The Junior Program of Loppet Nordic Racing strives to teach skiers how to improve both their ski technique and physical conditioning. While LNR Juniors is just beginning, the predecessors to the program have been around for years. Those predecessor programs have had great success – with kids finishing the program better prepared for ski season and with fresh enthusiasm for the sport.
In spring 2012, Loppet Nordic Racing brought together athletes and coaches from Minnesota Valley Ski Club and Go! Training, both clubs with a history of top junior athletes. In March 2014, LNR sent 23 athletes to Junior Nationals and won all three National Championship Club Titles: Men, Women and Overall. This second-season success built on LNR’s strong inaugural year when LNR qualified 19 athletes to the 2013 USSA Junior National Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska – more than any other Midwest club.
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The goal of the LNR Competition Team is prepare athletes ages 16-19 to compete at a national and international level. Training is based on a year round model, starting in the beginning of April. Comp team athletes have decided that skiing is their primary sport and are committed to attending training 4-6 times a week, keeping a training log, attending camps, and competing at the regional CXC Junior Cup races. There is room for Comp team athletes to participate in another sport or program but that sport should complement the year round skiing training and racing model.
The goal of the LNR Development Team is to offer quality, instructional ski training for middle school and high school aged skiers. The Development Team is our former 3 day program and is still intended for skiers wishing to train 3 days a week with us in the summer. The 3 day a week plan allows skiers to participate in another program like summer running or a high school based ski program. New for 2020 the Devo team has 3 training sites at French Park in Plymouth, W. River Road in Minneapolis and Hyland Park in Bloomington.
All of these skis can be purchased with two different wheel speeds, the No.2 wheel is the standard/medium speed option and the No.3 wheel is a slower option. The No. 2 wheel is a great training speed similar to the Marwe 6 wheel. The No. 3 wheel is closer in speed to the Marwe 7 wheel.
To keep training varied, challenging, and having the opportunity to explore new places
To make sure training in spring and summer is focused on making you a better all around athlete: coordination, speed, and running/movement mechanics
To make sure that the environment at LNR is one that stresses being a good person, not just a good athlete. We will focus on working well in a group and members are expected to participate in a number of volunteer projects throughout the year.
New for 2020
All morning practices have moved to an 8:00am start time
Devo team is expanding with three training sites and a broader description. Goal is to have training closer to home, allowing more sleep, less travel and increasing participation.
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.
LNR Director and Head CoachPiotr Bednarski and Competition Team Head CoachChris Harvey head up the coaching team. Both are experienced high-level coaches.
Piotr Bednarski has been coaching at a high level for more than 25 years. He has coached at the college level and he is coached national and internationally successful athletes. His Go!Training program has produced some of the region’s and country’s best skiers for years. He looks forward to bringing his experience and expertise to a new challenge in growing Loppet Nordic Racing.Read Piotr’s Resume
Chris Harvey has been coaching junior skiers since 2010. Over the past 8 years he has worked with athletes who have gone on to be Junior National champions and have represented the United States at World Junior/U23 Championships and the U18 Nations Cup Trip. Chris Harvey has coached at a national and international level, having served as the U18 Nations Cup trip leader in 2017 and has coached the Midwest’s Junior National Team since 2011 and is the current Trip Leader after being the Midwest Team Head Coach in 2015 and 2016.
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 the last twenty years. Some of her top performances recently include her third time first place podium win at the 2013 Noquemonen Ski marathon, 2013 Twin Cities Women Champion, and third place podium winner at the 2013 Classic American Birkebeiner.Coaching Experience:
Minneapolis Ski Club Coach (1994-1999)
MYSL Ski Coach (2003 – 2012)
Cooper High School Coach (1997)
Gear West Adult Ski Program Coach (2005)
Loppet Nordic Adult, Junior, Fast Kids and Loppet Pillsbury Elementary Program coach (2006 – 2013)
Currently the Armstrong High School Assistant Nordic Coach (2010 – 2013)
Education: Kim has a B.A. in Chemistry and Minor in Biology. She also earned her M.A.C.E. at Bethel Seminary.
Family: Kim has been married to Craig for twenty years and enjoys skiing with her daughters Leah and Hannah Rudd
Hobbies: Traveling, Camping, Mountain Bike racing, cooking, gardening and writing.
