Midwest and Great Lakes Division Junior National Recap

The 2017 XC Junior National Championships held in Lake Placid, New York, is a competition series regarded as the pinnacle of the competition season for many junior skiers ages 15-20. The event has come to a close as skiers travel back home and settle into the spring season.

The National event encompasses 10 divisional teams from different areas of the country. Each team brings their best athletes to compete for the Alaska Cup and individual best performances.

Photo Credit: courtesy of Skinnyski.com

After a lively opening ceremony at the Ice Arena where “The Miracle on Ice” happened at the 1980 Winter Olympics, the racing week began on Monday with an individual skate race, followed by Classic Sprints on Wednesday, a Classic Individual start on Friday and a Skate Team Relay event on Saturday.

This year, Great Lakes Division had outstanding top ten performances in the U20 Female category with skier Sarah Goble place 4th in the 5km Skate and 7th in the 10km Classic events. On the men’s side, U18 skier Mitchell DeLong placed 6th overall in the classic sprint event and helped the GLD team toward their 5th place in the team relay.

Photo Credit: courtesy of Skinnyski.com

The Midwest team brought nearly 60 athletes to nationals this year, and was awarded numerous top-ten finishes.

Throughout the week special mentions go the Midwest’s top 10 finishers Alexander Nameth, Peter Moore, Sara Olson, Luci Anderson, Kelly Koch, Luc Golin, Xavier Mansfield, Margie Freed, Hannah Rudd, Abby Jarzin, James Schneider, Libby Tuttle, Mara McCollor, Erin Moening and Jenna Parent. In the relay event U16 Boys took home silver with 2nd place, U18 Boys and girls both received bronze with 3rd place finishes and the U20 girls took home gold with their first-place performance.

Photo Credit: courtesy of Skinnyski.com

I felt the Mid West results got better every race-  with some really exciting results on Relay Day.   The Lake Placid JN’s organizers really did a great job managing the tricky snow conditions and weather.  I think the athletes REALLY enjoyed themselves outside of the racing time-  there were lots of fun social activities right across from our hotel.  This trip will be very memorable for the Minnesota/Wisconsin athletes.  JN’s represents an important goal for any junior xc skier- and the goal of qualifying and competing at JN’s provides a great carrot for our top juniors in the Mid West region.  Many are fired up to start preparing right away! Piotr Bednarski Midwest Junior National Head Coach

A special thanks goes out to the organizing committee, volunteers and coaches for their hard work and dedication in making a high quality event that the athletes will regard as one of the most outstanding opportunities in their skiing career!


Great Lakes 2017 Junior National Team Naming

The Great Lakes Division qualifying junior skiers are preparing for their trip to Lake Placid. The team will depart Friday to the 2017 USSA Cross Country Jr. National Championships in Lake Placid NY.

The Great Lakes Division (GLD) Team for 2017 includes twenty-one athletes from a variety of ski clubs across several states.

GLD will be accompanied by seven of its’ veteran coaching staff who are well primed and ready to service the team this coming week.

“I started my training in the summer focusing on roller skiing and running and continued with dry land training in the fall. I am glad that all the hard work and time that I put in could bring me to this and I am thrilled to be able to go.”

– Nathan Garwood Superiorland Ski Club, Marquette MI



U16 Girls
Anabel Needham, Copper Country Ski Tigers
Gretchen Haggenmiller, Performance By Kask
Erika Asmus, Superiorland Ski Club

U18 Girls
Isabel Carr, Superiorland Ski Club
Mary Lyon, Superiorland Ski Club

U20 Girls
Sarah Goble, Sun Valley

U16 Boys
Joe Wood, Copper Country Ski Tigers
Julien Malherbe, Superiorland Ski Club
Nicholas Niemi, Team Gogebic

U18 Men
Reid Goble, Lake Muchigan Junior Nordic
Mitchell DeLong, Copper Country Ski Tigers
Nikolai Huotari, Copper Country Ski Tigers
Nathan Garwood, Superiorland Ski Club
Ethan Hall, Superiorland Ski Club
Isaac Coulter, Traverse City TNT
Jacob Dean, Traverse City TNT

U20 Men
Brad Baas, Michigan Tech University
Aiden Truettner, Michigan Tech University
Matt Chard, Copper Country Ski Tigers
David Jaszcyak, Michigan Tech University
Seth Prigge, Ely Minnesota

Tom Wood, Head Coach
Nick Baic, Trip Leader
John Goble, Coach
Tracy Goble, Coach
Bobbi Wood, Coach
Steve Carr, Wax Tech
John Kostrewza, Wax Tech



Midwest 2017 Junior National and NENSA U16 Team Naming

MAYOR’S XC CHALLENGE, Minneapolis MN, served as the location for the last Midwest JNQ event of the season. The series of qualifying races started December 17th in Houghton, MI traveling to three other race venues for a total of 8 races where there was a potential to qualify for a spot on Midwest’s 2017 USSA Cross Country Jr. National Championship Team.

Both races Saturday and Sunday were classic discipline with sprint competitions on Saturday and a distance mass start on Sunday.

Though temperatures reached a balmy mid-50s both days, race organizers were able to hold the races on well covered man-made loops with tracks set throughout the day.

After the competitive weekend was over, the team gathered for the highly anticipated team naming for the Midwest 2017 USSA Cross Country Jr. National Championship Team and Midwest 2017 NENSA U16 Championships Team.


Photo Credit: Skinnyski.com

This year, members of the Midwest Junior National team travel to Lake Placid, NY for a week long series of 4 races against the nation’s top junior skiers. More information on the event can be found at www.xcjuniornationals2017.com/registration.

