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Welcome to the Ice Badgers Nordic Ski Team!
We are a youth ski team based in Missoula, MT. The season runs January 3rd - March 4th. We practice two times a week, Mondays and Wednesdays. We travel, we race, and we support up to 7 races on the MT Cup Nordic Circuit.
New for this year, you can register for Monday practice sessions only. Use coupon code "mondayonly" at checkout. Also, new for this year, Ice Badger Juniors ages 7-8 skate and classic skiing, Mondays only.
Mondays = UM Golf Course - 4:30pm - skills & fun
Wednesdays = Lubrecht/9 Mile/UM Golf Course - 4:30pm - adventure ski
We practice twice a week. Practice will always have a group chat and game and snack, followed by getting with your smaller animal groups and working on the skill of the practice or getting after the adventure ski! We will always end with a chat and coco. Teams are important, they keep athletes engaged. We will continue to push the team while working on individual skier development within their smaller groups.
Sunday, December 3rd, Parents Call - 8pm
Monday, December 4th, Pre Season Meetup, Pineview Park, 4:30pm - Parents Call, 8pm
Wednesday, January 3rd, First Practice, UM Golf Course, 4:30pm
Sunday, January 21st, Nordic Dance Invitational (Ski Race), 9 Mile Ranger Station, 8:00am
Wednesday, January 24th, Lubrecht Epic
Wednesday, February 7th, Lubrecht epic, did you get better?
Wednesday, February 14th, Follow Your Heart Skiathlon (Ski Race), UM Golf Course, 4:30pm
Saturday, Feburary 17th, Ice Badgers Loppet (Ski Race), UM Golf Course, 8:00am
Wednesday, February 21st, 9 Mile - Ice Badger Olympics
Monday, March 4th, Last Practice and team party, UM Golf Course, 4:30pm
Ice Badger Junior (7-8) - Head Coach = Jess Larson
Snow Owl (8-10) - Head Coach = Savanna Fassio
Artic Fox (8-10) - Head Coach - Ella Hall & Jenny Helm
Swift Fox (10-11) - Head Coach - Abby Wiggin
Polar Bear (Middle School) - Head Coach = Mike Kernan
Snow Leopard (Middle School) - Head Coach = Emma Swartz
Yeti (MS/HS) - Head Coach = Shaun Radley
Badger (MS/HS elite) - Head Coach = Orion Berryman & Mike Lessard
Shaun Radley - I will return as the Team Director and Head Coach of the Ice Badgers. My dad taught me from a young age about the peace, serenity, and adventure that xc skiing brings to your life. In college I taught myself how to skate ski in Missoula and Badwax was invented. I own MTCX Ski, a retail shop and my whole career is based around biking and skiing. I have 3 kids. Logan 12, Henry 9, and Freya 7. Best recent results were 16th Boulder Mountain Tour and 22nd West Yellowstone.
Abby Wiggin - Abby will return as a Co-Team Director. She grew up skiing in Vermont. From an early age she raced skis and found it a bit miserable. That experience ingrained toughness and grit especially for the winter months. She brings a passion for fun, skill development, and figuring out your own racing voice. Abby is also the head of ZANY, our youth partner program with MIssoula Nordic Ski Club. She works at MTCX Ski as a tech and sales person and can help folks with fit and things. Abby is part of the 9 person Badwax, 7 year club, and also won her age group in the 25k classic at West last year. Abby has two kids Georgia, 13 and Eli, 10 on the Badgers.
Orion Berryman - Orion is our co Head Coach and is an amazing resource for youth and adult skiing. He will return as the Head Coach of the Badger Elite Group. New name, but it's our advanced middle school and high school group. They race 5-7 times a year and Orion does an amazing job with them. Orion skied collegiately for APU and is the best skier in Missoula. I'm saying it not him. He represents our town on the biggest stages. Masters National champion, and multiple OSCR 50k winner and annual top 5 50k West skier, Badwax golden shirt 3x. What people don't know about OB is his passion for coaching and youth sports. He is the best. Orion has Lark 9, Ender 12, and Odin 14 as Badgers.
Jeff Bookwalter - Jeff is the Head Coach of the Polar Bear team. Jeff is a life long skier and in the last 10 years has really seen his personal racing take off. Jeff is a continuous learner and that has shown with his family and himself. He will ask the right questions and then teach future generations. He is also in charge of the Badger Coaches retreat and education. As a masters racer and also a dad of racers he brings a good perspective on events and skiing. Jeff has Wren 10 and Willa 13 as Badgers.
Mike Lessard - Mike is a legend of nordic skiing in Missoula and will return as the Co-Head Coach of the Badger Elite Group Head. He can teach anyone how to ski. He was the ZANY coordinator for 5+ seasons and also coached the ZANY HS program. We are incredibly lucky to have him. Mike skied collegiately and was really good. He's taken that approach to his passion for community. He has grown our Missoula nordic community through teaching youth how to ski. We still get him to jump in and race, including a top 12 at the OSCR 50k and top 3 at Ice Badger Loppet.
