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.



Application Process Now Open for Midwest Junior National and U16 NENSA Trips

The Midwest Coaches Committee is opening the application process for both the 2017 Junior National Championships in Lake Placid, NY as well as the U16 NENSA Trip in Farmington, Maine. Coaches on these trips will volunteer their time to coach the best in the Midwest at these championship events.

This application process is for Head Wax Coaches, Assistant Wax Coaches, Age Group Coaches, and Support Staff. Requirements for each position can be found in the Midwest Junior Committee Bylaws.

Applications can be submitted online and are due October 16th.

Any USSA and CXC licensed coach is invited to apply for these trips. The trip time frame is March, 3rd-12th, 2017 for the Junior Nationals Trip to Mt. Van Hovenberg in Lake Placid, NY and March 8th-12th, 2017 for the NENSA U16 Trip.





Save The Date! Coaches ‘Round Table’ Discussion at REG & Coaches Conference

Coaches are the backbone of the CXC and USSA development pipeline, providing leadership to athletes through USSA Club programs.

In addition to the great benefits that come with a CXC/USSA Certified Coaches Membership, for the second year, CXC is offering complimentary Birkie entries to 2016/2017 certified Level 100 and 200 coaches, with support of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.



Save the Date!

Coaches ‘Round Table’ Discussion at the Central (CXC) Regional Elite Group (REG) Camp

When: Saturday July 9th at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Lobby of Meyland Hall on Northern Michigan University Campus

Topics covered at this meeting will include:

  • Current state of Central REG (REG qualification criteria review; Areas for improvement)
  • Discussion on regional skier development and looking at the direction our region is heading
  • Update on Junior National Qualifier Race Organization Guide/Handbook progress (Andy Keller, Joe Haggenmiller)
  • Review of Regional Racing Calendar (College and JNQ)
  • Open Discussion

2016 CXC/Wayne Fish Coaches Certification and Conference


When: October 21-23, 2016
Where: Lakewoods Resort, Cable (WI)

Keynote Speakers:

  • Bryan Fish, U.S. Ski Team Development Coach
  • Dr. Jim Mullen, MD at the Marshfield Clinic and Head Junior Coach at Lakeland Nordic Ski Team
  • Jonathan Stone, First Aid and CPR Instructor
  • Bjorn Ilsemann, Head Junior Coach at IL Heming, Norway
  • Rebecca Rick, USSA Sports Dietitian
  • Andy Keller and Karmen Whitham, Level 100 Technique Clinicians



Yuriy Gusev, CXC Athletic Director

For further information or details regarding the CXC Coaches Membership structure or the events, please feel free to contact Yuriy Gusev.