Nordic Rocks in Schools Across the Country

Over 5,000 Midwest elementary aged children have recently tried skiing for the first time as part of their physical education classes this winter. 


Thanks to the generous support of the National Winter Sports Education Foundation and the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program continues to grow at a steady rate, including 95 schools in the Midwest, and over 40 schools across the country.

In four short seasons, the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program, along with the Knicker Nordic Ski Bumps program in Wausau, (WI) have made an impact on thousands of new skiers.

Your program is reaching 120 kids in a community that has an abundance of trails but a scarcity of use. When asked: 119 of these 120 kids had never been on cross-country skis. That all changes with Nordic Rocks. Outside next week!

– John Gravlin, The Top of Michigan Trails Council

There are over 3,500 elementary schools across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan with an interest in teaching children the joy of winter sports.

With questions about the CXC “Nordic Rocks for Schools” program, please contact Bruce Manske.

Third Weekend of CXC Youth Cup

The past weekend featured the fourth and fifth races on the CXC Youth Cup series at the new Birkie Start Trailhead. Although the crazy winter weather continues, the venue and the course made for an exciting weekend of racing for over 100 young skiers in the U10, U12, and U14 age categories.

Racing began with the Classic Individual Start event on Saturday afternoon; skiers raced a two-lap race, which created excitement for the spectators, as skiers lapped through the stadium area out the American Birkebeiner Trail. Sunday’s race was a Mass Start Freestyle event along the same course.

“Both events were fun and exciting for both spectators and participants. An award ceremony was held on Sundayafternoon under the torch of the American Birkebeiner to honor all participants. The Nordic smiles of these young skiers and their families were priceless.” – Said CXC CODP director Bruce Manske


CXC Youth Cup racing continues this coming weekend in Duluth (MN). We hope to see you at Marshall School trails! 

Additional updates will be posted here at


Nichole Bathe of CXC Named to U23 Worlds Team

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has named a team of 10 athletes to represent the USA in the upcoming Under 23 Cross Country World Championships, Soldier Hollow (UT).

Women’s team member Nichole Bathe (Fitchburg, WI) of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and CXC Team is on the 2016 U23 Team Roster.



Nichole Bathe sprinting to 3rd place at the 2014 U.S. Cross Country Championships at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah. (Photo: Bert Boyer/



Taking Home National Title

For the first race of the 2017 US Nationals Championship in Soldier Hollow (UT), CXC Team athlete Kyle Bratrud took home his second national title in the 15km Skate Individual Start. Kyle fought hard to close out his biggest competitor Tad Elliott of Ski Club Vail, by 21.6 seconds.

“This race has been circled on my calendar for the whole summer and fall as (the 15km) is a strong event for me. My training has been good leading up to nationals and I felt like I was able to execute my “race plan” perfectly,” stated Bratrud.


As a result of winning on Saturday, Bratrud has put himself in the top distance spot for domestic selection process for World Championships this year in Lahti, Finland.

The team continued racing on Sunday with the Classic Sprint Competition. Once again, Felicia Gesior found herself in the top of the field in the qualifier, placing 12th overall. With weather changing throughout the day Felicia decided to forgo kick-wax and instead double poled the qualifier.

CXC Team athlete Nichole Bathe, now racing as a senior at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks is showing her strength at the Championship series taking home the top U23 female title and 16th on the day.

Three Lakes School District Gets 30 Pairs of Skis Through Grant

One Northwoods school will branch out from the usual gym class activities by adding skiing to its curriculum. The Three Lakes School District received 30 pairs of skis after applying for a grant through American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.


“It’s a lifelong activity that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives with their families,” said Three Lakes School District’s Athletic Director Charlie Volk.

The school found out it won the $1,500 to buy the skis in October. Volk expects to hold skiing lessons for students in third grade and up.

“Winter is here and it’s long, and if we don’t give [the kids] something to do during the winter then they spend a lot of time inside,” said Volk. “It’s just another way to get the kids outdoors and active.”


The school received the skis from the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools Program. The skis will be shared between the Sugar Camp School District and the Three Lakes School District.


CXC TEAM: what they’ve been up to

After being on the road for 4 weeks for the opening Supertour Races, CXC Team athlete Kyle Bratrud returned to the Midwest and notched a victory in the 15km Freestyle Individual Start this past Sunday at the Season Opener Junior National Qualifier in Houghton, MI.

Bratrud topped the field with a time 43:20.0, 14.6 seconds ahead of former CXC Post Graduate skier, now skiing for Northern Michigan University, Adam Martin. The two skied most of the race together after starting only 15 seconds apart. Rounding out the podium was another Northern Michigan skier and standout junior skier, Zak Ketterson, finishing +1:00.4 back. 


Photo Credit: Jen Brisbois Photography

Kyle was pleased with how the race went and his progress leading up to National next month.

“I picked up a small cold just after getting back from our month on the road for the Western Supertours. It felt good to shake off the cobwebs and race at sea level again. As always, I have enjoyed racing on the Michigan Tech Trails and I am satisfied with my race effort and to finish the day in the top spot.”

Kyle will return home for the holidays and put in his final block of training before heading out to U.S. Nationals in Park City, UT on the 30th of December. Racing will start on January 7th with the 15 km Freestyle Individual Start, the race in which Kyle won his first national championship in 2015.

Harford Ski Spectacular Adaptive Race Camp Recap

Last week CXC adaptive ski coach Martin Donegan traveled to Colorado with CXC adaptive skier Brenden Ojibway to attend the Hartford Ski Spectacular Race Camp.

The camp is an opportunity for athletes and coaches to learn and perfect their skills in a variety of winter sports including snowboarding, skiing, hockey and curling. Athletes across the country come to for training and to forge new bonds with other athletes as they continue their pursuit of excellence.


To see and listen to such motivated athletes has helped me understand how to coach such a diverse population of abilities. The bond of friendship and sportsmanship is strengthened at events like these. We hope to participated next year and continue to grow our involvement in The Hartford Ski Spectacular Race Camp.

– commented Martin Donegan, CXC Adaptive Ski Coach


Brenden, who attended the camp for the first time, was not only able to train twice a day on snow, but learned countless information regarding the sport from U.S. Paralympic Coaches BethAnn Chamberlain and Rob Rosser.

On the fourth day a time trial and a 4-person biathlon relay were held to showcase “in race” skills. Athletes completed a set of sharp turns over a short loop at high speeds into the range completing two laps. Paralympic hopefuls from Great Britain’s Ex Service Members Para-Nordic team participated and helped push athletes to their best during the trials.

– commented Martin Donegan


A typical day at the camp for Marty and Brenden consisted of a 9am morning workout with a focus of on-snow drills. Drills included agility courses, handling speed and navigating turns in the sit-ski. After a midday break for lunch athletes headed back out for a second session followed by a recap on drills learned throughout the day.

Once the programmed workout sessions were over athletes had the option to free ski or test their biathlon skills.

“Athletes were encouraged to do a short circuit and come in to shoot under the watchful eye of Rob Rosser. Learning techniques for breathing and stance, which is not especially easy in a sit ski.” –Martin Donegan


For any inquiries or questions regarding CXC Adaptive Program, please contact Martin Donegan