The CXC Youth Cup Standings

CXC Youth Cup Standings After Four Races


Top Three U14 Males 

Garrett Walters/ CVN

Victor Sparks/ FAST KIDS Wirth

Cooper Lennox / Mustang Nordic

Top Three U14 Females 

Sudie Hall / FAST KIDS Wirth

Gretchen Haggenmiller / Copper Country Ski Tigers

Mia Case / Lakeland

Top Three U12 Males 

Jonathan Clarke / FAST KIDS Wirth

Owen Williams / Iola Winter Sports Club

Bryce Albrecht / LNR 

Top Three U12 Females 

Lauren Munger / FAST KIDS Wirth

Molly Moening / 3G 

Sylvia Meza / Lakeland

Youth Cup races continue February 5th in Minneapolis, MN with a freestyle individual sprint at the City of Lakes Loppet event! The Youth Cup will also be a part of the XC Mayor’s Challenge with a classic mass start race.


The Midwest JNQ Standings

Midwest JNQ Standings After Three Races

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Photo Credit: Bruce Adelsman / SkinnySki

Top Three U20/U18 Males 

Zak Ketterson / LNR

Ian Torchia / NMU

Benjamin Loomis / CVN

Top Three U20/U18 Females 

Nicole Schneider / LNR

Abigail Drach / LNR & CXC 

Alayna Sonnesyn / University of Vermont

Top Three U16 Males 

Ryan Mead / Nordicwerks Skiklubb

Peter Moore / Endurance United

Anders Sonnesyn / Endurance United/Wayzata High School

Top Three U16 Females

Abigail Jarzin / ANST

Kelly Koch / LNR

Regan Duffy / Nordicwerks Skiklubb

The third and final weekend of JNQ races continues February 13-14 at the Mayor’s XC Challenge in Minneapolis, MN. These races will determine the Midwest Junior National Team! The 2016 Junior National Championships are March 6-13 in Cable, WI on the Telemark Trails.


Adaptive Nordic Ski and Biathlon Camp, Feb 25-26 | Duluth, MN

This two-day Nordic-ski and Biathlon camp is designed for youth and adults with disabilities. Skiers and instructors from the Midwest will come together to advance participant’s Nordic ski and/or biathlon skills.

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When: February 25-26, 2016
Where: Spirit Mountain, Duluth MN


The focus of the camp is for individuals to gain confidence to become an efficient independent Nordic skier. Paralympic Nordic coach Jason Kask, 3 time Paralympian Kelly Underkolfer, and Courage Kenny skiers will provide group instruction for both sit-style and stand-up skiers based on ability.

All participants will work with instructors on personal ski development. Intermediate to advanced level skiers will have the option to work on race techniques. Participants will be filmed by a professional videographer for a thorough movement analysis. Skiers and instructors will analyze the film and discuss their ski style and performance. Biathlon equipment used will be laser rifles with mirrors.

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This Nordic ski camp is held in conjunction with the Great Lake Mono-ski, Nordic, and Alpine Race camp. For more information contact Mark Hanna 218-726-4834 ext. 1.


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Trust the Process

By: CXC Team athlete, Alice Flanders

When I was in High School, I had a teacher that believed letter grades were simply an arbitrary requirement. He went on to explain that, with the way our school system currently works, these letter grades measure instantaneous intelligence and are very poor at representing how much a student actually learns in class. Therefore, his goal was not for each student to get an A, but rather for each student learn as much as possible while developing a passion for learning. Since then I’ve taken notice of the people in my life who have this “lifelong learner” outlook. These people focus on the steps it takes to achieve great goals, and trust that with hard work, positive results are sure to follow.

I’ve had years in my skiing career where the sole goal of each race was to move up the Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA) points list. I went into each race knowing exactly how much time I needed to beat my competition by in order to qualify for NCAA’s. It wasn’t until I stopped worrying about placement and started focusing on perfect technique, that I was finally able to qualify. That same year I became All-American, a goal I didn’t even know was possible until halfway through the race.


At the 2016 U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships, January 3-9, evidence of trusting the process once again became blatantly clear. Due to the time restraints of Grad School, I have been forced to take a close look at my training and specifically design it to match my race goals. Since all of big goals are in distance skate events, my training all summer and fall have been focused on distance skating. Add in a late start to snowfall and the resulting lack of time to get acquainted with new equipment, and it’s no surprise that my first race at U.S. Championships (10K Classic) was less than ideal. Negative race results are never fun, and it is REALLY hard to keep bad races from impacting your mentality in upcoming events. Going into the 20K skate, I was feeling less than 100%, but knew that if things were going to get better I would have to rely on habits and routines which have already been proven successful.

