Sun Valley Junior Nordic ski team alumni Morgan Arritola and Alexa Turzian have been named to the 16-athlete U.S. Nordic Ski Team for the 2008 season, it was announced Thursday from ski team headquarters in Park City.
The team of six men and 10 women includes eight Olympians, U.S. Nordic director Luke Bodensteiner said in a press release. It is the largest U.S. cross-country ski squad since the 18-member team named after the 1992 Olympic season.
Arritola, 21, of Fairfield, and 2007 Wood River High School graduate Turzian, 18, of Sun Valley are two of the nine women on the 11-member "B" team for 2007-08. There are four men and one woman on "A."
Bodensteiner said, "We have a dedicated group of talented athletes. We feel we're on the right path as we continue to prepare for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver."
An outstanding staff including sprint coach Chris Grover and development coach Pat Casey, both out of Sun Valley, plays big roles in preparing the athletes, Bodensteiner said.
Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation executive director Don Wiseman said, "These results are a true testament to the dedication and positive and supportive training environment that Nordic program director Rick Kapala and his staff give to our Nordic athletes.
"And also to the generous support the SVSEF receives from the Wood River Valley community."
On the Nordic "A" team are Sun Valley Olympic Development racer Chris Cook, 27, of Rhinelander, Wisc.; Kris Freeman, 26, of Andover, N.H.; Torin Koos, 26, of Leavenworth, Wash.; Andy Newell, 23, of Shaftsbury, Vt.; and Kikkan Randall, 24, of Anchorage, Ak.
The "B" team features Arritola, Turzian and seven other women—Rosie Brennan, 18, of Park City, Utah; Lindsey Weier Dehlin, 23, of Mahtomedi, Mn.; Taz Mannix, 21, of Talkeetna, Ak.; Morgan Smith, 21, of Vernon, Vt.; Liz Stephen, 20, of East Montpelier, Vt.; Laura Valaas, 23, of Wenatchee, Wash.; and Lindsay Williams, 23, of Hastings, Mn.
Men on the "B" team are Matt Gelso, 19, of Truckee, Ca. and Leif Zimmerman, 23, of Bozeman, Mt.
The World Cup schedule opens Oct. 27-28 in Dusseldorf, Germ. and the annual SuperTour Nov. 23-24 in West Yellowstone, Mt.