NNF athlete, Ben Saxton (USST / SMS/T2) finished sixth today in the Under-23 World Championship Classic sprint, the best finish by an American male sprinter at the U23s in over a decade. Saxton qualified in 10th position before advancing through the rounds, first with a sharp finish in his quarter final and then as a lucky loser in a hard fought semi final. A brief stumble kept him out of podium contention, but his effort was a career day for the U.S. Ski Team member. “I raced the best in the world and I held my own,” Saxton wrote of his effort. “(There was) an unfortunate series of events that caused me to pole between my own two legs, but I’m happy. Over the past two years Simi Hamilton and Andy Newell have put up with me every day, and taught me almost everything I know about ski racing. They took the time to teach me, and cared about whether or not I became better both as a skier, and as a person. Day in and day out, they made me a smarter, faster skier, reminded me to LOVE what I’m doing, and taught me to believe that I was good enough to race with the big boys.”
The U23 Championships are an NNF Pillar Project. Combined with the World Junior Championships which are run concurrently, the NNF supports US skiers with over $65,000 of funding.
The NNF's mission is to support athletic excellence in developing nordic athletes in the United States.
“Thanks for all you do for us in U.S. skiing. The NNF helped me through the Development Pipeline last winter by getting me to the U23 World Championships and OPA Cup events. Because of it, this year I am prepared to win an OPA Cup race.”- Tad Elliott