NENSA News Feed The New England Nordic Ski Association provides year-round educational, recreational, and competitive programs at all levels of cross-country ski racing. NENSA works to sustain a vital and active skiing community in New England, and to provide the support structure necessary to bring athletes to their highest potential at regional, national, and international events. en-us Call For Intern Coaches for National U16 Camp at UVM We are looking for 2-4 intern coaches to participate in the National U16 camp which will take place at UVM,  July 24-31st.

]]> We're once again accepting applications for two to four coaching intern positions for the camp.  In previous years,  the intern coaches gained valuable experience and in the process, helped to provide a fun and educational environment for the athletes. 

Interns will help the head coaches  supervise daily scheduling for the skiers, help manage workouts and glean more experience towards a post college coaching career. Please spread the word to college age skiers or coaches who you think might be viable candidates for these coaching intern positions. They need to have strong skiing backgrounds, be good communicators, blend enthusiasm with maturity and be willing to work as a part of team of a staff. Coaching interns will need to be USSA licensed coaches. Applicants should submit a cover letter and application  no later than June 5th to

]]> (Janice Sibilia)Tue, 26 May 2015 13:05:31 EST
2016 Bill Koch Festival The site of the 2016 Bill Koch Festival has been chosen! Join us at Great Glen Trails on March 4-6, 2016 for this fun event!

]]> We are so pleased to announce that the Bill Koch Festival will be returning to New Hampshire! Great Glen Trails will host the New England Bill Koch League Festival-a weekend-long celebration of Nordic skiing for children, which will bring families from throughout New England and New York to the base of Mt. Washington.

The Town & Country Inn and Resort in Gorham, NH is again expected to be the Host Hotel for the 2016 Festival and site of the Saturday night group dinner, as it was in 2012. PLEASE CALL TO MAKE RESERVATIONS (rather than trying to reserve online), AND MENTION THE BKL FESTIVAL. THE PHONE NUMBER IS 800-325-4386. The Town & Country Inn and Resort is located 8 miles north of Great Glen, along Route 2 on the Gorham-Shelburne.

Additional details, schedule information and registration will be available at and here on the NENSA website, all coming soon!

]]> (NENSA Staff)Sun, 24 May 2015 21:47:17 EST
NENSA Announces 2015 Coach of the Year Congratulations to Will Sweetser, NENSA’s 2015 Coach of the Year. NENSA caught up with Will recently where he shared what his life with skiing means to him.

]]> Will, How did you first get into coaching?

I grew up in Auburn, Maine, where I tried ski jumping as a 7th grader. Luckily, a few girls on the team realized that I'd be better off nordic skiing by the time I was a 9th grader.  I was lucky to have a great group of guys as friends, most of them much more talented than I at both running and skiing.  When I joined the ski team at Dartmouth College, I had developed the habit of hard work, and that carried me to the varsity team for my last two years in Hanover.  

Upon returning to Maine from Hanover, I realized that I missed the camaraderie of fall training, so I stopped in to Bates College to see if new head coach Becky Woods would allow me to train with her guys group.  Next thing I knew, I was her assistant coach. I was lucky to have the chance to work with Becky and an excellent group of athletes during the next two years--Ben Dunlap, David Chamberlain, Katie Gould (Swenson), Kyle Darling, Dan Graham, and especially Justin Freeman and Sarah Dominick were instrumental in helping me develop as a coach.  Following two years spent in the West chasing the dream, I returned to Maine again, where I served as coach at Carrabassett Valley Academy and worked alongside Jeff Foltz at the Rangeley Lakes Nordic Club for four years. For the past 15 years, I've been privileged to work in the communities of rural Maine at the Maine Winter Sports Center.

You have coached a variety of age groups and ability levels -which would you say is your favorite and why?

