(MINNEAPOLIS, MN) – Team Birkie’s Marathon Team gets a boost for the 2024-25 season from three new, highly experienced ski racers.

Abigail Drach, Nicole (Schneider) Eliasson, Vivian (Hett) Johnson and Maxwell Turnberg, will join Team Birkie Marathon Team returners, Delany Fitzpatrick, Sam Holt, and Jenna and Zach Nelson.

All four newcomers are Twin Cities natives, three of them being standout Loppet Nordic Racing Team junior competitors, and experienced nationally prominent junior and collegiate careers. “These new team members exemplify what a strong, healthy ski community is all about, and their impact as marathon team members underscores a life-long commitment to a healthy community and lifestyle” said Team Director, Yuriy Gusev. “They have such a great amount of experience at a high level that will inform and help all of our teams, from their marathon teammates to the summer college program. These athletes are a perfect fit for what Team Birkie’s Marathon Team is all about.”

A native of Eden Prairie, Drach won a U.S. Junior National Championship before competing for the Big Green of Dartmouth College, where she qualified to the NCAA Championships. She is the founder and proprietor of Kuvetta (previously Indura Athletic), an award-winning activewear company based in the Twin Cities, designing functional, fashionable athletic clothing for women.

Eliasson was a standout Minnesota state high school skier and runner for Wayzata High School, was a member of the United States Junior World Championships and U23 World Championships teams, and was an NCAA All-American at Northern Michigan University. Johnson was also a standout high school skier and runner for Burnsville, and represented the United States twice at the Junior World Championships before teaming up with Eliasson at Northern Michigan University, where she was a two-time NCAA All-American.

All three newcomers to the Team Birkie Marathon Team have been giving back to LNR as junior coaches the last several years.

Team Birkie Marathon Team 2024-25
· Abby Drach, Eden Prairie, MN
· Delaney Fitzpatrick, Minocqua, WI
· Jenna Nelson, Baxter, MN
· Maxwell Turnberg, Minneapolis, MN
· Nicole Eliasson, Plymouth, MN
· Vivian Johnson, Burnsville, MN
· Sam Holt, Minneapolis, MN
· Zach Nelson, Maplewood, MN

“This is an incredible line up of experienced ski racers. We are fortunate to field this marathon team,” said Team Birkie High Performance Manager, Chad Salmela. “These athletes will bring positive energy across the region. This team, top to bottom, represents what is great about our ski racing community.”

Team Birkie still has registration open for the College Summer Program.

ABOUT TEAM BIRKIE: Team Birkie is a Midwest-based professional cross country ski team formed through a collaboration between the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, the Loppet Foundation, and Central Cross Country Skiing (CXC). With athletes competing at the FIS World Cup, U.S. SuperTour, and regional marathon levels, the team is dedicated to advancing skiing in the Central Region. With its home base in Minneapolis, MN, Team Birkie promotes partnership and community engagement, striving to set higher standards in the sport and inspire the next generation of Nordic skiers. Learn more at www.teambirkie.com

Posted May 3, 2024 at 9:44 am