2023-24 Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Nominations Announced

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Team US cross country
An exhausted Jessie Diggins surrounded by teammates Julia Kern (left) and Lojortberg (right). | Picture: Jessie Diggins Instagram Account

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is proud to announce the 23 athletes who have been nominated to represent the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team for the 2023-24 season. The nominations include active athletes who qualified based on predetermined selection criteria.

The team is a blend of seasoned veterans and promising newcomers, ready to compete in the upcoming season. The A Team women’s roster will be led by three-time Olympic medalist and 2023 individual World Champion Jessie Diggins, two-time Olympian Rosie Brennan and 2023 World Champs bronze medalist Julia Kern. The men’s A Team includes 2022 Olympian and 2022-23 FIS U23 Green Bib winner Ben Ogden and 2022 Olympian JC Schoonmaker. Hunter Wonders announced his retirement earlier this month. The Alaska native had competed many years in Cross Country, ranging from National Championships, to Youth Olympic Winter Games, World Cups and even the World Championships.

Hunter Wonders
Hunter Wonders, the ‘Wonderboy’, retired this month from the World Cup circuit. | Picture: NordicFocus

Returning to the B Team are 2022 Olympians Gus Schumacher, Luke Jager, Scott Patterson, Sophia Laukli, and 2023 NCAA Champion Novie McCabe. Zak Ketterson rejoins the roster and both Zanden McMullen and Sydney Palmer-Leger move up from the Development Team based on their strong results in the previous season.

The Development Team welcomes several new athletes, along with returning stars, including Sammy Smith, who raced her first World Cup in Drammen, Norway at the end of the 2022-23 season. Walker Hall, Will Koch and Michael Earnhart return to the Development Team roster for the men after a successful 2022-23 season. Five new athletes will be joining the D-Team, including Brian Bushey, Max Kluck, Ava Thurston and Haley Brewster, who represented the USA at the FIS World Junior Ski Championships, along with Derek “Buster” Richardson.

“This past season was an important one for USA cross country ski racing, with the men moving up to sixth in the Nation’s Cup standings and earning the maximum World Cup quota for the first time in our history. We also witnessed the USA squad fighting for third in the overall Nation’s Cup going into the last weekend of racing. As we set our sights on the 2023-24 season, we have aspirations of exceeding this past year’s performances by focusing on key strategies in technique, equipment and preparation. We have a young team that is still building valuable experience on the World Cup, and will no doubt turn more heads in the coming years.”
Chris Grover, Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Program Director

The 2023-24 World Cup calendar is robust and features two new races in North America, including the highly anticipated 2024 Loppet Cup, a Coop FIS Cross Country World Cup in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Supported by the Loppet Foundation and Share Winter, the Loppet Cup will be the first FIS World Cup on U.S. soil since 2001. The 2023-24 FIS Cross Country World Cup calendar will be confirmed by the International Ski Federation later this month.

Bronze Team USA
Bronze medal winners in the 7.5+7.5 Skiathlon Jessie Diggins and Julia Kern. | Picture: Jessie Diggins Instagram Account


Each athlete who accepts the nomination to the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team will receive top-of-the-line athletic and medical support, world-class coaching, sport science, sports medicine and access to the USANA Center of Excellence facilities, including on-site high performance staff and education.

An official Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team announcement will be made in the early fall.

Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team 

(Hometown; Club/School; Birthdate)


A Team

  • Ben Ogden (Burlington, VT; Stratton Mountain School; 2/13/00)
  • James “JC” Schoonmaker (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University; 8/12/00)

B Team

  • John Steel Hagenbuch (Ketchum, ID; Dartmouth Ski Team; 10/01/01)
  • Luke Jager (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University; 1/17/00)
  • Zak Ketterson (Minneapolis, MN; Team Birkie; 4/02/97)
  • Zanden McMullen (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University; 5/31/01)
  • Scott Patterson (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University; 1/28/92)
  • Gus Schumacher (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Winter Stars; 7/25/00)

Development Team

  • Brian Bushey (Montpelier, VT; University of Utah Ski Team; 11/06/02)
  • Michael Earnhart (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University; 8/11/02)
  • Walker Hall (Winthrop, WA; Methow Valley Nordic Team, University of Utah Ski Team; 6/11/02)
  • Max Kluck (Butte, MT; Bridger Sports Foundation; 9/25/04)
  • Will Koch (Peru, VT; Stratton Mountain School; 2/21/02)
  • Derek Richardson (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University; 5/21/04)
Ben Ogden. | Picture: NordicFocus


A Team

  • Rosie Brennan (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University; 12/2/88)
  • Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN; Stratton Mountain School; 8/26/91)
  • Julia Kern (Waltham, MA; Stratton Mountain School; 9/12/97)

B Team

  • Sophia Laukli (Yarmouth, ME; Aker-Dæhlie; 6/08/00)
  • Novie McCabe (Winthrop, WA; Alaska Pacific University; 12/15/01)
  • Sydney Palmer-Leger (Park City, UT; Stratton Mountain School; 2/04/02)

Development Team

  • Haley Brewster (Avon, CO; University of Vermont Ski Team; 6/06/03)
  • Sammy Smith (Boise, ID; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation; 9/22/05)
  • Ava Thurston (Waterbury, VT; Dartmouth Ski Team; 1/06/04)


Cross Country Coaches and Staff

  • Cross Country Program Director: Chris Grover
  • Head Coach: Matt Whitcomb
  • World Cup Coach: Jason Cork
  • D Team Coach: Kristen Bourne
  • Development Team Coach: Greta Anderson
  • Cross Country Sport Development Manager: Bryan Fish
  • Cross Country Sport Coordinator: Adam St. Pierre
  • Cross Country Press Officer: Leann Bentley

Service Staff

  • Head of Service: Oleg Ragilo
  • World Cup Service: Bjørn Heimdal
  • World Cup Service: Tim Baucom
  • World Cup Service: Eli Brown
  • World Cup Service: Chris Hecker
  • World Cup Service: Karel Kruuser
Jessie Diggins
Winner of the 10km cross-country race, Jessie Diggins. | Picture: US Ski and Snowboard Team Facebook Page

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