2016 CXC Dream Camp Athletes Named

Following the end of another successful CXC Youth Cup season, seven U14 girls and eight U14 boys were selected to attend the second annual CXC Dream Camp, July 5th through the 11th, at the U.S. Olympic Training Site – NMU in Marquette (MI).

“As summer training and camps get underway, I am particularly excited for the second annual CXC Dream Camp in Marquette,” said CXC Junior Development Coach, Karmen Whitham. “Having the Dream Camp in Marquette is especially rewarding for these younger athletes, because it sets a precedent for how athletes can have really cool adventures outside as ski training, without compromising the quality of the workout.”

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The 2015 CXC Dream Camp Athletes.

These athletes were chosen based on their results from the 2015-2016 Youth Cup season and will join together for six days of tough training.

The goal of the Dream Camp is to bring together top U14 boys and girls to train and receive feedback, educational materials, while offering a glimpse at the bigger picture of Nordic ski racing. These collaborative camps provide a motivating environment for the athletes to positively push and improve together.

“Activities during this camp include: beautiful trail running, agility and technique rollerskiing, early morning runs, and, of course, hill bounding up Marquette Mountain,” said Whitham. “Each workout usually ends with a highly anticipated dip in Lake Superior. Overall the location, roster, and schedule sets us up for a really fantastic week of training!”

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CXC Team Coach, Andy Keller, prepares the athletes for a workout at the 2015 Dream Camp.

U14 Boys

Garrett Walters / Chippewa Valley Nordic

Victor Sparks / FAST KIDS Wirth

Ryan Thieme / ANST

Cooper Lennox / Mustang Nordic

Will Ernst / Bay Nordic

Daniel Huhtala / ANST

Zachary Nemeth / Unattached

Jake Van Hefty / Lakeland Nordic Ski Club

“I’m thrilled to be working with athletes who have qualified this year, looking at the roster it’s definitely a solid group of enthusiastic, hard-working Midwest athletes,” said Whitham.

U14 Girls

Mia Case / Lakeland Nordic Ski Club

Gretchen Haggenmiller / Copper Country Ski Tigers

Gabrielle Kraemer /  LNR

Anna Greenlee / Mesabi East High School

Spirit Hess / Bay Nordic

Ella Hoch Robinson / Skiwerx Wirth

Grete Engles / FAST KIDS Hyland

23 Top Junior Skiers Will Come Together for the 2016 REG Camp

21 of the top junior skiers in the Central Region will come together in Marquette, MI at the NMU U.S. Olympic Training Site, July 5th through the 11th, for one week of rigorous training and testing at the Central (CXC) Regional Elite Group (REG) Camp.

“The Cable/Hayward area has played host to the REG camp for the last 10 years,” said CXC Team Coach, Andy Keller. “The location has treated us very well, but we felt we needed to mix things up a bit and change the scenery to engage new communities and locations.”

“Our hope is to rotate this event around the Midwest to get as many different ski organizations and coaches involved in this camp as possible.”

U.S. Ski Team Development Coach, Bryan Fish, will attend the REG Camp to assist with coaching and testing during the week. REG camps are just one stage of the overall U.S Cross Country Development Program Fish has throughout the year.

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2015 REG Athletes are introduced to the agility course by U.S. Ski Team Development Coach, Bryan Fish.

Athletes at REG conduct time trials and testing to qualify for the National Elite Group Camp, which will be held October 15th through the 23rd in Park City, UT. in conjunction with the U.S Ski Team dryland camp. These athletes will live and train alongside the national team.

The goal of the camp is to bring together top juniors to train and receive feedback, educational materials, and a glimpse at the bigger picture of Nordic ski racing. These collaborative camps provide a motivating environment for the athletes, to positively push and improve together.


The women prepare for a double pole time trial at the 2015 REG Camp.

Athletes must qualify to attend the REG Camp. The qualification criteria includes: World Junior or U18 Nationals Cup Qualifier, NCAA Championship Qualifier, 1 X Top 10 at Junior Nationals, returning as a junior in 2016, Top 10 on year-end USSA junior ranking list, or top age group qualifier for Midwest or Great Lakes Team.


