Aspenites eying podium at nordic championships | AspenTimes.com

Aspenites eying podium at nordic championships

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Aspen nordic skiers Simi Hamilton and Noah Hoffman are expected to be among the top competitors in the 2011 U.S. Cross Country Championships, which start Jan. 2 in Rumford, Maine.

Hamilton made a splash in the U.S. Championships last year when he won the sprint and took sixth in the 1.5-kilometer classic. It helped him land a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

Hamilton finished 29th in the Olympic men’s individual classic cross-country sprint. He finished 64th in the Olympic 15-kilometer freestyle.

Hoffman exceeded expectations with a fifth-place finish in the 15-kilometer freestyle at last year’s U.S. Championships.

Hamilton, 23, and Hoffman, 21, are former standouts with Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. They are both members of the U.S. Ski Team and competitors on the World Cup circuit.

The course on Black Mountain at Rumford received 14 inches of snow recently, creating great conditions for the sprint track, according to organizers. The distance tracks were reported as leaner but with enough coverage for the race.

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The U.S. Championships are the final races before the team selection for the World Championships.

The U.S. Championships feature two sprint and two classic events for both men and women. Here’s the schedule: The men’s and women’s 1-kilometer classic sprint will be held Sunday. The men’s 15-kilometer and women’s 10-kilometer classic will be held Tuesday. The men’s 30-kilometer and women’s 20-kilometer mass start freestyle will be held Thursday. The men’s and women’s sprint 1-kilometer freestyle will be held Saturday, Jan. 8.

More information about the 2011 U.S. Cross Country Championships is available at http://www.uscrosscountryskichampionships2011.org.

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