Last weekend, Team Hardwood held its annual Midget Camp; it’s goal: to get as many young kids as possible to fall in love with cross country skiing. With a total of 8 midget-aged athletes, 4 volunteers from Team Hardwood’s senior racing team and our Head Coach Ron Howden, one volunteer says mission accomplished.
Switzerland has a population just a bit smaller than the state of Virginia, and despite the Alps and Jura mountains faces some of the same challenges in developing World Cup skiers that you might find in North America. We chatted with Swiss U24 coach Christian Flury, formerly of Alberta World Cup Academy, about how his squad represents his country’s future, and how he manages it.
This is the final piece of a four-part series on female nordic coaches in the U.S. Part IV gathers input from women who work with the little guys, the future of skiing, in thriving youth programs across the country.
“It’s all about fun for the younger skiers,” says Tamarack Gliders coach Marie French. “If we catch their interest year after year, even if it’s with a ride on the groomer or rolling around in the powder, they will love cross-country skiing and come back for more.”
The third chapter in ‘Part of the Team: The Impact of Female Coaches in the U.S.’ takes a look at female coaches who work with U18 and U16 athletes, the kids who are in the process of choosing nordic skiing over other sports. These coaches are involved with juniors at a critical point in their development, and many discuss how they mentor their skiers and why they’ve stuck with that level.
Ski walking, hill bounding, and moose hoofing are a great way to incorporate ski-specific movements into a dryland workout. There are many ways to use these training tools, but I am going to recommend a favorite interval workout that touches on all three techniques: the 4’s and 1’s. This low-impact workout works great for skiers of all ages and abilities, from juniors to masters.
Vermont biathlete Tara Geraghty-Moats spent the year training at a Swedish ski gymnasium, with the goal of improving her shooting thanks to full-time coaching; it paid off with a win in the junior sprint at Swedish Championships. In a month, she’ll move back to the U.S. to train with Algis Shalna and focus on the next World Juniors in Presque Isle, Maine.
Some of our favorite shots from the 1-kilometer freestyle sprints at the 2013 Cross Country Junior National Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska. Special thanks to Bert Boyer and his extensive photo coverage, all of which can be viewed at higher resolution and are available for purchase at bertboyer.zenfolio.com. All proceeds go to NNF.
Once again, the Norwegian skiers dominated the J1 10 k classic mass starts at Junior Nationals on Saturday, but the Americans didn’t let their guests take all the podium spots. Keegan Swirbul, of Rocky Mountain, took third overall in the boys race, which was good for the top American spot, and he finished just one second behind Norwegian and second-place finisher Sjur Slettom.
Junior Nationals: Gordon Overcomes Adversity in Boys J2 Sprint; J1 Winner O’Harra Inspired by Randall
The J2 boys national championship sprint was only seconds old, and already Koby Gordon feared disaster had struck. “My pole grip came undone so I had to grab my pole and put it back on,” Gordon said. “Yeah it was (stressful). I was like ‘This could put me in last’ but I was able to keep pushing really hard with my legs.”
Annika Miller had no intention of letting three Norwegians beat her in Thursday’s J1 girls freestyle sprint at 2013 Junior Nationals. “I really wanted to (win). I was like ‘You know, the U.S. needs to be on top today,’ ” she said. Alaska’s Lydia Blanchet and Felicia Gesior of Great Lakes took the J2 and OJ titles, respectively.
Hannah Boyer and Logan Hanneman got to experience something rare and special on Tuesday: a clinching anchor leg on their home trails at Junior Nationals. Boyer and Hanneman each helped Team Alaska win gold in the Older Junior divisions of the 3 x 3-kilometer classic sprint at Birch Hill Recreation Area.
Of the six 3 x 3-kilometer classic relays at Junior Nationals on Tuesday — two each in the Junior 1, J2 and Older Junior divisions — only two were decided by less than 30 seconds and only one was up for grabs on the final straightaway. That race was the girls Junior 1 event, in which Intermountain edged Midwest by 3.7 seconds and Alaska by four seconds.
Not even a navigational gaffe could derail the New England J2 girls in Tuesday’s 3x3k classic relay at Junior Nationals. Katharine Ogden, New England’s lead skier, lost the substantial lead she’d gained on Rocky Mountain’s Hailey Swirbul after she accidentally skied into the finish lane instead of the lap lane — despite large signs that directed skiers — as she approached the end of the first leg.