All Eyes on Pyeongchang

DAM caught up with Dartmouth athletes as they readied for trials that would determine whether they’ll head to South Korea for the Winter Olympics to be held February 9-25.

Michael Ankeny ’13
Alpine skiing
Minnetonka, Minnesota
Engineering sciences major
Three top-30 finishes, slalom (SL), World Cup, 2016-17; four-time U.S. Nationals medalist, SL, 2012, 2016, 2017; overall champion, SL, 2015 North American Cup; U.S. representative, SL, 2017 World Championships; 2014 Winter Carnival Champion
“I’d simply like to represent my country in an honorable fashion. I’d be extremely thrilled with a top-10 finish. I think it’s important to approach every race with a clear and level head in order to stay focused. There are a lot of talented slalom skiers in the United States who are also jockeying for spots on the team.”

Dakota Blackhorse-Von Jess ’09
Cross-country skiing
Bend, Oregon
Computer science major
Three-time U.S. National Sprint Classic (CL) Champion, 2013, 2015; 30th, 2015 World Championships

“I’m hoping to race the fastest race of my life. My preparation is focused on that—and a top-25 result. This sport has given me so much—even the sacrifices are, themselves, gifts. I’m thankful every day for the experiences I’ve had, the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met.”

Rosie Brennan ’11
Cross-country skiing
Park City, Utah
Geography major
U.S. Ski Team member since 2015; 2015 and 2017 World Championship teams
“I’m working toward earning a spot on our 4-by-5k relay team, and my eyes are set on the 30k CL, a very traditional Olympic race that suits my strengths as a racer. The Olympic Games are the only time most Americans even know cross-country skiing is a competitive sport, so it’s a big deal for us to be able to share with the world what we spend every day doing.”

Patrick “Paddy” Caldwell ’17
Cross-country skiing
Lyme, New Hampshire
Geography major
U.S. Ski Team member since 2014; 2015 NCAA Champion; two top-10 finishes, 2017 U23 Championships; four podiums (1st-3rd place finishes), U.S. Nationals, 2015-17
“I’m hoping to represent Team USA in the 15k freestyle [FS] event and the 4-by-10k team relay event. My goal is to finish in the top 20 in the distance event and to help bring the team relay to a top-five finish. Cross-country skiing, which I’ve been doing since I could walk, is a family tradition [Sophie Caldwell is a cousin] and the sport goes far beyond an athletic pursuit for me. Skiing is not only what I love to do, but it is something I do with the people I love.”

Sophie Caldwell ’12
Cross-country skiing
Peru, Vermont
Psychology major
6th, sprint FS, and 9th, 4-by-5k relay, 2014 Sochi Olympics; 1st, sprint CL, and 2nd, 4-by-5k relay, 2016 World Cup
“My goal is to be part of the team that wins the first Olympic medal for U.S. women in cross-country skiing. In Sochi I was just riding a high of excitement. This year I’ll know what to expect and hope to be able to focus more on the races and less on the Olympic buzz. That said, I perform best when I’m enjoying myself, and I think it’s important to enjoy the Olympic experience.”

Emily Dreissigacker ’11
Biathlon
Morrisville, Vermont
Economics major
Raced IBU cups, 2015-17; U.S. Biathlon National Team since 2017; two-time NCAA All-American in rowing, 2009-11
“I’m relatively new to the sport, so my goal now is to just make the Olympics. It’s important for me to focus on the process, not the result, so I’m trying to treat it like any other year and not think about what’s on the line.”

AJ Ginnis ’19
Alpine skiing
Park City, Utah
Economics major
2017 U.S. National SL Champion; 2017 Canadian National SL Champion; 2017 U.S. World Championship team; bronze, SL, 2015 World Junior Championships; U.S. Ski Team member since 2012
“It’s always great coming back to campus in the spring after experiencing the different cultures and pandemonium of living out of a duffel bag to compete. By the end of term I’m always ready to get back to the career I love. I didn’t start racing until I was 12 years old, and there’s no way you could have convinced me 10 years ago that I’d be an Olympic hopeful at age 22 for the U.S. team!” (Ginnis was born in Athens, Greece.)

Anne “Annie” Hart ’14
Cross-country skiing
Stillwater, Minnesota
Government major
2nd, women’s CL and skate sprint, 4th, women’s FS 20k, 2016 U.S. Nationals; 2nd overall, 2016 Women’s U.S. Super Tour finals; five-time NCAA All-American
“The U.S. women’s circuit has seen an impressive boost recently in quality and competitiveness, and I’m excited to even be among those being considered. If my fastest self is enough to make it onto Team USA, I’ll focus more on certain races in South Korea. I’ve been working really hard to find meaning in skiing beyond racing and results. It’s an astounding proxy for learning other extremely valuable life lessons.”

