Dan Cnossen Wins Three National Titles At Nordic Nationals

By Katie Branham | Jan. 05, 2020, 6:07 p.m. (ET)

Dan Cnossen in competition in Prince George, British Columbia.
Dan Cnossen won three national titles at the 2020 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Sit Ski National Championships

MIDWAY, Utah - The 2020 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Sit Ski National Championships and World Para Nordic Ski NorAm saw a mix of veteran athletes and newcomers to the program win titles. Six-time Paralympic medalist Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas) headlined the competition as he went undefeated in the men's sitting class to win three national titles at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah.

In his first NorAm appearance, Michael LeBlanc (Minneapolis, Minnesota) also went undefeated as he swept the men's standing class. LeBlanc was one of many young standing skiers who made their NorAm debuts. Other first-time national champions included Dani Aravich (Salt Lake City, Utah) in the women's standing class and Owen Cravens (Algonquin, Illinois) in the visually impaired classification.

The women's sitting class saw close competition from Paralympic champions Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Illinois) and Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky). Gretsch took the titles in the middle-distance cross-country and biathlon sprint races, while Masters took the win in the cross-country sprint.

NATIONAL AND NORAM CHAMPIONS

  • Dan Cnossen (men's sitting) - middle-distance cross-country, cross-country sprint, biathlon sprint
  • Michael LeBlanc (men's standing) - middle-distance cross-country, cross-country sprint, biathlon sprint
  • Owen Cravens (men's visually impaired) - middle-distance cross-country, cross-country sprint, biathlon sprint
  • Kendall Gretsch (women's sitting) - middle-distance cross-country, biathlon sprint
  • Dani Aravich (women's standing) - middle-distance cross-country, cross-country sprint
  • Oksana Masters (women's sitting) - cross-country sprint

QUOTES
Dan Cnossen
"It feels great when we can come out here and push each other. This is great preparation for our next world cup in Dresden, Germany. Having all of the other athletes here really makes it more meaningful today. Being able to see all of the developing athletes that our coaching staff has been able to find, and then hopefully they are inspired by us, and I know I am inspired to come and set a good example for them."

Michael LeBlanc
"It is really fun and really joyous to be able to come here and win these national titles. It's great to see how far I have come and where I can go in the future."

Eileen Carey, director of U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing
"It was an amazing national championship for our program. We are so excited for the future of our sport. In addition to the veterans on our national team, we had a great group of new athletes attending their first nationals. We had every classification represented, and we had a really high quality of competition in each class."

FULL RESULTS
Full results from the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Sit Ski Nationals and World Para Nordic Ski NorAm will be posted at USParalympics.org.

SOCIAL MEDIA
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