Summit’s Nina Schamberger helps US relay team place 5th at Junior World Championships

Summit Nordic Ski Club athlete Nina Schamberger glides to the finish at the 2022 World Ski Championships in Lygna, Norway. Schamberger placed 41st in the women's 15-kilometer skate race and helped the U.S. team place fifth in the 4×3.3-kilometer relay.
Steve Fuller/Courtesy photo

Summit Nordic Ski Club athlete Nina Schamberger is shining on the international stage as she competes at the 2022 FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Lygna, Norway.

The 16-year-old was entered in three events at the weeklong world championships and has competed in two events thus far.

The first event was the U20 15-kilometer skate race Tuesday, Feb. 22. The race was a mass start with all 65 women being sent from the start area at the same time. Schamberger raced well against the best junior talent in the world, hanging tough for over 40 minutes to place 41st.

Schamberger finished in a time of 43:27.2, which was a little over 4 minutes behind Germany’s Helen Hoffman, who finished in first place.

Schamberger was the fourth American across the line with 20-year-old Sydney Palmer-Leger from Park City placing in the top 10 in sixth place. Palmer-Leger finished the 15-kilometer race in 39:42.3.

Palmer-Leger was followed by Samantha Smith in 11th and Carbondale’s Kate Oldham in 27th.

Both Schamberger and Smith are the youngest American women competing in Norway at age 16.

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, Schamberger and her teammates all competed in the U20 4×3.33-kilometer team relay.

Oldham, who skies for Aspen Valley Ski Club, started off the race on the first skate leg of the relay and came across the finish in a time of 10:03.5 to send Smith out on the second leg of the race, which was in classic Nordic ski style.

When Smith started her leg, the relay team was in eighth position out of 17 total relays. Smith gained ground on a few of the teams in front of her to be in fifth place as Schamberger took over on the third leg.

Schamberger treated her skate style leg like an extended sprint and, in the process, closed on Switzerland in fourth place in the early parts of her race. The team fell back a few places to seventh as Schamberger climbed up the course’s final steep hill.

Palmer-Leger was able to gain back two places on the anchor leg, however, to give the American women a fifth-place finish at the world championship event. The team finished in a time of 38:24.3, a little over 90 seconds behind Norway, which placed first at its home event.

The junior women’s 3×3.3-kilometer relay team celebrates its fifth-place finish while holding an American flag. Pictured from left are Sydney Palmer-Leger, Nina Schamberger, Samantha Smith and Kate Oldham.
Steve Fuller/Courtesy photo

The U.S. U20 men’s 4×5-kilometer relay team also had success in Norway as it made it onto the podium with a third-place finish. Michael Earnhart, Brian Bushey, Walker Hall and Will Koch made up the relay team, which finished in a time of 49:38.8.

Behind the success of Schamberger and the rest of the U20 U.S. ski athletes in Norway is Summit Nordic Ski Club head coach Olof Hedberg.

Hedberg is the head coach of the U20 U.S. Ski Team throughout the duration of the 2022 Junior World Ski Championships and was instrumental in making sure the U.S. athletes are adequately prepared before competition.

Schamberger is scheduled to compete in her last event, the 5-kilometer classic race, on Friday, Feb. 25.

U.S. team coaches and support staff are pictured after the men's 4×5-kilometer relay. Pictured front row from left are Greta Anderson, Walker Hall, Brian Bushey, Will Koch and Michael Earnhart and back row from left are Bryan Fish, Dr. Katie Eichten, Olof Hedberg, Pat O’Brien, Julia Hayes, Paul Smith, Anson Moxness, Lizzie Larkins, August Teague and Jack Novak.
Steve Fuller/Courtesy photo

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.