Nolan Kasper ’14
Alpine skiing
Morristown, New Jersey
Economics major
Two-time Winter Olympian (top American men’s SL 2010, 2014); five top-10 World Cup finishes, 2010-12; men’s SL podium, 2011 American World Cup
“I’m definitely looking forward to the entire Olympic experience—the opening and closing ceremonies and the other events we get to see when we’re there. This year is very different for me because I’m coming into this season having not raced for almost three years due to injuries.”

Julia Kern ’19
Cross-country skiing
Waltham, Massachusetts
Economics major
Bronze, relay (first-ever U.S. medal in event), and 9th, 2017 World Junior Championships; 24th, 2017 World Cup; 2nd, 2017 U.S. Super Tour overall sprint ranking
“The 2018 Olympic Games could be my first Olympics. I want to gain experience so I’m comfortable with the atmosphere, media and pressure for 2022. My biggest goal, though, is to place in the top 30 in an Olympic race. My training and racing plan is built on the long-term—I’ve learned that to reach your goals, you need to have patience and work hard.”

Nick Krause ’18
Alpine skiing
Northborough, Massachusetts
Economics major
Currently ranked 44th in the world in super-G (SG); 2nd, 2017 North American Cup Overall; 5th, SG, 2016 U.S. Alpine Championships; first World Cup start, 2016; three top-25 finishes, Junior World Championships, 2013-14; 3rd, 2013 North American Cup
“Since breaking my leg in March, I’ve had to take a big step back to focus on my body instead of training on snow in the Southern Hemisphere, like I usually do in the summer months. My goal is to race on the World Cup circuit in December and January. I hope to progress and to give myself a solid chance to qualify for South Korea.”

Patricia “Tricia” Mangan ’19
Alpine skiing
Buffalo, New York
Engineering sciences major
Winner, 2017 North American SG and super-combined title; Junior World Championship team member, 2015-17
“If I make the Olympics, my goal is to leave everything I have on the table. My biggest fear on race day is regret. I’ve made more time this year for skiing, taking three terms off and training harder. I come from a nontraditional background in ski racing in western New York, which has shaped my mindset on race day and has led me to surprise a lot of people.”

Staci ManNella ’18
Alpine skiing
(Paralympics, held March 9-18)
Randolph, New Jersey
Anthropology major
6th, SL, 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games; bronze, super-combined, and 5th, SG, 2017 U.S. World Championships
“My personal goal for my guide and me is to be proud of our performance at the Games. We travel the world together and are really close friends on and off the snow. Most people know ski racing to be an individual sport, but for visually impaired skiers it’s very much a team sport. I owe a lot of my success to the dedication and hard work of the guide in front of me.”

Erika Flowers Newell ’12
Cross-country skiing
Bozeman, Montana
Geography major
Represented U.S. at 2017 World Cup finals; 3rd, skate sprint, 2017 U.S. National Championships; 3rd, 2015 and 2016 American Birkebeiner; more than 10 Super Tour podiums; five top-six finishes at U.S. National Championships, 2015-17; three-time NCAA All-American, 2011-12
“I plan to show up fitter and stronger than I’ve ever been to earn a start spot and help the U.S. women earn their first Olympic medal. I’m especially looking forward to the 10k skate race and the excitement and positive momentum that accompanies an Olympic year.”

Eric Packer ’12, Th’12
Cross-country skiing
Anchorage, Alaska
Engineering sciences major
2016 U.S. National Champion, sprint; overall champion, 2016 USSA Super Tour; 13 World Cup starts
“I’m really looking forward to the chance to represent the United States. I missed qualifying for the Olympic team in 2014, but I’ve taken the lessons from that experience. I moved back to my home state of Alaska, and my proximity to a glacier facility has allowed me to train on snow year-round, which has been super beneficial. Skiing for Dartmouth had an incredible impact on me, and I wouldn’t be competing for an Olympic spot today without the lessons Coach Ruff Patterson taught me.”

Ida Sargent ’11
Cross-country skiing
Barton, Vermont
Biology major
19th, sprint FS, and 34th, 10k CL, 2014 Sochi Olympic Games; World Championship team member, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017; 24th, sprint FS, 2017 World Championships; 3rd, team sprint FS, 3rd, sprint CL, and 5th, sprint FS, 2017 World Cup
“I’m focusing on the CL sprint and the team events. After medaling in the World Cup on the Olympic courses last winter, I’m dreaming about medals, but I’m staying focused on the details of preparation to put together the best possible performance on the day. In my first Olympic race I was so incredibly nervous I wasn’t sure I was even going to be able to ski.”

Andrew Weibrecht ’09
Alpine skiing
Lake Placid, New York
Earth sciences major
Silver, SG, 2014 Sochi Olympic Games; bronze, SG, 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games; six top-five finishes, World Cup, 2015, 2016
“My first goal is to qualify for the team and race the downhill and the SG. I would love to win another medal, but racing well is my first priority. The Olympics for U.S. skiing are obviously the focus from a viewership and interest standpoint; however, a lot goes unnoticed with the way we work from year to year. The athletes are pretty much nose to the grindstone year in and out, and I think that is often something that’s overlooked and underappreciated.”

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