Proven Successes:
Nutrition: Parmesan Chicken for dinner and a smoothie for breakfast √
Course Preview: I can ski these trails in my sleep √
Skis: Pick the fastest pair (duh) √
Clothing: Layers on bottom and less on top to prevent overheating √
Strategy: Go out in control, with the best technique you can muster, then crank it up. Stay calm and intense, no matter what happens, you know how to do this. √

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With my goals for the day so focused on racing smart, I thought I’d misheard my coaches that the front of our pack was top 10. Realizing that they weren’t wrong, I stuck to the plan and tried not to get dropped. At the end of the race, I went up to my coach and as soon as he saw me, all he could do was laugh. I was laughing too. Not only was it a fun race, but it also proved that all of the training I’ve done this year has worked.

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I’d like to say that I never doubted myself, but I’d be lying. Having less than desirable results really sucks, and it’s very easy to start second guessing your coaches and yourself. What separates great athletes from the rest of us is not simply the hours in their training log and their fancy equipment, it’s also their ability to trust the process. They are able to see roadblocks as mole hills, they understand that it’s not going to be easy and above all they never stop believing that their work is worthwhile. As one of my teammates shared with me before NCAA’s:

“I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else, I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.” ~Ken Venturi

CXC Marathon Cup Standings

The inaugural CXC Marathon Cup series is off to a great start, as two out of the five races have already been completed; the 42k Seeley Hills Classic and the Noquemanon 50k Classic. Conditions have been pristine, the races have been exciting, and the fight for the CXC Marathon Cup crown is getting more competitive.

With two skate weekends, one skiathlon and one weekend with back-to-back classic and skate races remaining, the excitement has only just begun! The battle for the CXC Marathon Cup title continues, February 7 with the City of Lakes Loppet in Minneapolis, MN.


CXC Marathon Cup Standings After Two Races

Men’s Overall

1. Nick Power

2. Chris Pappathopoulos

3. Andrew Brown

Women’s Overall 

1. Natalia Naryshkina

2. Kim Rudd

3. Elaine Nelson

Men’s Age-Indexed 

1. Nick Power

2. Chris Pappathopoulos

3. Michael Mandli

Women’s Age-Indexed  

1. Natalia Naryshkina

2. Kim Rudd

3. Jan Guenther

Men’s Age Group

0-29: Nick Power, Kyle Bratrud, Andrew Brown

30-39: Chris Pappathopoulos, Brian Gregg, Joe Bettendorf

40-49: Eli Brown, John Baur, Duncan Douglas

50-59: Jonathan Sanborn, Milan Baic, Dennis Paull

60-69: Michael Mandli, Duncan McLean, Marcus Magnuson

70+: Charles Duede, Bruce Closser, Peter Dorsen

Women’s Age Group

0-29: Alice Flanders, Ingrid Leask, Ellen Wiitala

30-39: Natalia Naryshkina, Elaine Nelson, Chandra Ziegler

40-49: Kim Rudd, Kitty Earl-Tormainen, Ann Wagar

50-59: Jan Guenther, Sandra Pera, Patti Harvieux

60-69: Ann Pollock, Margaret Meincke, Maddie McAlister


Surviving Sub-Zero Marathons (and other chilly encounters)

By: CXC Team Member, Andy Brown 

The 2013-2014 polar vortex taught me several, quite literally, painful lessons about what works and what doesn’t when the temperatures really bottom out. Everyone is an individual and has a different internal furnace and circulation, but these are the things that have worked for me.


1. A light hat and a buff are basically mandatory when things are 5 degrees or colder. If things get really cold, a single buff is generally too thin and I like to switch to a thin balaclava. Balaclavas are shaped to fit your neck better and don’t bunch up quite as bad as two buffs. You don’t need much of a hat when it’s doubled up with a buff/balaclava and too thick of a hat will just make you sweat.

