News & Stories

Anwatin skiers amp it up with LNR

Jezir Bradley chases Xavier Mansfield in a short track mounatin bike race.

For a few members of on the Anwatin Ski Team – summer has been ANYTHING but a walk in the park. Three days a week, Raequan Wilson, Jezir Bradley and Xavier Mansfield set their alarms for the early morning hour. That allows them fifteen minutes to scramble and gather their goods before waiting at the window for Anwatin Assistant Coach Mary Luoma to pick them up for a 7:00am practice.

Raequan, Jezir and Xavier led the Antwain Ski Team in their mountain biking and cross country skiing performances this past year. With the desire to take their training to the next level, these athletes were invited to participate in the LNR (Loppet Nordic Racing) Junior summer training program. For the last eight weeks, the three have been training with other serious and aspiring young metro area skiers with their eyes on mountain biking and skiing improvement in the upcoming years.

“By joining this higher level training program, I think they see the space they have to grow and develop as athletes,” said Anwatin Head Coach Allie Rykken. “All of a sudden they went from being the fastest ones on their team to seeing all the talent that is out there.” Despite being challenged to keep up with the group – the three have persevered into the summer months. Just this week, their efforts were rewarded with an invitation to attend the LNR Junior Training Camp, a weeklong intensive and high volume camp near Hayward, WI.

Raequan Wilson races in a mountain bike time trial at Adventure Camp.

“You guys have been training hard all summer. We’d like you to come to training camp,” said LNR’s Head Coach Piotr Bednarski as he sat down to present the athletes with the opportunity. Their eyes lit up. Bednarski went on to explain the expectations of camp. “It’s really fun, but it’s also a time when you train a lot… Nutrition, rest-time, work-outs, punctuality, responsibly for your equipment and sleep are important parts of camp that you have to take seriously.”

“I was born to ski,” said Jezir Bradley who has been jovial during practices all summer, even on the mornings he struggles to get out of bed. Jezir joined the Antwain Ski Team for the first time last winter and despite some initial skepticism of the sport, Jezir filled his winter months on the trail and hasn’t looked back since. “I can already feel that I will be better than last year,” said Bradley. “Last year I couldn’t keep going at a pace on the trail for a long amount of time. Now I can.”

While the three Anwatin skiers may be still be behind their more experienced piers, they will find themselves leaps and bounds ahead of their Anwtain teammates when the team is reunited for winter practices in October. “The fitness they’ve acquired over the summer will no doubt propel their skiing to a new level,” nodded Bednarski.

As these young athletes see themselves improve, they will begin to make the correlation between training and performance, and usually once you begin to perform, there is no skiing back…