Each age-group has its own challenges and rewards.  I really don't have a favorite. Working with seniors domestically is great thanks to the small group, true team feel. Working with seniors on the World Cup is so exciting, because its the BIG SHOW. Juniors are fantastic and give a real sense of success--since most get better just by getting a year older! But, teaching plays a bigger role in coaching juniors, so that's always been a plus for me.  Youth athletes can remind a coach that skiing is supposed to be just pure joy (the term unadulterated comes to mind every time I set out to create a series of youth training sessions).  And of course, masters athletes are almost always the most thankful for the time you spend with them to help them improve.  In the end, -every age-group is about helping athletes set clear goals and move towards achieving those goals.

Every coach has their own style of coaching. Did you have any mentors as you were developing your coaching and knowledge?

I've been lucky enough to count Dick Taylor, Becky Woods and Steve DeAngelis among the most influential coaches in my life.  Dick has a great sense of what really matters in a junior athlete's life.  Becky taught me, and reminds me, that the mental aspect is real. And Steve keeps me grounded in the understanding that skiing is just part of life--not all of it.  However, I never would have developed into the coach I am today without the influence of two key people: Sarah Dominick, who first asked me, "OK, so what am I doing right?" and has since kept me aware of the power of positive reinforcement, and Dan Campbell, my high school running coach, who taught me early on that athletics is about setting goals that others think crazy--and then working like crazy to achieve them.

Can you name a highlight of your career so far?

Honestly, this past February stands out--partly because I can still remember it! But during the month, nearly every athlete I worked with equaled or bettered their best ever place, per km time, and/or FIS/NENSA/USSA points. I watched the two assistant coaches and one wax tech I worked with really come into their own as professionals. 10 MWSC athletes qualified for USSA Junior Nationals.  And the month culminated with every single member of our junior men's team scoring their best ever NENSA points at the Hanover EC--every one of them! I've never had that kind of single day performance from a group of 11 guys. Thanks, boys!

A few of the athletes and coaches who have had the opportunity to work with Will shared their thoughts…

“I had an awesome time working with Will this year. His enthusiasm and passion for skiing is both motivating and inspiring.” Dustin Ramsey,

“It was great to work with Will at JNs this year, he brings a ton of energy to every race and is a super inspirational coach for his athletes!  Will was also always willing to jump in and help out on the wax bench doing whatever we needed and share his many years of knowledge." Nick Mahood

"I loved coaching with Will at MWSC for 3 years. I learned so much about training, dedication and consistency from him. Will has a passion for Nordic skiing and will do anything he can to see Maine, New England and USA athletes be successful in the sport. Will brings his passion to practice everyday and is often seen jumping in intervals or a time trial with athletes. Will is loved by athletes, and makes practice and the long drives enjoyable with his fun loving, story telling, kid like enthusiasm. Will is more than deserving of this award, and the success of his athletes is a result of his dedication and love of coaching."  Amber Dodge





]]> (Janice Sibilia)Mon, 18 May 2015 22:53:06 EST
Nordic Coaches & Athletes Honored at with Annual USSA Awards From PARK CITY, UT (May 16, 2015) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) recognized accomplished athletes and leaders on Friday at the annual Chairman’s Awards Dinner during USSA Congress. Olympic and World Championship gold medal winning moguls skier Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) was honored by the USSA with the Beck International Award, which is awarded to the top USSA athlete in international competition. Several other New Englanders and nordic athletes and coaches were recognized in the evening's celebrations.

]]> Nordic Award Highlights:

Cross Country Club of the Year – Craftsbury Nordic
Craftsbury Nordic has stepped up to host national-level events in each of the last three years. It has hosted U.S. Masters National Championships and two Super Tour weekends of racing with nearly 800 starts on one weekend. In addition to homologated race courses with snowmaking, Craftsbury has now built a 'green' lodge with training facilities, locker rooms and wax rooms. The Craftsbury Green Racing Project is dominating elite racing in New England. CGRP athletes swept the NENSA Gallagher Cup as men's and women's Eastern Cup overall champions. The Craftsbury youth programming has exploded in the last few years.
It was a big weekend for Craftsbury, also receiving NENSA's highest honor with the 2015 John Caldwell Award.

