Casey Simons is a first year competitor at the U.
March 11, 2004
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Utah freshman Casey Simons has made some noise outside of the collegiate world, winning the 1-km freestyle sprint event at the Chevy Truck U.S. Cross Country Junior Olympic Championships.
"Casey has had a tremendous season and this win certainly defines him as one of the top juniors in the country," said Head Coach Kevin Sweeney. "Casey has had a good run at World Junior Championships and came back to qualify for the NCAA Ski Championships."
The Junior Olympics is the national championship for skiers ages 14 to 19 and features over 400 skiers from nine divisions around the country. Lake Placid and the Verizon Sports Complex Cross Country Center at Mt. Van Hoevenberg have a rich history in nordic skiing dating back to the 1980 Olympic Winter Games and are proud to welcome these future Olympians to Lake Placid.
The nordic skier qualified for the 18-19 age group sprint elimination round after a fourth-place finish (2:03.42) in the qualifying round.
"Recovering from a nagging illness and jet-lag, this is most impressive," added Sweeney. "As a freshman, I could not have asked for or expected a better season. This week he should ski very well in the remainder of the Junior Nationals events. Apparently, he's on fire and wants to show that. This is great development."
Last season, Simons finished first in both the 15-km skate and 10-km sprint at the 2003 Junior Nationals. He was also ranked second on the USSA point list. Simons was coached by John Callahan from the Park City ski team.
The Simons name has been a household commodity at the U., knowing Casey's elder brother Zack Simons headlined the Ute cross country team for four seasons. While at Utah, Zack was a three-time NCAA qualifier.