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
Caitlin Compton Gregg was a member of the 2010 Winter Olympic Team in Vancouver, Canada. She has also competed at 3 World Championships, 2 X Cross Country Skiing and 1 X Biathlon. Caitlin has also won the American Birkebeiner, the City of Lakes Loppet and is 3 X National Champion. Caitlin has been racing professionally since 2004 when she moved to Minneapolis and began training with Piotr Bednarski. After two years racing for the Factory Team she joined CXC and was based out of Minneapolis between camps.
In 2010, after the Olympics, Caitlin joined Piotr and Go!Training as a junior coach for his summer training program. With the newly formed Loppet Nordic Racing Team Caitlin is once again coaching but with Reid’s group at Hyland Park. She loves motivating and inspiring young women to dream big and believe in themselves.Caitlin in currently taking prerequisites for PA school and has discovered her love of Mountain Biking.
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 top masters marathon skier, Gene brings a great technical background in sports science, and has many years experience coaching Youth, Junior, College, and Masters skiers. He loves going fast on the downhills and loves good classic conditions.
Before skate skiing was a thing, a friend taught Jonathan to Nordic ski at Theodore Wirth as cross training for triathlons. Loves Nordic and Alpine skiing, Paddling SUP, canoe, and surfski, Trail running and cycling. Started coaching Nordic skiing with MYSL (French Reg. Park) 1993-2000, then Maple Grove High School Nordic team 2001-2011, in 2012 started coaching with Gear West and LNR adults. Still enjoys sharing the sports he loves.
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. Coaching the Fast Kids program since 2013, she has had a great time watching how fast young athletes can learn to ski fast!
Jake’s first adventures on skis began in the backyard of his family’s Minneapolis home at age three. Jake ski raced for Minnehaha Academy during high school and will be skiing for St. Olaf College. Jake enjoys skiing and biking with his two brothers, Luke and Nate, as well as fishing and epic ping-pong matches. Jake aims to complete twenty Birkebeiners by age forty.
2014 Olympic hopefully and past Birkie Champion. Matt currently works at Gear West Ski and Run, trains a lot and chases around his 3 and 4 year old children. He 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!
Janna Brayman Krawczyk
Janna is a passionate ride of any and all kinds of bicycles. From the earliest days of riding her 1970’s Schwinn Lil’ Chik with the banana seat around her neighborhood, she has known the joy and zen of riding. Sixteen or so years ago, she was introduced to mountain biking and fell in love with the peace and beauty of riding on dirt. She has been racing mountain bikes ever since.
When coaching mountain biking, she focuses on two things: safety and cultivating the pure joy of flowing through the woods on a bike. Through her coaching, she aspires to inspire kids to create a healthy lifestyle centered around positivity and a lifelong love of outdoor fitness.
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 multiport 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 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 work out 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.
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.
Craig started skiing at age 3. He grew up in Winona, Minnesota. While in Winona, he had his first coaching assignment while in 5th grade, worked at Valley Ski and Bike, and skied on the newly formed Winona High School ski team. In college, he skied on the Hamline University ski team. In 1985 he was the Kortelopet Champion. Since 2009, he has coached for the Edina High School Nordic Ski Team and is now Associate Head Coach. Craig is also active with the City of Lakes Loppet, currently associate chief of course. He enjoys designing and building ski trails. Craig is a Level 200 Certified USSA Coach.
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.
Claire Luby started ski racing for Central High School, culminating her high school ski career by winning the state meet skate title in 2006. In high school, she competed in a number of Junior National events, grabbing several all american honors and a couple of third place finishes. She earned her BA at Middlebury College, where she was a member and captain of the ski team. Since graduating and moving back to the midwest, Claire has been coaching at summer and fall training camps for LNR. As a former GoTraining! athlete herself, she is excited to work with the next generation of Midwest skiers! She also coaches the Madnorski high school team in Madison WI, where she is pursuing a PhD in Plant Breeding. Claire continues to enjoy racing, and has won the Noquemanon, and Sisu Fest marathons and has finished second in the Birkebeiner classic race and third in the City of Lakes skate race. In her free time, when she isn’t outside on skis, a bike or in running shoes, she is probably cooking or gardening.
TJ grew up in the hotbed of Minnesota Nordic skiing in the 1970’s, Marine on St. Croix, where he started playing hockey and skied to school. In 1989 he began coaching juniors in Park City, Utah. After moving back to Minnesota he coached high school for 3 years and then founded the Saukko Ski Club in 1996 to 2005. During this time, he also coached on the Midwest Junior National Team for 7 years. In 2005 he took time off from coaching to earn his Masters in Education and has been a middle school teacher for 21 years. His favorite thing to do is to climb mountains and telemark ski down.
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.