West Valley High School senior Kendall Kramer, one of the top junior women skiers in the nation, was announced among the 20 members of the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team.
The team was announced Friday in a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association news release and Kramer was among three women selected to the D, or development, team.
The other women’s D squad members are Novie McCabe, of Winthrop, Washington, and Hannah Halvorson, a Truckee, California native who trains and competes for the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center in Anchorage.
The national-team selection achieved a goal for Kramer, 17.
“Making the U.S. Ski Team has always been my dream goal, and it got me through the really hard workouts and the tough days,” Kramer said in a text to the News-Miner.
“I thought that goal was far off and wouldn’t happen for a few years, and I was surprised at how I made that standard this year, seeing as I haven’t been skiing for that long in comparison to the other girls.
“It’s changed my life in a lot of ways and given me a lot of new responsibilities but also opportunities.”
Kramer’s results last winter in national and international competition helped her get selected.
In March, she swept the under-age 18 women’s individual races and was part of the age-group’s winning relay in the USSA Cross Country Junior National Championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage.
In January, she won three junior women’s individual races at the USSA Cross Country National Championships at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury, Vermont.
Later that month, she placed fourth in the women’s 15-kilometer mass-start classical race and was part of the American women’s fourth-place squad in the 4x3.3K relay at the World Junior Championships in Lahti, Finland.
Kramer also captured the last two girls Skimeister (individual champion) at the high school Nordic Ski state championships and she won the last three girls individual titles at the Region VI Nordic championships.
Kramer also is a standout runner, earning three Division I girls titles at the Alaska high school state meet. Two weeks ago in Walnut, California, she placed first among 102 finishers in the combined Division 3, 4 and 5 Individual Sweepstakes girls race. The race was conducted on a 2.93-mile varied course amid temperatures in the 80s.
Also Friday, North Pole native Jason Cork was announced as a World Cup coach for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. Anchorage native Chris Grover is the U.S. team’s cross country program director.
The complete release is available at bit.ly/33wA3h1.
The national team’s season begins with a World Cup event Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 in Ruka, Finland, and a SuperTour competition Dec. 6-8 in Canmore, Alberta.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.