Cross Country Athlete of the Year – Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT)
Liz Stephen is a powerhouse on the U.S. Cross Country team. This season, she made history with a fifth-place finish at the Tour de Ski, the best result ever by an American in the multi-stage event. She was also part of the relay team that placed fourth at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships and scored her first World Cup podium.

Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Sverre Caldwell (Stratton Mountain, VT)
Stratton Mountain School Nordic Program Director Sverre Caldwell, who has won the domestic coach of the year three times previously, has been an instrumental part of the success of SMS’s nordic program. In the 2014-2015 season, the SMS Nordic Team and SMS T2 Team scored four top-10s at the World Championships—including one silver medal—two top-10s at the U23 World Championships and a sixth-place finish at World Juniors. 14 of his 21 team members qualified for Junior Nationals, and eight of the 14 earned All American status (top-10 or top-three relay). At Junior Nationals, the SMS Nordic Team extended its streak of winning at least one Junior National gold medal for 19 straight years.

Cross Country International Coach of the Year Award – Jason Cork (North Pole, AK) and Matt Whitcomb (Worthington, MA)
The key to the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team’s success this year was teamwork. Head men’s coach Jason Cork and head women’s coach Matt Whitcomb were an integral part of fostering the sense of team that carried the athletes through a season full of highs and lows. With Cork and Whitcomb at the helm, the Team brought home two World Championship medals and skied to two World Cup podiums, with additional strong results on the World Cup and at other major events, including Liz Stephen’s best-ever fifth-place finish at the Tour de Ski.

Finaldia Award - Caitlin Gregg & Jessie Diggins
For Outstanding Performance in Cross Country Skiing
On the strength of their World Championship double podium, Caitlin Gregg & Jessie Diggins received the USSA Finlandia Award.

Russell Wilder Award – Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK)
Presented in recognition of contributes to youth.
Cross country skier Kikkan Randall is a pioneer in her sport. The four-time Olympian has racked up a list of firsts, including being the first U.S. woman to win a World Cup event in 2008, first U.S. woman to earn a world championship medal in 2011, first U.S. woman to podium in the overall World Cup sprint standings in 2011 and first U.S. cross country athlete to win World Championship gold in 2013. In addition to being a champion in her sport, the 31 year old is also a champion for female athletes. Randall balances her competitive life by serving as an ambassador for the organization Fast and Female, which started in 2005 as a way to get more girls on skis.
NENSA received the Russell WIlder Award in 2012. 

Adaptive International Coach of the Year Award – Eileen Carey (Burlington, VT)
The 2014-15 season was Carey’s first year as head coach of the U.S. Paralympic Nordic Team. She took athletes from four medals in Sochi to 28 medals in the following season. The team ended the season second in the World Cup standings and had two World Cup overall globe winners. 

Adaptive Athlete of the Year – Andy Soule (San Antonio, TX)
Last season, Andy Soule’s success in cross country skiing was limited and his biathlon success always depended on his impeccable performance in the range, and even then he was infrequently on the podium. The willingness to fail while seeking improvement coupled with patience, determination and hard work brought Soule the performance breakthrough he had been seeking. Of his 10 World Cup and World Championship podium performances this season, eight came in cross country events. He medaled in five of the six World Championship individual races, both biathlon and cross country. Soule outright won four cross country World Cup races this season on his way to winning the overall IPC Cross Country World Cup title.

View photos from the evening at the USSA Chairman's Awards Dinner here.

Click here for the full press release and more photos from

]]> (NENSA Staff)Mon, 18 May 2015 12:46:45 EST
NENSA Honors Craftsbury Outdoor Center With 2015 John Caldwell Award On the strength of a calendar as diverse as their community is deep, Craftsbury Outdoor Center built a triumphant and award winning season. Craftsbury has become a storied venue, not just in New England, but on a national scale. Equally, they have built a venue that is a destination for the family and lifestyle skier as much as it is for the racer.

]]> The 2014-15 season was particularly exciting in the Northeast Kingdom. Craftsbury’s SuperTour Festival, which included the AXCS Masters National Championship, a NENSA EasternCup, two SuperTour weekends, and the EISA Dartmouth Carnival, anchored New England’s competitive calendar. Those eleven days of racing showcased the venue and what Craftsbury Outdoor Center is doing for the broader nordic community.

