HomeAuthor Gavin Kentch

Gavin Kentch is a lifelong Alaskan. He skis with the Alaska Pacific University Masters team in Anchorage, plays with his two adorable daughters, and occasionally works as a solo attorney. He has a cat named Marit. He was probably on snow this year before you were.
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The following article was initially published on FasterSkier on April 2, 2003. It was written by Pete Vordenberg, who at the time was the assistant coach of the U.S. Ski Team, under head coach Trond Nystad. Nystad’s boss was Luke Bodensteiner. The development coach was Chris Grover. Athletes on the men’s national team included Justin Wadsworth, Carl Swenson, Torin Koos, Kris Freeman, and Andrew Johnson, plus a grand total of one (1) woman, Wendy Wagner....

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The following article was first published on FasterSkier in June 2009. It is reprinted now in advance of the upcoming announcement of athlete nominations for the 2022/2023 U.S. Ski Team, a subject of perennial interest for American ski fans. Based on the published objective criteria for team naming and athletes’ current world ranking, it appears that multiple athletes who are current or recent NCAA skiers will be named to next year’s national team. Like many...

The 2022 FIS Junior/U23 World Ski Championships trip has been made possible through support from the National Nordic Foundation (NNF), which has identified this invaluable opportunity for developing athletes as one of its “Pillar Projects”. You can support the NNF and the next generations of America’s top skiers by making a donation here. Friday at 2022 FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Lygna, Norway, marked the phase that Steve Fuller, on site to take photographs...

The 2022 FIS Junior/U23 World Ski Championships trip has been made possible through support from the National Nordic Foundation (NNF), which has identified this invaluable opportunity for developing athletes as one of its “Pillar Projects”. You can support the NNF and the next generations of America’s top skiers by making a donation here. Thursday marked the third day of 2022 FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Lygna, Norway, but the first day of competition for...

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We recently brought you a roundup of Olympic race suits from some more traditional nordic powers, focusing on those nations that had at least four men on site in Zhangjiakou and so were able to field a team in the men’s 4 x 10-kilometer relay. This article now turns its attention to athletes from some countries that you might not initially think of when you think of nordic skiing, as well as more traditional ski...

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FasterSkier previously surveyed the national-team uniforms from last year’s World Cup fashion season, starting with more traditional nordic powers (Norway, Russia, et al.) but also taking a look at some more outré ski countries (Brazil, Nigeria, Thailand). We didn’t run a comparable article at the start of this season, as there was relatively little change in most nations’ World Cup kit from last year to this year. But when the Olympics arrive, however, all bets...

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Take a moment to visualize some iconic head-to-head finishes from recent global championships: Klæbo vs. Bolshunov in the 50 k, Oberstdorf, 2021; Nilsson vs. Johaug in the relay, Seefeld, 2019; Schumacher vs. Terentev in the relay, Lahti, 2019; Diggins vs. history in, well, you know, PyeongChang, 2018. What do these races have in common, besides drama, high-level skiing, and triumph and tragedy in equal measure? All of them feature a final downhill back into the...

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The Olympics start soon. Really soon. Here’s your one-stop shop to help you figure out what to watch, and when. When are the races? In the late afternoon to evening, if you’re in Zhangjiakou competing in them, in a nod to the lucrative European viewing market. In the late evening the night before, if like half of this year’s U.S. Olympic nordic team you live or train in Alaska. Squarely in the middle of the...

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This humble website went live twenty years ago today. (How long ago was that? Pretty long, judging from this recent Buzzfeed listicle.) As a later retrospective on this site would explain, “FasterSkier was founded in January 2002 by Torbjœrn Karlsen, Cory Smith and Erik Stange. FasterSkier.com was launched on February 1, 2002 and quickly grew to become one of the most trusted sources for Cross-Country skiing information in the United States … .” The ur-articles...

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The following opinion article was originally published on FasterSkier on June 20, 2015. It was written by Chelsea Little, who contributed sterling ski reporting to this site for nearly a decade before ultimately retiring from nordic ski journalism, though not from nordic skiing. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at Simon Fraser University outside of Vancouver, B.C., where her research interests focus on community and meta-ecosystem ecology. The article was published roughly...

