RUMFORD, ME – Amidst the Nor'easter that has pummeled the East Coast, 2011 is approaching fast with the U.S. Cross Country Championships opening the new year in Rumford, Jan. 2-8. Headlining the event are U.S. Ski Team athletes including U.S. Champion Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) as well as Liz Stephen (East Montpellier, VT) and Morgan Arritola (Fairfield, ID), who are carrying the momentum from their best World Cup finishes, and Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO).
Fourteen inches of new snow will allow for the four events, two sprint and two distance races, to run smoothly. The sprint track is looking good with an ample amount of packed snow, both fresh and man-made, for the power skaters to charge the course. The distance tracks are on the leaner side, but a combination of new snow and great snow guns have provided enough coverage for the race.
The U.S. Ski Team's elite will front a field of 422 athletes who will take to the start in the historic town of Rumford. With 72 hours to go, athletes are traveling to the northeastern part of the U.S. with hopes of winning a coveted U.S. Championship title.
While Hamilton looks to continue his U.S. Championship streak, Stephen, Arritola, Hoffman and the rest of the field will be looking to earn some serious hardware. In addition to the U.S. Championship titles up for grabs, spots for the Junior Scandinavian Championship, Junior World Championship and U-23 World Championship trips are on the line as well. The U.S. Championships are also the final races before the World Championships team selection.
With a lot at stake, spectators and fans can expect an all out display of strength, speed and endurance as the skiers push off the line during the U.S. Championship series.
More information about the 2011 U.S. Cross Country Championships is available at www.uscrosscountryskichampionships2011.org.
Fans can also follow the event on the U.S. Cross Country Championships Facebook fan page.
2011 U.S. Cross Country Championships Schedule
Sun., Jan. 2 Men's and women's1k classic sprint
Tues., Jan. 4 Men's 15k and women's 10k classic
Thurs., Jan. 6 Men's 30k and women's 20k mass start freestyle
Sat., Jan. 8 Men's and women's sprint 1k freestyle