2015 REG Athlete completing a strength test.

2016 Athletes

“I’m excited for this summers REG camp as this years group is definitely one of the strongest groups we have ever had,” said Keller. “One of the main objectives of the camp is to get the best athletes together to train and learn from one another.”

Kelly Koch – U16 / LNR

Abby Jarzin – U16 / ANST

Siri Bohacek – U16 / LNR

Anabel Needham – U16 / Copper Country Ski Tigers

Renae Anderson – U18 / LNR

Anja Maijala – U18 / Cloquet-Esko-Carlton HS

Margie Freed – U20 / LNR

Michaeala Keller-Miller – U20 / LNR

Kristine Keller-Miller – U20 / LNR

Sarah Bezdiczek – U20 / NMU

Vivan Hett – U20 / NMU

Nicole Schneider – U20 / NMU

Xavier Mansfield – U18 / LNR

Mitchell Delong – U18 / Copper Country Ski Tigers

Matt Chard – U18 / Copper Country Ski Tigers

Russell O’Brian – U18 / MadNorSki

Torsten Brinkema – U18 / LNR

Foss Kerker – U18 / LNR

Michael Jarzin – U18 / ANST

Anders Sonnesyn – U18 / Wayzata Nordic Ski Club

Leo Hipp – U20 / NMU 

Zak Ketterson – U20 / LNR

Mack FitzPatrick – U20 / Lakeland High School



2015 REG Athlete completing the agility course.

Head Junior National and NENSA Coaches Named | Midwest & Great Lakes

After the 2016 Spring Meetings, The Midwest and Great Lakes Junior Committees named coaches for the 2017 Junior Nationals and NENSA U16 Trip.

The Junior National head coach and trip leader, are two year positions and are selected on different years. All other coaching positions are year to year. The head glide and head kick wax coaches are selected by the head coach and trip leader and those four make up the executive committee, to choose the remaining coaches.



Coach Piotr Bednarski and Andy Keller, at the 2016 Junior National Championships in Cable, WI.

Junior Nationals: 

Head Coach: Piotr Bednarski – Loppet Nordic Racing

Trip Leader: Andy Keller – CXC Team

NENSA U16 Trip: 

Head Coach: Kristin Hanson – Out There Nordic & Chippewa Valley Nordic

*All of the remaining Midwest and NENSA coaches will go through an application process in late summer, early fall and will be named in November or December. 

Great Lakes


The Great Lakes men’s relay team for the Hill Climb race, at the 2016 Junior National Championships in Cable, WI.

Junior Nationals: 

Head Coach: Tom Wood – Copper Country Ski Tigers

Trip Leader: Nick Baic – Lake Michigan Ski Club

NENSA U16 Trip: 

Head Coach: Mike Young – Copper Country Ski Tigers

Less Than 5 Weeks Before the first U16 Camp | Rice Lake (WI)

There are less than five weeks before the first U16 Camp of the summer, June 25th through the 27th, in beautiful Rice Lake (WI).


To help make this camp even more successful, CXC has an offer for every skier interested in attending!

Recruit a friend or teammate to join the JUNE U16 Camp and CXC will give a Craft training shirt to both skiers. CXC looks forward to seeing everyone in June!

*Simply send an email to Bruce Manske, once the friend has registered and Craft training shirts will be ordered.  


The JUNE U16 Camp is unique:

– It is the first camp of this design in the Midwest.

Out There Nordic Sports is the camp sponsor.

– The venue features an awesome rural training setting.

– Kristen and Bjorn Hanson, both USSA Certified Coaches, and owners of Out There Nordic Sports, along with Bruce Manske, CXC Development Coach, will lead the camp.

– Activities include trail runs, distance rollerskiing, and technique activities in the beautiful Blue Hills and Ice Age Trail areas of Barron County.

