LNR Coaching Staff
Loppet Nordic Racing prides itself on a coaching staff that is:
- technically proficient and up to date in technique instruction and training methods
- have the personality traits that help motivate and engage athletes of all ages
- have a common method and language to coach skiing
- have the interest and motivation to train, race, and improve their own skiing
Currently LNR has more USSA certified Level 100 coaches then any ski club in the United States.
Head Coach Piotr Bednarski leads a talented and dedicated group of coaches:
Racing: Kim fell in love with Nordic skiing at a young age and was ski racer for Roseville High school. After racing for Bemidji State Nordic Team from 1989 – 1993, Kim has enjoyed racing on Team Rossignol for over twenty years. She has been a podium winner at many of the Midwest marathon races over the last ten years and continues to enjoy racing as a master. Recently she enjoyed competing in the 2018 World Masters held at Wirth Park! In her spare time she enjoys many adventures with her husband Craig and two daughters Leah and Hannah.
- Minneapolis Ski Club Coach (1994-1999)
- MYSL Ski Coach (2003 – 2012)
- Loppet Nordic Adult, Junior and TRAIL KIDS coach (2006 – 2018)
- Armstrong High School Head Nordic Coach 2009 – 2018
Burnsville HS head coach since 2010, MN Valley group coach, wax tech, and strength coach since 2010, and 2012 Midwest Team coach. Graduated from Eden Prairie HS in 2004, ran cross country and skied at Michigan Tech, graduating in 2009 with a degree in Environmental Engineering. Works at Barr Engineering Co. and lives in Bloomington, MN.
- Racing: Skiing – 2008 World Master Champion, 2X Mora Vasaloppet 42K classic champ, 2X Seeley Hills Classic 42K champ, World Loppet Master, Canoe – General Clinton, AuSable Canoe Marathon, and La Classique International Canoe Marathon: multiple champion in both mixed and female divisions. US mixed champion, 4th in World Championships in Dragonboat, 2X champion in mixed at US Outrigger Championships, Women’s Masters champion at Molokai to Oahu Channel Crossing.
- Coaching: 8 years at Minneapolis Southwest High School, 8 years in summer programs through Sauko and Go!Training. Various masters programs.
- Education: University of Wisconsin Madison
- Other Career: Graphic Designer/Art Director and jeweler
- Age: Still kicking’ butt.
Caitlin Compton Gregg is a 2015 World Championship Bronze Medalist from Falun, Sweden and was a member of the 2010 Winter Olympic Team in Vancouver, Canada. She has also competed at 5 World Championships, 4 X Cross Country Skiing and 1 X Biathlon. Caitlin is also a 5X American Birkebeiner Champion, 3rd Place in the Engadine Ski Mararthon and Champion of the City of Lakes Loppet. A US Ski Team Alumni and an 8 X National Champion.
Caitlin has been living and training in the Minneapolis area for over 15 years and knows how to maximize every inch of terrain in our urban playground. She has used her creativity to compete and succeed at the highest level in the sport of Cross Country Skiing. She and her husband Brian Gregg, also a 2014 Olympian, started Team Gregg in 2013 and have enjoyed pushing their limits to succeed in results and marketing on the World Stage.
When not training and racing Caitlin enjoys sharing her passion for health and the outdoors with the youth in her North Minneapolis community.
Julia (aka Jules, JC, or Curry) started skiing her sophomore year at Woodbury High School in Woodbury, MN. She skied for The College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, MN from 2007-2011, and made a trip to Truckee, CA for Junior Nationals in 2009 as a 2nd year “Older Junior.”
Julia made her coaching debut as a volunteer assistant coach for the PWER Nordic Ski Team (Park, Woodbury, East Ridge) during the 2013/14 season. She was also an age-group coach for the 2014 Midwest Junior National Team in Stowe, Vermont. Julia is really looking forward to working with the stellar Loppet Nordic Racing athletes and other coaches!