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The season’s biggest races start in less than a month at a venue that is by all accounts well-designed, but also has yet to host an official FIS race. Here’s some of what is currently known about the National Cross-Country Skiing Centre in Zhangjiakou, 100-plus miles northwest of Beijing in the Hebei province of China. The Courses The races will be held at altitude. The stadium is located at an elevation of roughly 1,650 meters...

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By Gavin Kentch and Rachel Bachman Perkins The 2022 U.S. Cross Country Championships began in Soldier Hollow, outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sunday with skate sprints. JC Schoonmaker, recently returned from Europe, took his first national championship with relative ease for the men, while Caitlin Patterson, who was the first American in all four races at 2018 U.S. Nationals, returned to her Olympic-year winning ways by taking the victory for the women. Will...

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It’s always tough to make the Olympic team. It got tougher this year, due to smaller quotas for all nations interacting with some math that is disadvantageous to the American men. If you just want the executive summary of this article, here it is: The maximum team size, for any nation’s nordic team for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, is eight athletes per gender. If the Games started tomorrow, the Americans would be able to...

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Editor’s note: This is the second essay in our new series, “Letters to my younger self.” Lauren Fleshman provided the modern locus classicus for this genre; Adam Verrier ably takes up the mantle here. While the first two essays, from Adam now and John Wood before him, have set a high bar, the general theme of this series is clear: If you were writing a letter to your younger self, what would you want to...

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By Gavin Kentch and Rachel Bachman Perkins The SuperTour returned this weekend with races in Duluth, Minnesota, held on the new snowmaking courses at Grand Avenue Nordic Center. The weekend included all levels of racing, with green juniors lining up to race alongside the veterans racing on the SuperTour, and a strong sense of community and cross-country ski energy across the board. Skiers like to ski; athletes were glad to be back. Alaska Pacific University...

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It’s been a while. This country’s last races on the SuperTour, the highest level of domestic competition, occurred in Cable, Wisconsin, in February 2020 in connection with that year’s American Birkebeiner. Classic sprints were held on the Wednesday before Birkie weekend. (SuperTour points were likely also awarded for the Birkie marathon races a few days later.) Gus Schumacher won the men’s final; Nichole Bathe and Kaitlynn Miller were on the podium for the women. Schumacher...

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Want to know how to follow all the action this weekend, domestically and abroad? We’ve got you covered. Times for World Cup races are listed in local time and Eastern Standard Time, to help you calculate the time change. (We will of course publish articles on the races after they finish; this is just to help you get your fix of live coverage.) Broadcast links for the World Cup races are as follows. Both of...

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Team name and location: Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP, or Craftsbury); Craftsbury, Vermont Coaches: Pepa Miloucheva (head coach); Michael Gibson (biathlon coach); Nick Brown (assistant coach and wax tech); Ethan Dreissigacker (assistant biathlon coach) Current roster (skiing and biathlon): Braden Becker, Adam Martin, Akeo Maifeld-Carucci, Caitlin Patterson, Michaela Keller-Miller, Margie Freed, Annika Landis, Alex Lawson (skiing); Jake Brown (Luke’s brother), Raleigh Goessling, Hallie Grossman, Susan Dunklee, Kelsey Dickinson, Tara Geraghty-Moats, Clare Egan, Luke Brown (Jake’s...

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Editor’s note: We are thrilled to have John Wood start off our new series here at FasterSkier, “Letters to my younger self.” Lauren Fleshman provided the modern locus classicus for this genre, and John has written a superb, ski-specific first installment for this site. He sets a pretty high bar, but the general theme of this series is clear: If you were writing a letter to your younger self, what would you want to tell...

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Team name and location: Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (APU, or APUNSC); Anchorage, Alaska Coaches: Erik Flora (head coach/director), Jack Novak (assistant coach) Current roster: Penny Smyth, APUNSC Marketing & Communications, writes: “Women’s Team: Rosie Brennan (USSS A Team), Hailey Swirbul (USSS A Team), Hannah Halvorsen (USSS D Team), Rosie Frankowski (World Cup Alternate), Becca Rorabaugh, Anna Darnell, Annie Gonzales, Marit Flora, Lily Pannkuk, Zoe Noble “Men’s Team: Logan Hanneman (USSS B Team), Scott Patterson (USSS B Team), David Norris...