Members of the 2017 U16 NENSA trip will travel to Farmington, Maine for a weekend of three races.

A special congratulations to all Midwest qualifiers and, good luck in New York!


Photo Credit: Skinnyski.com

Full results from the weekend can be found at https://www.sportstats.us


U16 Boys
James Schneider
Peter Moore
Henry Hall
Alex Nemeth
Noah Bodewes
Joe Lynch
Matt Bourne
Eli Gore

U16 Girls
Sarah Olson
Kasia Bednarski
Olivia Dreger
Leah Rudd
Isabel Seay
Kaelin Jackson
Charlotte Brown

U20 Boys
Xavier Mansfield
Foss Kerker
Shad Kraftson
Jack Christianson
Sam Myers
Ian Ivens

U18 Boys
Patrick Acton
Luc Golin
Anders Sonnesyn
Cullen Chosy
Ryan Steger
Jackson Adler
Torsten Brinkema
Ben Olson
Alternate: Gavin Martell

U20 Girls
Renae Anderson
Dottie Anderson
Sadie Peterson

U18 Girls
Abby Jarzin
Lucy Anderson
Kelly Koch
Anna Johnson
Mara McCollor
Erin Moening
Rana Krafton
Jenna Parent
Regan Duffy
Anja Maijala
Mae Barnes
Alternate: Siri Bohacek


Photo Credit: Skinnyski.com


Cooper Lennox
Matt Clarke
Nick Parent
Garrett Walters

Lauren Lackman
Anni Skillicorn
Alice House
Ellie Munger



The Final JNQ Weekend at Theodore Wirth Park

The Mayors Challenge race will be held this coming weekend at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis, MN.

Currently the course is in good condition but with the expected warm temperatures the rest of the week, schedule changes are likely. It is imperative that athletes and parents refer to the website for up to date information. Our organizing committee has back up plans in place so that the best quality experience can be had.


Please note:
This is the final USSA Junior National Qualifier for the Midwest region and the Midwest Junior National team will be announced following competition on Sunday.  All participants are required to have a USSA license to participate (ages u16 and up).


Day licenses are available at www.ussa.org. Day of registration will not be available. All participants are expected to review the registration list (posted on Wednesday) to confirm their registration information is accurate.

The course will be closed to recreational skiing before and during competition.


Please note:
  • Both Saturday and Sunday starts have been moved up, and the Youth SkiX start has been moved to 9 am on Saturday.
  • Saturday’s sprint race has been changed to classic technique.  SkiX is still Freestyle.
  • The 83% pole height rule for classic races will be in-effect and enforced for athletes ages u20-u16.  For questions please visit http://www.fis-ski.com/cross-country/news-multimedia/news/article=maximum-classic-technique-poles.html
  • Official start lists are subject to change due to weather and course conditions.  Please visit www.loppet.org for up to date information.
  • A coaches meeting will be held on Friday Night @ 6:00pm and Saturday night at 4:00pm at Theodore Wirth Park Race Headquarters.

Volunteers are still needed, please contact Nancy Nelson at volunteer@loppet.org or register at http://www.loppet.org/mayorschallenge/volunteer/

For event questions please contact Mike Bono at mbono@brocade.com







Birkie Trailhead JNQ and Cross-Country Races


We will keep this document updated with the latest event information. It is also accessible from the main event page (scroll down the page to locate it).

The Nordic racing season began a little over two weeks ago on the ski trails of Michigan Technology University in Houghton, Michigan with the first Junior National Qualifier and CXC Youth Cup events of the season.

Coming Up Next

Birkie Trailhead JNQ and Cross Country Ski Races
January 21-22, 2017 / Birkie Trailhead (Cable, WI)
Competition Categories: Youth, Juniors, Seniors, Masters

Registration for JNQ races typically closes on the Tuesday before the race. Register early!

The event is a great opportunity to score points for Junior Nationals (March 3rd-11th, Whiteface Mountain, NY). It also institutes the same course profile as the Wisconsin High School State Championships making it a valuable race preview for Wisconsin high school skiers.

The weekend starts Saturday with an individual classic distance event and concludes on Sunday after the freestyle mass start event.



Additional Midwest and Great Lakes Junior National Team qualifying races this season are the Hilltop Invitational, Marshall School Trails, Duluth, MN (January 28-29th) and the Mayor’s XC Challenge, Theodore Wirth Park, Minneapolis, MN (February 18-19th).

The Birkie Trailhead events will need many volunteers for a variety of tasks. Your help is greatly appreciated!



Volunteers Needed!

The Birkie Trailhead Cross Country Ski Races will be held January 21-22, 2017 in Cable, Wisconsin. Among them are the qualifying races for the Midwest Junior National Team.

Youth and junior skiers need your support! Volunteer, meet new people, learn something new and get involved in a premier Nordic skiing event.

Once again, we will need many volunteers for a variety of tasks. Your help is greatly appreciated!



Midwest Junior National Qualifier Schedule and Midwest Committee Bylaw Changes Review

The Midwest Junior National Team athletes will be selected based on the results of the Junior National Qualifier (JNQ) races. The distance and discipline of the JNQs will reflect the format of the Junior National Nordic Ski Championship races.




This past spring there were several changes made to the Midwest Junior Committee Bylaws that will effect the upcoming season of the Junior National Qualifiers. These changes include pre-qualification, U14’s racing up, points scoring and a classic wax restriction.


There will be an opportunity to review this season’s race schedule, and discuss new rules at the Midwest Junior Coaches Social held during the 2016 CXC/Wayne Fish Coaches Certification and Conference on Friday, October 21 at 8 pm (Lakewoods Resort, Cable, WI). Meeting is open to all coaches!

Questions? Let us know.