Lynne grew up in the bike and ski business (B.J.’s Bike & Ski) and currently is a manager at Gear West. She has a degree in Elementary Ed from University of Minnesota. She has ski raced on the Fischer/Solomon Marathon Ski Team and was the 1990 Birkie winner. Lynne has 3 awesome daughters and lives in Bloomington. She loves movement in all its forms from mt biking and roller skiing to her newest passion: yoga. Lynne has enjoyed coaching programs through Gear West and Life Time Fitness.
A friend taught him to Nordic ski at Theodore Wirth back in 1983 as cross training for triathlons. Loves Nordic and alpine skiing, paddling canoe and surf ski, trail running and cycling. Coached Nordic skiing at MYSL (French Reg. Park) 1993-2000, Maple Grove High School Nordic team 2001-2011, Gear West adults 2012, LNR adults 2012, and excited to work with FAST KIDS!
Mary has raced in the Minnesota State High School meet, in the Junior Olympics for the Central Team, and for the Division I Nordic program at Middlebury College. Returning to Minnesota after years abroad has meant returning to skiing and training. Mary is a licensed teacher with experience teaching and coaching middle school kids. She coached cross-country and track and ran the ski club at middle school for four years. Last year, she was an assistant coach for the Southwest High School Nordic team. She first discovered the benefits of Loppet Foundation training programs for herself, then enrolled her own kids in Loppet FAST KIDS programs. She has had such a fun time training with kids in the FAST KIDS program that she is thrilled to become an official coach this summer.
2014 Olympic hopeful and past Birkie Champion. Matt went to Osseo High School and then studied engineering at the U of M. While at the U, he was introduced to higher level training by Piotr Bednarski and eventually joined CXC from 2006-2011 as part of their Olympic development team. “I love coaching and wish that I had time to do even more. Passing on my knowledge about the sport is very rewarding. Most of my coaching involvement is at the high school and master level. I that pride in watching a motivated athlete make improvements while having fun along the way.”
… it better snow this year, a lot!
Started skiing as a junior at Maple Grove, ran cross country and skied at Michigan Tech, assistant coach at Burnsville, a recent coach for the LNR junior’s summer group at Hyland, and look forward to more opportunities with LNR. For me, the best part about coaching is seeing an athlete meet goals, improve their fitness and technique, and learn to love Nordic skiing. I currently live in Bloomington and work as a family practice Physician Assistant in the Twin Cities.
Craig has pinned on a race bib several times a winter for 28 seasons straight, either competing as a high school athlete, collegiate skier or more recently as a recreational racer. Craig has a passion for coaching kids in the 9 – 13 year old age bracket. He has over 10 years of experience coaching this age bracket while coaching, MYSL, Silverski groups or the Loppet’s FAST KIDS program. This will be a new experience for Craig as this will be the first year he has coached this age bracket without one of his two girls, Hannah or Leah in his class.
Karen has over two decades of experience as a multisport athlete, coach and mother to three very active children. An all State Nordic Skier and competitive tennis player in her early years she added triathlon and resumed XC ski racing after moving back to MN in 2001. Karen consistently places in the top of her age group in triathlon, run races, and XC skiing. Believing that cross training and variety is key to making racing sustainable, she includes plenty of variety and unique methods of cross training into all her coaching sessions.
Karen’s goal is to give the beginner, “middle of the pack”, and competitive “age groupers” the inspiration, knowledge, and confidence to achieve their fitness goals and take pride in their results. She coaches with an emphasis on good technique and using the best equipment possible in order to maximize fun and fitness while minimizing injuries. As a certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer she includes fundamentals of pilates, yoga, and dance to enhance the mind connection that lead to better balance, increased core strength, and more efficient skiing.
