SMS Athletes Qualify for U18 Nations Cup, Junior World Championships at Nordic Nationals
STRATTON—Three SMS Nordic student-athletes competed in the 2020 Cross Country Skiing Senior National Championships, alongside members of the elite SMS T2 Team and recent SMS Alumni. Students Will Koch `20, Nina Seemann `21, and Gavin Blauch `20 raced alongside some of the fastest Junior and Senior athletes in the nation, with Koch and Seeman earning invitations to U18 Nations Cup for the second year in a row. Both skiers were also named as First Alternates for the World Junior Championship team, for which alums Ben Ogden `18 and Sophia Laukli PG `19 qualified.
Individually, Koch finished as the top U18 coming through at 21st in the Freestyle Sprint Qualifier to make it to the Open Heats before being knocked out in the Quarterfinal rounds. He also finished as the top U18 in the 15k Freestyle and the 10k Classic Mass Start, earning 4th overall in that race. Seemann came through as the 5th U18 girl in the Sprint Qualifier, just missing the Open Heats to finish in 37th. She did, however, cruise through the Junior Heats claiming 2nd place. She then came out guns blazing and snagged another U18 podium spot, taking 3rd in the Freestyle 10k and finishing as the 3rd U18 in the 10k Classic Mass Start, to finish 7th overall in that race. Blauch failed to qualify for the Open or Junior heats in the Freestyle Sprint but in the 15k Free he took 35th in the U18 category. He did not compete in the 10k Classic Mass Start.
For the SMS T2 Team, Kyle Bratrud led with a 1st place finish in the 15K Freestyle and a 2nd place podium in the 30K Classic Mass Start. Alayna Sonnesyn claimed 2nd in the Freestyle Sprint and 3rd in the 10k Freestyle, Ben Saxton finished 2nd in the Freestyle Sprint, and Ian Torchia claimed 3rd in both the 15K Freestyle and 30K Classic Mass Start.
Meanwhile, members of the elite SMS T2 Team—including alums Julia Kern PG`16, Katherine Ogden `16, and Sophie Caldwell `08—spent the week competing at the Tour De Ski. Though Kern was not in attendance at U.S. Nationals, she has auto-qualified for World Junior Championships in February.
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.