gregg
  • Marshall Green
  • Anders Haugen
  • Chris Cook
  • Reid Pletcher
Women
  • Caitlin Compton
  • Laura Valaas
  • Kate Arduser
  • Tazlina Mannix
  • Kikkan Randall
  • Lindsey Dehlin
  • Evelyn Dong
  • Morgan Arritola
  • Lindsay Williams

For Qualifying Criteria:

http://www.ussa.org/magnoliaPublic/ussa/en/sports/crosscountry/advancement.html

For Super Tour Points list:

http://www.ussa.org/magnoliaPublic/ussa/en/news/crosscountry/bulletin12.html

For the World Cup Team:

http://www.ussa.org/magnoliaPublic/ussa/en/news/crosscountry/bulletin11.html

Notes on the team and selection of the team:

The US can enter athletes in these races in three ways.  1. we can enter skiers in our regular world cup quota.  This quota is different for each nation and for each discipline.  The better our results in a specific discipline the more we can enter.  Anyone entered in a normal world cup quota must have a 90point (women) or a 60point (men) or better FIS result within the past year.  We qualified our National Team as well as a few others to the Canadian World Cups in our regular quota.  It should be noted that very few athletes in the US meet this 90/60 point rule.  2. we can enter the continental cup leader for both men and women.  3. we have an additional 5 athletes per event in our nations group quota.  This is the additional start spots we get for world cups in Canada or the US.  To race in this group an athlete must have a 120point or better FIS race within the past year.

Not all the athletes who could have qualified to the World Cup had the point races needed to actually race (this is a FIS rule, not a USSA rule).  Also, some athletes ranked ahead of these athletes on the Super Tour Ranking chose to focus on the Junior World Championships or Under -23 World Championships rather than attend the World Cup (an example here is Noah Hoffman).  In all of these cases this was a very wise thing to do.  Some other athletes who qualified for both have chosen to race both in a race or two at the World Cup and in the U23/JWC events.  In these cases this was discussed by the athletes coach, the athlete and myself and deemed a good idea based on the level of that athlete and their travel schedule (an example here is Reid Pletcher and Morgan Arritola).  You will notice that neither Reid nor Morgan were named to the team in the link above.  This was because we were discussing the pros and cons of them racing an event at the World Cup prior to departing for U23/JWC.  In all cases it was decided that it would be a good idea.  This discussion postponed the publication of the named team (the team itself was notified prior to publication of the team).  The idea is to make the best choice for an athletes development.

At every opportunity for naming a team there is a lot of discussion as to who should be named.  For the top athletes there is no discussion - they have taken the power of discussion and decision making out of the equation through their results.  For those who are just below the top athletes there is less certainty.  These are the bubble athletes.  I am very aware that a choice can make a very big difference in an athlete's season, career and even life.  This choice can go both ways.  Sometimes being named to a team is the wrong decision and sometimes not being named to a team has negative consequences for the athlete.  It wasn't so long ago that I was a bubble skier myself.  These athletes are very important to me and to the sport in the US and I take great care in trying to make the right choice.  The bottom line is that how the athlete deals with the choice is the most important thing.  Right or wrong the choice is made and the athlete can respond in one of two ways: place blame elsewhere or take responsibility for preparing even better next time. 

On this topic I am happy to say that none of the athlete I have communicated with who were just below making the team placed any blame elsewhere.  They said that next time they would be sure to make the choice clear and be on the team and not on the bubble.  With that attitude these are athletes I am sure I'll see on a team in the future.

Keep up the great work.

pvordenberg@ussa.org

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