WHISTLER, B.C. — Senior Michigan Tech Nordic Skier Anabel Needham competed in the U23 World Ski Championships for the second-straight year, representing the United States in Whistler, B.C. on Jan. 29-31.
The Houghton, Michigan, native competed in the classic sprint on Sunday (Jan. 29), where she placed 34th in a time of 3:25.90.
Needham returned on Tuesday, racing the 20km mass start for the second time in her career, placing 33rd overall (1:07.48.1).
“January was nothing but a smashing success for Anabel,” head coach Tom Monahan Smith and assistant coach Kristen Monahan Smith said. “We are just so darn proud of Anabel not only for what she’s accomplished athletically, but by how she’s done it, racing so well in three back-to-back-to-back championship events.”
The coaching staff expressed their excitement of Needham competing in both the World University Games and the U23 World Ski Championships.
“It is absolutely incredible to see just how far she is achieving in her athletic journey,” Monahan Smith added. “It’s a huge achievement anytime an athlete qualifies for an international championship trip, and for Anabel to qualify for both World University Games and U23 World Ski Championships is a testament to the international caliber athlete she is.
“Not only that, but Anabel had awesome races in every single race at these international championship events! One easy way to measure success is through performance improvement, and Anabel improved 12 places in the sprint race, and 14 places in the classic distance race from the 2022 to the 2023 U23 World Ski Championships.”
Monahan Smith also mentioned how Needham showcases excellence outside of competition, by being the best teammate.
“What makes Anabel such a rockstar is not only that she is such an outstanding athlete, she is such an amazing teammate, and she has really discovered personal happiness in her experience as an athlete.
“She has so much pride in every team she gets to represent, she always praises her teammates for her success, and she is an absolute leader in the way she carries herself and how she balances her athletic identity with everything else that’s important in life!”
Needham also expressed her excitement to be competing in Whistler and getting the most out of the experience.
“As a girl from the Midwest, being surrounded by huge mountains is always special and Whistler was no different,” Needham said. “That also made the race course pretty challenging, but if it was easy it wouldn’t be as fun!”
I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has been supporting me the past month, it’s been a whirlwind. I have probably just had the biggest week of racing of my life for the month of January, I’m ready to be back with my team in my favorite place,” Needham added.
She joins the rest of the Huskies coming off a two-week hiatus, competing at the GANC CCSA Invite in Duluth, Minnesota, on Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 4-5).
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