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Brewster Second at U23 World Championships; McCabe Fourth

By Leann Bentley - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
February, 8 2024
haley brewster
Haley Brewster racing in the 20k skate mass start in Planica, Slovenia. (Planica Press)

It was another big day of results in Planica, Slovenia for the 2024 U23 FIS Ski World Championships with Stifel U.S. Ski Team athletes Haley Brewster and Novie McCabe both in the top five, led by Brewster in second, securing her career-first U23 World Championships silver medal in the 20k mass start skate race.

On the fourth day of back-to-back races in Planica, it was the U23 athletes' turn on the challenging 20k course. In a mass start format, 45 women descended onto the course. Through the first several kilometers of the race, it was McCabe leading the pack, with Brewster in tow, alongside her fellow Americans, Kendall Kramer and Anabel Needham. At the halfway mark, McCabe continued her lead and Brewster was starting to make her move into the top 10, sitting around sixth place between Italy's Sara Hutter and Germany's Helen Hoffman.

Into the final hill and finish straight, it all came down to the sprint to the finish. As the athletes crested the final climb, McCabe got caught up in France's Maelle Veyre skis and had an unfortunate fall, which took her out of contention for the podium, but that did not slow McCabe down. Pushing across the line, and finishing fourth, McCabe adds another top 10 result to her U23 resume. 

"It was a very cool day today! It was fun to be in the mix, and I had some insanely good skis so that was definitely helpful," said McCabe. "Quite proud of the team effort, pretty awesome skiing by everyone! Skiing with Haley was definitely a highlight and super cool to see her end up on the podium!"

For Brewster, today's silver medal is her first medal won at the U23 World Championships and her first top five of the championships, topping her 13th place in the skate sprint earlier in the week. 

"It was definitely pretty fun," said Brewster. "It was very warm and the best part was getting to ski with Novie!"

Kendall Kramer finished within the top 20, in 17th place with Anabel Needham in 31st. For the men, Stifel U.S. Ski Team athlete John Steel Hagenbuch was the first American to cross the line in 17th, with Brian Bushey in 28th, Logan Moore in 37th and Elijah Weenig in 39th. 

Now, the U23 athletes will take a day to rest before the 10k classic interval start on Feb. 10. Tomorrow, Jan. 9, the Junior World Championships team will race the 10k classic.