- Group Fitness Instructor, ACE certified with specialty certifications in Pilates, Barre, Indoor Cycle
- USSA Level 200 Nordic Ski Coach
- Former Gear West Ski & Run Store employee and Wayzata High School Nordic Ski Volunteer Coach
Leslie Hale learned to nordic ski in the 1970s on wooden skis with cable bindings and snowmobile boots while her parents took long swigs of wine on the trail from cowhide flasks. She recovered from that experience and several times placed in the top 5 at the MN state ski meet and competed in Junior Nationals for the Central division. She went on to become an All- American xc runner at Brown University. After a hiatus of 25 years she returned to Nordic skiing, and the LNR coaching staff fixed her 80’s technique enough that she is now placing in the top 10 females in the Birkie classic race. She has raced the grueling 3 day Arctic Circle Race across Greenland 3 times, placing third female in 2014. Leslie believes in the importance of introducing kids to nordic skiing in a fun environment focusing on good technique and laying the groundwork for a lifetime of health and enjoyment of exercise. Leslie has a Master of Public Health degree with a specialty in Community Health Education.
As a junior ski racer hailing from Eden Prairie, Erik was the 2009 Minnesota State High School champion in Nordic Skiing , and a multiple time all-american at the Junior National level. After skiing in Ketchum, ID with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation as a post-grad, he continued on to compete in the sport with the Dartmouth College Men’s Ski Team in Hanover, NH. He graduated from Dartmouth in 2014 with a B.A. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Ethics and now works at HCMC with the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation coordinating clinical research in the Emergency Department.
Erik is both surprised and excited about how quickly his ski career has brought him into coaching. He started coaching for the LNR summer program in June 2014 and will be the new assistant coach at Blake High School for the 2014/15 season. He looks forward to bringing the more diverse training perspectives he’s encountered in different clubs and regions across the country during his ski career back to the Midwest in hopes of raising the level of ski racing both for the region, and for the U.S. as a whole. As a competitor, Erik is far from finished – he enjoys running marathons, hopes to start triathlons, and of course, looks forward to jumping into ski races, both long and short, this coming winter.
Jenny grew up skiing with her family in Maple Grove, Minnesota. After high school she raced for Saint Cloud State University from 2007 – 2011 where she earned two MVP awards and a degree in marketing and communication studies. After college, she began to pursue a career in the outdoor sports industry managing the marketing efforts of Gear West Ski & Run, and coaching with Orono High School and LNR. Jenny is currently working for Salomon as the Community Marketing Manager for Nordic and loves to share her passion for the sport with others.
BethAnn grew up in the Northern Minnesota town of Grand Rapids and raced as a biathlete for nearly 15 years. She and her husband David, lived, trained and raced in Maine for six years before moving to Colorado before moving back here to Twin Cities area. After retiring from racing herself, BethAnn started coaching with the US Paralympics Nordic and Biathlon team. She also was a team massage therapist and was able work with the team in both these positions, coach and massage therapist at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games. BethAnn continues to coach with the US Paralympic Nordic and biathlon team. She is excited anytime she has the opportunity to be on skis and share the sport she loves with others. When not skiing or coaching, BethAnn is often hanging out at Boulder Nordic Sport with husband David, who helps to manage the shop, along with their four month old son, Lucas.
Rebecca is certified Yoga Instructor who has a strong background in health and healing. She works as a Family Nurse Practitioner in the Twin Cities and enjoys teaching yoga to all levels. She especially loves introducing yoga to those who have never practiced or who feel that their bodies are not made for yoga. Her belief is that Yoga is not about flexibility, it’s about using one’s individual body, with all of its anatomic uniqueness, life experiences, and varied abilities and limitations, as an instrument to become more mindful. It’s about the revelations that come along the way and not about achieving a final goal or a perfect pose.
I began xc skiing in 1974 on classical wood skis, in the forest behind my house, to develop my cardiovascular system in order to stay underwater longer when scuba diving. When I went to college in Bemidji, MN. I fell in love with xc skiing and winter. Ten years later I was skate skiing at it’s birth. Since then I have competed in races in Canada, US, Norway and Sweden and have been taught by coaches from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Canada and the US. I am PSIA and USSA certified xc instructor.