Yarmouth High grad Sophia Laukli made her World Cup debut a year ago and cemented her Olympic status by placing fifth in a 10-kilometer freestyle mass start World Cup race this month in Italy. Courtesy of flyingpointroad.com

Sophia Laukli of Yarmouth was named Thursday to the U.S. cross-country ski team that will compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February.

The 21-year-old made her World Cup debut a year ago and cemented her Olympic status by placing fifth in a 10-kilometer freestyle mass start World Cup race this month in Italy. She was the top American in that race and currently ranks 31st in the world for distance events and 46th overall.

The American women, by virtue of placing third overall in World Cup standings last winter, are allotted eight spots in the Beijing Games. The American men, ranked ninth, started with five spots but gained another because not all nations filled their quota.

A 2018 graduate of Yarmouth High, Laukli was selected as the Varsity Maine girls’ skier of the year as a senior. She spent two years at Middlebury College in Vermont before transferring last spring to the University of Utah, where she is a junior. In early 2020, she placed fifth at the Nordic Junior World Championships in a 15K freestyle race in Germany and second in the NCAA Championships in the 5K freestyle.

Later that spring, she joined the women’s development team for the U.S. Cross Country Ski program.

At last March’s World Championships, also in Germany, she placed 23rd in a 10K freestyle race, 25th in a 15K skiathlon and 28th in a 30K classic race.

Advertisement

“It’s beyond words how happy I am for her,” said Sophia’s mother, Amy Ireland.

The first Olympic cross country race is the women’s skiathlon Feb. 5.

Laukli is one of five athletes with Maine ties to earn a berth for the U.S. squad at the Beijing Olympics.

Former University of Maine track and field teammates Frank Del Duca of Bethel and Jimmy Reed were named Monday to the U.S. bobsled team. Emily Sweeney, who was born in Portland and lived in Falmouth until her family moved to Connecticut when she was 10, was named to the U.S. Olympic luge team last week. Cape Elizabeth native Clare Egan has been nominated to the U.S. Olympic biathlon team.

This story will be updated.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.