It is in recognition of that dedication to the sport of cross country skiing that NENSA is pleased to honor Craftsbury Outdoor Center with the 2015 John Caldwell Award.

The John Caldwell Award is NENSA’s highest annual honor. Named for a patriarch of the New England and national cross country community, the Caldwell Award is given annually to an individual or entity in New England contributing to the advancement of the sport of cross country skiing.

Hosting world-class events is only part of the equation for Craftsbury. Among the several programs running out the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, is the Green Racing Project. Two GRP teammates, Kaitlynn Miller and Gordon Vermeer, swept the Gallagher Cup, NENSA’s award for the overall champions of the season-long EasternCup series.

In looking back on Craftsbury’s marquee event and one of our favorite moments of the 2014-15 season, Dartmouth Women’s Head Coach and NENSA Board Vice President, Cami Thompson-Graves said, “The Craftsbury Outdoor Center has done it once again!  This winter’s SuperTour-EasternCup-Dartmouth Carnival event was a blockbuster! Watching the crowds of college and elite athletes cheering for the Bill Koch League skiers at the finish brought tears to my eyes!”

“Craftsbury continues to raise the bar with a balanced focus on innovation and tradition with new events like their terrain-accented SuperSprint and favorite traditions like the early season Masters Camps,” said NENSA Executive Director, Zach Stegeman. “Some of the best moments for our community are those where the future of the sport can ski with the generations ahead of them, and Craftsbury facilitates that opportunity every winter.”

Craftsbury’s Sheldon Miller was fittingly succinct in his position on Craftsbury’s vital role in the New England nordic community, “we are happy flag bearers for the cause.”

“Everything they do, they do well,” continued Thompson-Graves. “Craftsbury has created an atmosphere that is so open and welcoming and shows the sport of Nordic skiing in the best possible light. “

Previous Caldwell Award Recipients:

  • 2014 Bill Henchy
  • 2013 Patrick Cote
  • 2012 Dick Dreissigacker & Judy Geer
  • 2011 Ray Broomhall
  • 2010 Weston Family
  • 2009 Mary Ann Levins
  • 2008 Graham Taylor
  • 2007 Dick Taylor
  • 2006 Chisholm Ski Club
  • 2005 Fred Griffin
  • 2004 Anne Donaghy & Mary Hamel
  • 2003 Trina Hosmer
  • 2002 Jim Rodrigues
  • 2001 Volvo
Click here for information and history on all NENSA annual awards.
]]> (NENSA Staff)Mon, 18 May 2015 12:39:12 EST
GMVS To Host NENSA Eastern Regional Elite Group Camp (REG) The Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) is excited to be hosting the Regional (REG) NENSA/USST Camp this summer.  The camp will be held from June 24-June 30 and athletes will be invited based on invitations from NENSA based on results from the 2015 season.

]]> GMVS is located in the Mad River Valley in close proximity to the spine of the Green Mountains.  The  area is ideal for dry land training, including access to the Long Trail (and many other trail networks), hilly dirt roads for bounding, and good pavement with undulating terrain for roller skiing.  GMVS has hosted open training camps for the past eight summers and is excited to share it's campus with the best skiers in New England.  The goal for camp is to include the spirit of adventure and exploration along with the form and testing of traditional REG camps.  Athletes will be housed in the school dorms and will utilize the new Racing Performance Center (RPC) for strength, video work, and regeneration activities.

Camp will be led by GMVS coaches, Justin Beckwith and Shane MacDowell along with the USST Head Women's Coach, Matt Whitcomb, and an assortment of regional coaches.  Athletes will be treated to healthy and local foods sourced from the valley and the greater Vermont area.  We are also excited to be hosting World Championship bronze medalist Caitlin Compton for a portion of camp, including the App Gap Challenge roller ski race.  Food will be prepared by Chelsea Marshall, a 2010 Olympian in Super G.