The intention of each camp is to inspire and excite youth to further pursue the next level of skiing, following the experiences gained at the Igor Legacy Camps and before joining the ranks of the CXC Junior Development Team.


For further information regarding the U16 Camps, contact Bruce Manske, 651.304.0647.


May 16: CXC Masters Intro Night and Potluck in Rice Lake (WI)

The Rice Lake (WI) Chapter is having their annual CXC Master Intro Night and Potluck, Monday, May 16th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Out There Nordic Sports.

There will be a small workout, the potluck and then a chance to discuss the program for the 2016-17 season.

The Rice Lake Chapter is led by the owners of Out There Nordic Sports, Bjorn and Kris Hanson, who are also USSA Level 100 and 200 certified coaches.


The Rice Lake Chapter meets year round to work on agility, balance, dry-land training, ski imitation, and/or rollerskiing. These sessions present a great opportunity to learn about training, technique, racing, recovery and more.

We hope this chapter serves as an opportunity to bond with other skiers in the area and that the benefits of group training will extend beyond our clinics.


*Please RSVP to info@outthereshop.com with your name and what dish you plan to bring.  

Igor Badamshin ‘Wax Museum’ Project


By: Casey Van Hefty, U12 Skier from Lakeland Nordic Ski Club

On June 12, 1966 in Sverdlovsk, Russia, a very intelligent boy, Igor Badamshin was born. Igor had a very successful, but short life. Spending most of his time in Russia he also made his way to the U.S. and Wisconsin. In his life he coached for many teams and was a legacy with all of them. He developed a relationship with the Central Cross Country Ski Association and was a huge part of the program.


Igor Gayniakhmetovich Badamshin was born and grew up in Sverdlovsk, Russia. His name in Russian is actually written as Игорь Гайниахметович Бадамшин. His father’s name was Gainiahment Badamshin and in my research I could not find his mother’s name. He also had a twin brother, and younger sister. Most of his family is still known to live in St. Petersburg, Russia. Igor began skiing at an age of 13. Before that he was really into basketball. He skied with his family at first, but then at 14 years old skiing became more competitive for him.

As a young man Igor became a very well known, world class cross country skier in
Russia, and was known mostly for his long distance skiing. Several of his achievements included a podium position of second place in the 50km classic at the Calgary World Cup event in 1989. He was a member of the Russian 4 x 10 relay team that took the bronze medal in the 1993 World Ski Championship in Falun, Sweden, where he also took 5th place for his 30kim individual classic race. Before that he also placed 5th in the 1989 World Championship race in Lahti, Finland for the 50km individual freestyle race.


While in Russia he also won the Soviet 50 km title in 1988, 50 km, 70 km and relay titles in 1989, a 15 km title in 1990, and CIS 50 km title in 1992. And most impressively, he placed 14th for the Men’s 50k in the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. During this time, while living in Russia , and being very involved in his ski career, is when he met and married Nina Gavrylyuk. Nina was a three-time Olympic gold medal winner herself, and actually took home more medals and higher rankings than Igor. Also while they were living there their daughter Jenia was born. It was documented that he retired from being a professional skier in 1997, but he never stopped skiing.


In 2003 he was asked by a wealthy family to move to Gunstock, New Hampshire to privately coach their daughter. He made his decision to move to the United States for this position and moved with his wife and daughter when she was in 8th grade. Eventually Nina and Igor began coaching a team in this area and they began to quickly rack up top finishes in races.

Many of the athletes they coached went to Junior National Championships and college races. At first it was difficult to coach because of the language barrier but it became easier after awhile. Nina would always take on the serious role and Igor would always make sure everybody got enough games and fun in for the practice. During this time the new Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC) that was developing in the Midwest caught his attention. He made the decision to move to Wausau, Wisconsin in 2007 where he became the head coach for Knicker Nordic. His wife and daughter decided to stay back in Gunstock.


