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.

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.

CXC Team Kicks Off Ski Season

The CXC Team kicked off the season in high gear this past weekend at the Alberta Cup in Canmore, Canada.

The races definitely were a promising start to the season. We were just looking to put down some hard race efforts during a larger week of training. Coming away with 2 wins and another 3rd place finish is great to see.

– commented Andy Keller, CXC Team Head Coach


Kyle Bratrud has had a great summer and fall of training and he’s definitely looking to get back to where he was 2 seasons ago when he was national champion and went World Championships.

Just before coming out to Canmore Felicia Gesior was getting over some sickness which raised some questions on where she would be when the races happened. She’s trained smart and definitely showed that she’s on the right track.

Felicia has double poled a couple national championship sprint events before so we new she had the ability to do it. It was awesome to see her breakthrough in her first professional ski career race against some great competition.

For any inquiries or questions regarding CXC Team, please contact Andy Keller

“Racing” Frame of Mind

Blog by: CXC Team athlete, Felicia Gesior

With September coming to a close, I can’t help but look back and wonder where the month went. It was a large training month for CXC which made the time fly.

We started off with a medium week which included some intensity. Next, we entered into the first of two hard weeks. During this training block, we logged in times for time trials that we will repeat as we continue into the fall. These time trials included an uphill running time trial, double pole time trial, and seven kilometer skate time trial.


L-3/L-4 bounding workout at Marquette Mountain

Putting in a hard race effort helped move me into the “racing” frame of mind. While it is important to do time trials to train our bodies it is equally important to work on our mental race. There is so much to be said for the fight that goes on between the 6 inches between our ears. Learning to focus on the moment without thinking further than what is right ahead of you is a skill that takes lots of practice. You must be able to tunnel your thoughts without letting distractions take over.

Another reason why it is great to do time trials during the fall is to ingrain good technique at fast speeds. When the winter comes, we want to rely on our body to do the work. Time trials, are a perfect time to experiment and practice using good technique when giving a hard effort.


Skate speed day in our favorite neighborhood for speeds, Harlow Farm’s.

During August and September, we typically do a lot of Level 3 or threshold workouts. As we move towards the end of September and into October we increase the amount of intervals at Level 4. Each of these workouts drives my body to stretch its limits as well as inviting my mind to enter into the game.

After two weeks with increased intensity, we took an easy week to give our bodies  vital time to recover. Looking forward, we are headed back into another cycle beginning with a medium week and then into two more hard blocks. As you go into your training these next few weeks, I challenge you to focus on your “racing” frame of mind. And enjoy the cool breeze that reminds us that winter is right around the corner!

Working Together

Blog by: CXC Team athlete, Felicia Gesior


This past month marked that time of year when I say goodbye to summer and head back to Marquette, MI. The difference this year was I returned as a member of the CXC Team instead of the Northern Michigan University (NMU) team. After skiing for NMU  for five years, I wondered how it would be to transition to a new team. So far it has been a smooth change. There is so much opportunity to grow and improve when you put a group of dedicated athletes together. Instead of pinning one against the other, we have used our close proximity as a strength. Since being back in Marquette, I have synced up my schedule with the NMU ladies to make sure that I could train with them for important workouts. Having this wealth of talent right next door has been invaluable to me.

Throughout my college years, I have learned that teammates serve as a huge resource. Every skier brings a unique outlook on skiing and life.Training strategies, techniques and experiences can be shared to expand my own outlook on the sport. For example, I have learned about the importance of listening to your own body when you are sick. As an eager freshman, I was reminded by my upperclassman teammates about the role of proper rest.

Furthermore, when I am training with teammates we can push each other to find new limits. During a hard workout, I can look over to the side and become inspired by the effort that a teammate is putting in. This drive is what brings us to new levels.

I am so impressed by the support the teams show for each other. Whether we are in the weight room or on a specific strength hill, you can routinely hear cheers of encouragement being shared. Having this atmosphere helps bring everyone up instead of depending on other’s downfall.

The partnership between CXC and the Northern Michigan University Olympic Training Site is a strong one. I think we can look forward to many success stories coming out of this partnership.


Large Training Blocks = A lot of Coffee, Daytime Naps and Blisters.

By: CXC Team athlete, Oscar Friedman


Since I last checked in here in Marquette, the CXC Team has completed our largest volume block of the training year. That means a lot of coffee, daytime naps, and blisters on our hands. Roughly half of those hours were spent rollerskiing with a renewed focus on the double pole technique, with the remaining time divided between running (sometimes with poles) and strength in the gym.

Those of you in the cross country skiing community who know me well, know that I take an imprecise approach to planning and logging my training. During my distance workouts I don’t even bring a watch with me anymore because I know about how long each rollerskiing and running loop takes. Instead, I focus on my technique and let the way my body feels on a given day dictate the length and pace of the workout (within reason). Since I bring my phone I know how long I’ve trained at the end of the workout (and take some blurry pictures for this blog).

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Following this approach this summer I’ve had no problems meeting weekly hours targets set by Coach Keller. Furthermore, I often train slower than I would otherwise and enjoy the workout more. As a result I find that on interval workout and strength days I am able to perform at a higher level and with better technique.

The last hard workout of this training block was a 3000 meter time trial featuring the full Northern Michigan University (NMU) Ski and Cross Country teams as well as the Canadian National Development Team from Thunder Bay. The camaraderie of the group counteracted the dreary weather, and I ended up finishing in 9:33, just a couple of seconds off of my PR (runners keep in mind I weigh 190 lbs).

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Another highlight was a three and a half hour double pole to the Eagle Mine about 50 miles out of Marquette, which contains the largest climb in the region. It was a privilege to be able to follow my teammate Kyle Bratrud and NMU skier Fredrik Schwenke, both of whom ski with exemplary technique.

This past week was our recovery week which I spent visiting family and friends in Los Angeles and San Diego. I even got to surf a couple of mornings!

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As always, a big thank you to my sponsors Salomon, Finn Sisu, Honey Stinger, and Rudy Project for their support and to the staff at the Olympic Training Center in Marquette.