U.S. Cross Country Team Back at It in Oregon

Posted By: The Ski Channel on May 21, 2009 1:29 pm

The Alpiners aren’t the only ones getting a head start. After their incredibly successful season, the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team is now in Oregon to get their 2009/2010 season underway. “It’s an early camp, so we’re really trying to lay down base fitness. We’re also working on technique with each individual working on their weaknesses at the moment,” Cross Country Head coach Pete Vordenberg said.

According to Vordenberg, the athletes are already working at an unprecedented level of athletic and technical preparedness. “The way we were working on this six years ago is so different from how we’re doing it now,” Vordenberg said. “We’re taking on smaller things with most of these guys and it’s been a really encouraging process. Everyone is coming along. Compared to previous springs, we’re way ahead of where we have been.”

The men training last summer in New Zealand

Athletes at the camp include World Cup performers Kikkan Randall and Andy Newell, and rising star Liz Stephen. “It’s hard to believe it’s been a month-and-a-half since the end of the season. It’s fun to see what everyone did with their time off,” Randall said. “Everyone just hops in line and we ski together. We just fit so well as a team it’s like meeting up with your long lost brother or sister. It’s a good dynamic.”

The plan for the first camp of the summer, as far as Vordenberg is concerned, is to get athletes to refine small things as well as pace themselves in workouts for an overall better level of fitness. “We’re paying a great deal of attention to make sure everything is exactly right,” Vordenberg said.

That seems to sit well with Newell. “To be able to be with the team so early in the season is a major bonus. This time of year we are taking it easy, but it’s good to be with the coaches so we can dial in a lot of stuff,” Newell said.

The camp wraps later next week, but the Team is heading to the coast first, for some beach time. “We try to put a little bit of team bonding into the first camps,” Vordenberg said.

The water might still be a little cold for surfing, but they don’t call ‘em Nordic skiers for nothing.


photo: USSA