- Jenna Tomiello - Jenna is on of the best athletes in Missoula. She brings a unique perspective from being a Palates instructor and lifelong educator. It's a mix that we are so fortunate to have. Activities, skills, team development and reaching goals all mean the world to Jenna. She has picked up nordic skiing and biking in the last 10 years and is a leader in our community. Jenna is the Executive Director of MT Alpha a female cycling team in Missoula.
- Savanna Fassio - Savanna grew up skiing in Park City, Utah, and attended the Winter Sports School. School allowed her the time off in the winter to travel to races, however her favorite races were local Wasatch citizen races. Savanna loved racing with the community, grilling out and hopefully pulling a prize in the post race raffle. Savanna raced for Norther Michigan University, graduating in 2022 with a BA in exercise science. Since coming to Missoula Savanna has won our hearts. Not only does she ski fast and beautiful, but she coaches for ZDT Rangers biking team, Mammoths, and is an uber volunteers when time allows. Savanna kicks butt, and we are so glad she has joined the Badgers.
- Emma Swartz - Committed to coaching, Emma, is smart, informed, motivated, and super fun. Emma has experience with high level racing at a young age and shares that wisdom with her athletes. Whether she is jumping into a nordic race or crushing it at bike team, she is just happy to be there. New to town, Emma works in education and saving the planet. You want to recreate, take Emma with you.
- Taylor Tewksbury - Another one of our new Ice Badger coaches, Taylor has a real kindness in her manner of coaching and a calmness with her athletes. Taylor is happy to be grinding it out up front or enjoying a nice easy pace in the back of the pack.
- Brian Bohnam - Great skier and communicator, Brian is a natural coach. Brian recently retired from the National Guard, works at Adventure Cycling, and is about to have a whole lot more love in his life. Ask him about it. Bonhammer is your guru.
- Joe Petrili - Badwax Commissioner, father of two boys, Vinny and Marco, and husband to the one and only Coach Mere. Joe works for Big Sky Brewery and loves nordic skiing. Joe is in his second year coaching badgers after showing real style and confidence coaching the Yeti group. Joe will jump in a nordic race from time to time and grooms for the Missoula Nordic Club. Wondering where the best skiing is around Missoula, Joe knows.
- Heidi Meierbachtol - Needs no introduction.
- Garret Alderman - Ski regalia aficionado. We will let the tutus speak for themselves. Growing up in Alaska, Garrett can ski and ski and ski.
- Landen Beckner - Soul Skier. Landon is a new father, bakes your daily bread at Grist, and is a life long skier. Landon is also a really nice guy.
- Meredith Ruland - ZANY Coach, top masters skier, and a great friend. Meredith is a PA in town and loves to pop into community bike and ski races when time allows. She is a blast to ski with regardless of the grooming conditions. Always striving to be better, Meredith loves a good ski clinic. Always improving, meredith is your guru.
- Sarah Millar - Teenager whisper. Raising two teenage girls, Sarah finds the time and energy to help out with Badgers. A coach at heart, Sarah has such a great attitude while working with young people. A leader in the Missoula Mammoths mountain biking team, Sarah also owns The Dram Shop along with her husband, that Dram Guy.
- Scott Lenaburg - Great energy, great leader, tough act to follow. Scott signed up to coach ZDT Rangers this year and he may never look back. A coach with enough energy and dad jokes to go around, Scott is a ton of fun. Hang on to your hats.
- Mike Kernan - Wax tech, awesome skier, old fashion good guy. Mike moonlights at the MTCX bike shop, but his day job is at the Poverello. Kind hearted and out to do good, we value Mike's role in the community. Coaching has been a natural fit for Mike and we are so glad he is becoming a part of the Badgers this season.
Race expectations and attendance will be different for every practice group. I would like to see everyone at least attend one event as a fan or participant. Ice Badgers puts on three events, the Ice Badger Loppet, Nordic Dance Invitational, and Follow Your Heart Skiathlon. These will be free for Badger team members, but you must register with a coupon code. All other races listed in the schedule will have Coach support. This means a warmup, race plan, recovery, fun, and celebration. There are two optional Badger weekend retreats this year where we will reserve accommodations and parents can decide to book or not.
12/17/23 - Chief Joseph
1/6-7/24 Glacier Glide - Whitefish, MT
1/14/24 Ice Badger Loppet - UM Golf Course - 1k s/c, 5k s, 10k s, 20k s - free entry to all badgers and coaches.
1/20/24 Skiesta - Seeley Lake
1/21/24 Nordic Dance Invitational - 9 Mile Ranger District - 1k s/c, 3.5k s, 7k s/c, 14k s - free entry to all badger and coaches
1/27/24 OSCR - Seeley Lake
2/3-4/24 Seeley Lake Biathlon - Seeley Lake
2/14/24 Follow Your Heart Skiathlon - UM Golf Course - Youth 7k, Adult 14k - night race
3/2/24 West Yellowstone - MTCX reserves lodging, explorer cabin colda sac, parents pay and opt in
3/9/24 - Silvercrest, Great Falls, MT
Optional Add Ons at the shop:
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