As time went on he became very involved in the CXC program first volunteering and then becoming a high performance advisor. He also developed and became a coach for the CXC junior development program, and elite team. He even held a development camp right here in Minocqua with his friend Coach Jim Mullen who said he was known to have an incredible amount of energy with children of all ages, and never made practices seem like work. A close friend of Igor’s, Bill Pierce, said when working with kids, you could often hear Igor say “keep moving, moving, moving…and have fun too!”

On Friday January 24, 2014 Igor Badamshin, age 47, was in Seeley Wisconsin, spending time on one of his favorite cross country ski trails. He was training alone on the Birkie trail for an upcoming local race, when he died unexpectedly of a heart attack, while doing something he loved. The news spread quickly among the cross country ski community, and special gatherings were held in many communities that Igor touched, in honor of celebrating his life.

Almost immediately, close friends of Igor’s created a cross country ski event to honor their friend, and named it the Igor Legacy Camp. The camp was a summer ski camp for young athletes, and the first one was held in June 2014 at Iola Winter Sports Club. Kids from all over met to work on movement, balance, meet new friends and most important, to have fun. The camps have continued and this summer there are four different camps planned to honor Igor. I had the chance to go to one last summer, and that is where I learned about Igor and what he did for cross country skiing.


In Igor’s lifetime he coached many children of all ages to inspire them to do their best. He coached them through tough levels of training and travelled with them to races across the country. He always had a good attitude and a smile on his face. He never got discouraged or talked about how good he was at skiing and about his medals he won.

I got the chance to talk to some of Igor’s closest friends. Bruce Manske said this about Igor, “By sharing his happiness and joy of Nordic skiing and LIFE, Igor made a huge impact on a lot of kids during his short life.” His friend Bill Pierce said, “Igor was a great coach, trainer, and skier, but he will be remembered most for his love for playing outside.” And his good friend Dennis Kruse shared a story with me and said “ I said to Igor one time when I was thinking about the medals Igor had won, and how good of racers he had competed against, “Igor you were really good back in the Olympics.” Igor just smiled and said “Yeah, I guess I was a little strong.” Some of Igor’s best friends didn’t even know about the medals he had won and how good of a skier he was, that is the kind of person he was and why he will always be remembered.


Casey Van Hefty is from Minoqua, WI and skis for the Lakeland Nordic Ski Club. This essay and presentation was a part of a ‘Wax Museum’ project at his school. Casey is an awesome skier who competed in many of the CXC Youth Cup races. He placed fourth overall in the U12 age group, during the 2015-16 season!

NEW! College Summer Residency Program

The CXC Regional Training Center at Northern Michigan University in Marquette (MI) is a summer program for current, past and developing college athletes from June 15th-August 12th. The program also provides living, studying and training options.


“This partnership with Northern Michigan University has allowed us to create a strong training group option, by utilizing the facilities and services on campus.” Said CXC Team Head Coach, Andy Keller. This partnership also allows athletes an opportunity to use some of the best terrain and trails offered in the Midwest.”


Marquette features miles of exciting single track running as well as smooth bike paths and roads, that roll through the countryside for amazing roller skiing directly from the NMU campus.

“We have a long history with skiing in the local community, the Training Site and the University.” Said Michael Kaurala, Operations Manager at the NMU Olympic Training Site. “This summer program is a great opportunity to build off of that and expose a wide range of skiers to what our community and trail networks have to offer.”

At the beginning of the summer, coaches will evaluate athletes’ current level of fitness and provide a comprehensive training plan, while accommodating for any training plan they may already have from their respective coaches.

The goal of this training group is to bring skiers from all different areas of the country to train with one another. The program will also provide each athlete with a clear and concise training plan that caters to the individual athlete in order to improve upon fitness, technique and strength.

Coaching Fees 

Starting at $150

Housing Options 

Starting at $105

Meal Plans 

Starting at $195

Summer Classes

Through the Summer Residency Program, athletes will have the opportunity to take summer classes at Northern Michigan University. All athletes will receive in-state tuition, as a special offer from the NMU Olympic Training Site.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 11.34.43 AMFor further information regarding the program, contact Andy Keller 612.590.1739.