Nordic Rocks – The Original Idea

Getting Kids Outside

The original idea for the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program, was developed by the late John Hugus, an avid cross country skier and the founder of the Knicker Nordic Ski Club in Wausau, Wisconsin.


His goal was to introduce a new generation of children, Kindergarten through 6th grade, to the excitement found in the sport of cross country skiing.

By providing elementary and middle school students an opportunity to experience Nordic skiing during the school day, with their teachers and classmates, they will quickly learn health and lifestyle benefits associated with exercise and outdoor winter fun.

– John Hugus

The CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program is a three-way partnership between selected schools, community organizations, and Central Cross Country Skiing (CXC).


The partnership creates an opportunity to teach skiing during the school day: physical education class, recess, and after-school programs.

Students are able to ski right behind their school on any surface covered with a minimum of two inches of snow. 


During the inaugural season (2013-2014), the National Winter Sports Education Foundation awarded CXC a grant to initiate the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program in 15 schools throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. During the second season of programming, the National Winter Sports Education Foundation awarded another grant to further expand the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program throughout the Midwest.

Other organizations have pledged their support for future expansions of the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program, including the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, Sawyer County Outdoor Programs and Education, Madison Area Sports Commission, and the Aspirus Health Foundation, along with many community ski clubs and school programs.


Now, in its fourth seasons, the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program has made an impact on thousands of new skiers, and has enrolled over 125 schools across the country from California to Vermont.

Besides skiing, these programs aim to connect students with history and science, by teaching them about Midwestern Scandinavian heritage and sports.

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

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



CXC Marathon Cup Final Stop

Things are looking good for the 2017 Great Bear Chase, – the final stop in the CXC Marathon Cup series. The Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula had 20″ of snow between February 23-26, and the Swedetown Trails have a base of more than two feet.

Registration continues, with another price increase coming March 5.


Presented by Avant Techno, the Cup encompasses six most prominent marathons in the Midwest (MN, WI, MI) into one unified competition.

Contenders of the series will race in six marathons split between two classic, two skate and one skiathlon weekend and one weekend with back-to-back classic and skate races. All Marathon Cup participants are automatically scored in age group, overall and age-index overall categories.

No registration required to earn individual points. Anyone participating in a Cup race is automatically scored for the overall, age-indexed, and age-group awards. However, registration is encouraged; help support skiing and ski racing in the Central division!

After The Medals: Video Interviews with Silver and Bronze Medalists Diggins & Randall

2017 Lahti FIS Nordic World Ski Championships

Photo: John Lazenby/

Two American woman and one Norwegian reached the podium in the first medals race of 2017 Nordic World Championships, with Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway (c) taking gold, and for the U.S., Jessie Diggins (l) and Kikkan Randall (r) taking silver and bronze, respectively, in the women’s freestyle sprint on Thursday, Feb. 24 in Lahti, Finland.

Source: Fasterskier

Marathon Cup After 4th Stop

MORA, MINNESOTA – Another unseasonably warm marathon complete with a lot of artificial snow. The 58K freestyle event was close relative to the previous marathons this season in the men’s categotry.

Matthew Liebsch completed the course in 2:03:12.15 maintaining his spot at the top of the podium. Second place went to Andrew Brown with a time of 2:06:05.32 and Cory Ellertson rounded out top three by fractions of a second with a time of 2:06:05.53.

For the 58k women’s race Alice Flanders won with a time of 2:18:29.58 followed by Canadian Isabella Howden with 2:22:31.67 and Jan Guenther in third not far behind (2:22:45.84).

In the 35k Freestyle men top three were separates by mere seconds. Paul Olson took the lead in by less than one second (1:07:13.24) ahead of Nathan Porath (1:07:14.04) who was a second ahead of Joseph Martin (1:07:15.27).

On the women’s side, Laura Cattaneo took the lead in 1:14:16.62, just two seconds behind was Ashley Herman in 1:14:18.83 and third was Margie Nelson in a time a 1:16:12.93

The 42k Classic men’s division title this weekend went to Steven Scoles (1:55:01.41) A close second went to Evan Pengelly completing the course in 1:55:05.68. Third went to Justin Pavlish (1:56:37.91).

On the women’s side Kathleen DeWahl completed the course in 2:08:17.85, Josie Nilsson took second in 2:11:36.87 and Kate Ellis took a close third in 2:12:08:16.


Saturday, March 11, 2017 Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon, Calumet, MI


Skiwerx Series and CXC Youth Cup Updates

With the conclusion of the Mayor’s Challenge SkiX and classic races, the CXC Youth Cup, presented by Bliz, as well as the Skiwerx Series, presented by Fast Wax, are coming to an exciting grand finale.

The Skiwerx Series, which is overseen by the Minnesota Youth Ski League, is in its seventh year and is a Minneapolis based youth series for U10, U12 and U14 racers, The CXC Youth Cup, began two years ago as a cooperative effort between MYSL and CXC Skiing and is a 13-event regional (three-state) youth series for U12 and U14 racers.

Points and results can be viewed here:

2017 Skiwerx Series Results and Points Standings
2017 CXC Youth Cup Results and Points Standings


To expand our local youth racing options, we are also announcing, with the support of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, a beta version of the Wisconsin Skiwerx Series, complete with points for selected races and year-end awards. As the first step in establishing this new series, we pointed a selection of races and will have a championship event on Saturday March 4th, either in Minocqua (depending on snow conditions) or in Minneapolis at the Midwest Jr Championships. The Wisconsin Skiwerx Series is designed to provide a local network of quality age group racing and programming.

For points for the Wisconsin Skiwerx Series, we will be using the 6k skating event at the Minocqua Squirrel Hill Loopy Loppet on Saturday March 4th AND the Midwest Junior Championships and Festival Mass Start Freestyle Race on Sunday March 5th.

Our grand finale weekend, the Midwest Junior Championships and Festival, is ON and confirmed for Wirth park in Minneapolis on March 3-5th. We expect over 300 youth and juniors at this capstone event. Registration closes Tuesday Feb 28th.

“We’ve had very challenging and inconsistent winter conditions this season,  but I’m confident we can put on a great capstone event on March 3-5. I’m looking forward to sending this winter out with a bang”, states co-race director, Amy Cichanowski of the Minnesota Youth Ski League.

The age group top-ten in the CXC Youth Cup will be awarded medals at the conclusion of the Midwest Junior Championship races.

The top 8 U14 boys and girls from the final points list will be invited to participate in the Dream Camp in July in the Hayward area. The top five Skiwerx Series age group medals will be awarded at the MYSL/Skiwerx Banquet on March 19th. The Wisconsin Skiwerx Series top-five awards will be presented at the spring CXC Congress in late April.

The vision for youth racing in the Midwest, is to have a network of Skiwerx Series that lay the foundation for a robust CXC Youth Cup. We would like to have up to five Skiwerx districts. All with developmentally appropriate exposure to racing and networked programming.

If you are interested in working towards this vision with our Central Youth Committee, please contact Amy Cichanowski, CXC (Central Cross Country) Youth Coordinator,