Designed to bring our top juniors together for training, the REG is an important a part of the New England Athlete Development Pathway. It is also one of four in the country that is used as a selection camp for other USSA development camps.

Members of the NENSA Elite and Development and Junior National Teams are eligible to receive invitations to attend these camps. There will also be a U16 camp in conjunction with the REG. New England Junior National team U16 members will receive an invitation to participate.

 Roster of athletes meeting the camp selection criteria:

2015 REG Camp Invite roster



















Cambridge Sports Union



Cambridge Sports Union



Stratton Mountain School







Mansfield Nordic































 2015 NENSA U16 REG Camp Invite Roster

 U16 Girls




























Rochester Nordic


U16 Boys







Ford Sayre






























Saranac Lake Nordic



Saranac Lake Nordic



]]> (Janice Sibilia)Fri, 15 May 2015 13:25:02 EST
KickZone eNewsletter | Latest Edition Now Available View the latest edition of NENSA's KickZone eNewsletter here.

]]> NENSA's KickZone eNewsletter is a benefit of NENSA membership, offering insight into the New England Nordic community, highlights from the broader Nordic world, news clips, and a schedule of upcoming events. KickZone is emailed out every week during the winter season, and every other week in the summer. To get on the mailing list, become a NENSA member today.

]]> (NENSA Staff)Tue, 12 May 2015 12:52:35 EST
USSA Announces Nominations for U.S. Cross Country Ski Team From Each year, the top athletes in America are nominated to compete as a part of the U.S. Ski Team. Nominations include those active athletes who qualified based on published selection criteria in the prior season. The U.S. Ski Team announces official team rosters in the fall, naming those athletes who accept the responsibilities of being a part of the team and are planning to compete in the 2015-16 season.

]]> U.S. Cross Country Team Nomination Criteria: 2016 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Criteria

Every athlete named to the U.S. Ski Team will receive a high level of world class program support, with access to athletic benefits including an elite coaching, sport science, sports medicine and high performance staff, access to the USSA Center of Excellence, and education opportunities.

Cross Country

A Team
Andrew Newell (Shaftsbury, VT; SMS T2; 11/30/83)
Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO; SMS T2; 5/14/87)

Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center; 11/21/89)
Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT; SMS T2; 3/22/90)
Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN; SMS T2; 8/26/91)
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center; 12/31/82)
Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT; Craftsbury Green Racing Project; 1/25/88)
Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT; Burke Mountain Academy; 1/12/87)

B Team
Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center; 7/14/91)
Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail; 8/1/89)

Rosie Brennan (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center; 12/2/88)
Caitlin Gregg (Minneapolis, MN; Loppet Nordic Racing; 11/7/80)

D Team
Julia Kern (Waltham, MA; Cambridge Sports Union; 9/12/97)
Katharine Ogden (Landgrove, VT; Stratton Mountain School; 11/17/97)

Patrick Caldwell (Lyme, NH; SMS T2; 2/18/94)
Ben Saxton (Lakeville, MN; SMS T2; 6/3/93)


]]> (NENSA Staff)Fri, 08 May 2015 11:27:16 EST
NENSA Seeks High Performance Director New England Nordic Ski Association is seeking a Director of High Performance to oversee NENSA’s competitive programming. This role requires strong, inspired leadership with a collaborative spirit to galvanize and to work with our nordic community. Click "Read More" for the full job posting.



New England Nordic Ski Association is seeking a Director of High Performance to oversee NENSA’s competitive programming. This role requires strong, inspired leadership with a collaborative spirit to galvanize and to work with our nordic community. In keeping with the NENSA mission, the High Performance Director will position NENSA as a central resource for our community and as a national leader in coach, athlete, and club development. The High Performance Director is responsible for guiding and creating resources to support NENSA’s athletes and coaches. This position will work closely with community stakeholders including EISA, USSA, and the NENSA staff team. Managing NENSA’s race data including seeding and scoring competitive events as well maintaining all competitive rankings, including ranking and naming the New England Junior National Team is a key part of this position. Lively and instructive engagement with potential and existing NENSA sponsors and contributors is another function of the job. The High Performance Director is an empowered position, requiring energy, vision and attention to detail in advancing all of NENSA’s competitive programs.