2. Breathing cold air, especially during hard exertions can hurt your lungs. The worst my lungs ever felt was after a 10k at zero degrees in which I wore a headband. Keeping your throat warm with a buff or balaclava really can help to prevent this. If it is truly arctic conditions the AirTrim breathing masks are the best solution. They look dangerously uncool, but it beats permanently damaging lung tissue.

3. Glasses are a no brainer and a must for cold conditions. They not only keep your corneas from freezing, but protect a fairly large portion of your face. Plus who likes getting snow in their eyes?

4. For the parts of your face not protected by your buff of glasses, Dermatone/vaseline and Warm Skin are great. For many people they are enough to keep frostbite at bay. If you have gotten frostbite before, I highly recommend moleskin at least on your cheeks. It looks weird but really does work. Put it on dry skin before any lotion to ensure it sticks. You can generally find it in the footcare/orthotic section of a store.

5. If you are prone to cold feet, boot covers are great. I generally don’t race in them, but they are nice for keeping your feet warm before the race. Don’t go crazy trying to jam extra socks in your ski boots, you’ll just restrict circulation.

6. For gloves it’s all about windstopper. Having normal size windproof gloves beat bulky mitts all the time. If you really get cold hands, Toko has sweet overmitts that block the wind and go on over your pole straps so they don’t mess up your strap adjustment. Also be careful at feeds not to splash liquid your gloves or you’ll freeze a finger or two.

7. To keep the rest of your body warm, windproof baselayers are great and can eliminate extra clothes that otherwise will make you feel bound up and inflexible. Craft makes several nice models. If all you have are normal long underwear adding duct tape to the front for the knees and over the groin makes a huge difference. It is under the suit and no one will notice

8. For guys, windbriefs. You want two layers of wind stopping material somewhere in your layers, especially for skate races. Ignore this rule at your own peril (and maybe that of your future offspring). An extra buff can also be stuffed down there in an emergency.

9. Feeding during a race in cold conditions can be problematic. I’ve poured boiling water into a drink bottle at the start of the Vasaloppet, only to have it turn into a solid block of ice by 30k. Energy gels also become impossible to eat if they freeze. For the most part I no longer bother trying to keep a bottle with me when it’s below zero. Instead I depend on aid stations and team support along the trail to give me warm fluids. I still carry energy gels, but I tape them inside my waistband where they stay warm enough to eat.

CXC Marathon Cup: Bratrud and Naryshkina Claim Podiums at Noquemanon 50k Classic

MARQUETTE, Michigan (January 23, 2016) – The second weekend of the CXC Marathon Cup continued Saturday with the Noquemanon 50k Classic race. With perfect weather, pristine trails and wicked fast conditions, the event was very successful with exciting results.


The CXC Men’s Team swept the podium in the 50k classic, as CXC Team athlete Kyle Bratrud (Marquette, MI) led the entire race to a convincing first place finish, almost five and a half minutes ahead of teammates Nick Power (Duluth, MN) and Chris Pappathopoulos (Sun Prairie, WI) who finished third. CXC Team athletes Duncan Douglas (Rochester, NY) and Andy Brown were in the top ten for the men’s 50k classic, finishing fifth and tenth, respectively.

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“Today’s race was a step in the right direction. Said Kyle Bratrud. My legs are feeling better than Nationals and once I get over my illness, I believe my energy will improve as well. It was a very fun race today!”

PE5A6526.jpgIn the women’s 50k race, CXC Team athlete Natalia Naryshkina dominated the race once again finishing first by over twelve minuets. In last weekends CXC Marathon Cup at the 42k Seeley Hills Classic race, Naryshkina won by ten minutes. Kim Rudd (Rossignol, MN) finished second and CXC Team athlete Alice Flanders (Crystal, MN) finished third.

“This race was quite a bit harder than the Seeley Hills Classic last weekend, and I was pretty tired at the end. Natalia Naryshkina said. My skis worked great with perfect glide and kick thanks to my wax techs, Bruce and Andy. The weather was excellent for a marathon race and it was a fun day!”



January 16, 2016

Seeley Hills Classic / 42K Classic – Results

January 23, 2016

Noquemanon Ski Marathon / 50K Classic – Results 

February 7, 2016

City of Lakes Loppet / Minne Tour or Loppet Challenge

February 13, 2016

Vasaloppet USA / 58K Freestyle

February 20, 2016

American Birkebeiner / 51K Skate

March 5, 2016

Great Bear Chase / 50K Skiathlon