SMS Nordic, Elite SMS T2 Team Recognized as U.S. Ski and Snowboard's Cross Country Club of the Year
STRATTON—SMS Nordic and the elite Stratton Mountain School T2 Team have been recognized as Cross Country Club of the Year by U.S. Ski and Snowboard for the fourth time in six years following an impressive season for both the junior and elite team.
“This recognition exemplifies the strength of the Stratton Mountain School Nordic program as well as the time-tested philosophy that goes into our training,” said Stratton Mountain School Headmaster Christopher G. Kaltsas. “I am proud of our Nordic Coaches, athletes, and students for their outstanding successes this year. Congratulations!”
The official release from U.S. Ski and Snowboard notes that, “The Stratton Mountain School T2 Elite Team, under the direction of Nordic Program Director Sverre Caldwell and Coach Patrick O’Brien, comprises seven members of the U.S. Ski Team including A Team members Jessie Diggins, Sophie Caldwell and Simi Hamilton, along with 2019 U.S. SuperTour overall winner Julia Kern plus Ben Ogden who contributed to the first-ever Junior Worlds gold medal in U.S. history. First-year team member Alayna Sonneysn took a strong win in the American Birkebeiner. SMS T2 has continued to elevate ski performance at every level from the junior through World Cup and has been a strong partner that demonstrates the importance of common goals and collaboration.”
“It has been incredibly rewarding to have such a strong group of motivated athletes find success in national and international races,” said O’Brien. “SMS is truly pushing the sport of Cross Country Skiing forward.”
“We’re honored to be recognized as the Cross Country Club of the year once again,” Caldwell added. “The SMS Nordic program has led skiers to excel at every level of the sport, which we are extremely proud of.”
Alongside the success experienced by the SMS T2 Team in the 2018-2019 season, the SMS Nordic program is also coming off of a banner year in which they marked the 24th year with at least one gold medal at Cross Country Junior Nationals. There, SMS Nordic athletes claimed 10 podium finishes with postgraduate Sophia Laukli winning Gold in both the U20 Women’s Classic Mass Start and the Freestyle Relay.
“This year, SMS Nordic skiers have claimed gold at both Junior Nationals and the annual Bill Koch League Festival [For U14 Skiers and younger] alongside great results at World Junior Championships, NCAAs, and on the World Cup Circuit,” said SMS Nordic Coach Matt Boobar. “It’s encouraging to see SMS skiers—from our U14 skiers to the professional SMS T2 athletes—reaching their goals.”
SMS alumna and T2 Team athlete Katharine Ogden `16 won the 15 km classic race at NCAA Championships, and was also recognized as USCSA’s Female Nordic Athlete of the Year. Junior Will Koch `20 was the sole male skier to qualify for the 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland at U.S. Cross Country Nationals, with only one male and one female skier selected to represent the U.S. in Cross Country Skiing. Koch also qualified for the 2019 USST Development Trip and U18 Nations Cup held in Estonia between January 20 and 30, alongside senior Charlotte Ogden `19 and sophomore Nina Seeman `21 also. There, Seeman and Ogden helped the U.S. Women claim bronze. At NENSA’s annual BKL Festival, U14’s Wyatt Teaford `23 and Fin Bailey `23 claimed gold in the Classic Relay.
This summer, SMS T2 athletes will return to Stratton for summer training—and alongside them will be Stratton Mountain School’s younger echelon of Nordic Skiers, both looking up to and learning from the professionals.
Stratton Mountain School is an independent boarding and day school that focuses on college preparatory academics and competitive winter sports. Located at the base of Stratton Mountain, SMS serves students in grades 7 – 12.