Including, but not limited to, management of the following programs:

  • Providing leadership, education, instruction and guidance to coaches, event managers, parents, athletes, and others
  • Oversight and management of all aspects of the EasternCup Race Series
  • Coach Education and Development
  • Race Data Management and NENSA Rankings including:
    • Race seeding and scoring
      Junior National Team rankings and team naming
      NENSA points, Zak Cup points, U16 points and rankings
  • New England Junior National Team and Championship event travel
    • Coaching staff selection
    • Athlete ranking and selection
    • Serve as or recruit Trip Leader
    • All aspects of trip and team support
  • Proactive scheduling and site recruiting for regional and national events
  • U16 & Eastern High School Championship events in collaboration with NENSA Youth Program Manager
  • Community communications
    • Authorship/management of published manuals and evaluative resources for coach education, athlete development, club advocacy, and event management
    • Coach eNewsletter
  • Athlete and Coach Development pipeline, philosophy, and programs:
    • Drafting, compiling, and sharing resources
    • Implementing and scheduling collaborative programming
  • Manage and supervise NENSA and national summer camps and training opportunities
  • Manage and supervise NENSA Elite and Development Team naming and communications

Including, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Work closely with NENSA staff and Board of Directors
  • Maintain program-specific content on website
  • Serve as Liaison to USOC, USSA, EISA
  • Serve as TD liaison
  • Clear understanding of NENSA’s competitive rules
  • Engage NENSA Athlete Development, Coach Education, Junior, and U23/Senior Committees
  • Maintain USSA Coach Certification of L100 or higher
  • Promote available resources to NENSA community
  • Represent NENSA at relevant regional and national events
  • Track and share relevant news and updates via and social media
  • Other duties as assigned 


  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred
  • Familiarity with the New England cross country skiing community
  • Competitive skiing background as athlete or coach
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and human relations skills
  • Ability to lift and carry 50lbs
  • Comfortable working on a computer and online, including proficiency with Microsoft Excel, Word, Power Point & Outlook
  • Demonstrated ability to work in fast paced multidisciplinary team environment
  • Must be eligible to work in the USA
  • Valid drivers license
  • Passion for sport of cross country skiing and the ideals of the NENSA mission


  • Regular work from home office or other remote location with regular travel to headquarters in office environment in multi-story building on multi-building site
  • Frequent and extensive regional travel in and around New England
  • Occasional national travel
  • Work will often be done outdoors, in varying and winter weather conditions

The High Performance Director is a full time, year round, benefits-eligible position. This position reports to the Executive Director and Board of Directors. All NENSA staff and coaches undergo background checks. Start date is negotiable, but we seek to fill this role as soon as possible. Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, resume, and three references to NENSA executive director, Zach Stegeman at or via mail to:

New England Nordic Ski Association
Zach Stegeman
49 Pineland Drive, Suite 301-A
New Gloucester, ME 04260 

]]> (NENSA Staff)Thu, 07 May 2015 15:03:58 EST
Summer Tips from Swix The endless New England winter winter may have ended but here are some tips from Swix here with some helpful steps for blemish free ski bases, summertime training comfort and focused prep for next winter.

]]> Summer Ski Storage:
Keep the area on the base of your skis clean and free from residue. Apply a basecleaner and scrub vigorously in the direction of travel using Swix Fiberlene. Wait until dry and then apply a coat of warm wax such as CH10 or the venerable BP88. Do not scrape until fall at which point enjoy clean and ready skis for the new season.

Baselayers are not just for winter. The shoulder seasons or cool summer mornings are a perfect time to pull out the long underwear for a performance focused training session. Wash them. (Obviously.) But do not store them for summer.

Keep the tips sharp! Rollerski ferrules are crucial to keep sharp and at the ready. The TBS system allows for easy changes when you’ve sharpened yours down to nothing (which should take about a half a summertime season if you’re doing it for all of your workouts.)


]]> (NENSA Staff)Sat, 18 Apr 2015 12:39:00 EST