Thursday, November 3, 2011

APU Program Wide Update....

People often ask: What is APU? How does it work? You're a University team that isn't NCAA - What does that mean?  These are all good questions and yes, the format (if you will) of APU can tend to be confusing to people looking in on us from the outside.  However, here it is in a nutshell: We are community ski club based within a University such that skiers of collegiate age can attend school (undergrad or graduate) while pursuing ski racing at a high level.  Our community program is then built both below and above the University-based team in age.  We have APU skiers as young as 11 and as "senior" (!) as their mid-eighties!  In all, our total program membership involves over 200+ people directly on a regular basis.  It's RAD.

 My sunrise ski at Glen Alps yesterday morning

Here we are, a small club in Anchorage, AK that has duel goals of winning Olympic medals and teaching 11 year old how to huck jumps! Or, making it possible for University students to attend online classes while at training camp on Eagle Glacier and teaching a mother of four to V2 alternate. 

Erik Flora, the APU elite team head coach and APUNSC Director wrote a great update to our programs at 3am this morning - I thought it was worth sharing.  It explains what each group has been up to the past couple of weeks!

APU Program Members

Winter is off to a great start! We have already had groups skiing at Glenn Alps, Hillside, Hatcher Pass, and Russian Jack. Glenn Alps and Hatcher Pass have mid-winter conditions. With snow in the air, it is a good time for program update. Of course there are 100 more items, here are a few.

Junior Program has had a strong off-season of training. We have had full programs with lots of new faces and athletes reaching a new level of fitness. Part of the group participated in last weeks camp in Fairbanks. Next up is an early season snow camp in Hatcher Pass where they will focus on volume and technique (plus a whole lot of fun!). High School skiing started this week. Impressive as two junior team members were named to US National Training Groups Tarynn Hunt-Smith and Thomas O'Harra.

Devo's have been ripping up with coach Charlie, Erin, and Dylan. This group keeps on getting faster and faster. It is amazing to watch this group as they continue to have fun and explore the joys of ski training. Keep an eye out, if you see a group of unusually fast moving-jumping-excited kids blasting through the woods and across the trails. It is a good chance it is the Devo's!

Master Programs are in full-swing with Noon, Evening, and One-day Women Groups. Winter session has started off well with mix of dry-land and skiing at Hatcher Pass. The move to 2 and 5 day options has been a great way to get more people involved and enjoying ski training. We are excited to add a coach to the Master Programs this winter. Calisa Schouweiler is going to join Dylan and Sam for Evening Masters, Noon Master, and Women's One-day. Calisa has a strong background in coaching. She will start in mid-November. More to follow.

The Elite team is getting ready to travel. We have had a good summer with most athletes setting record amounts of training and new PR's on interval courses. APU members Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks, Sadie Bjornsen, and Lars Flora are heading to Norway next week to compete on World Cup. The rest of the team will focus on early winter domestic race series starting in Fairbanks, racing West Yellowstone, Bozeman, SilverStar BC, ending at Kincaid at Besh cup 1 and 2. After Christmas we are competing in Maine at the US Nationals, World cups, Alaska Races, and World Junior and U23 World Championships in Turkey. APU added more athletes to US Ski Team programs: Kikkan, Sadie, Erik Bjornsen, Kinsey Loan, and Celia Haering. Plus Men and Women current Super Tour Leaders Lars and Holly. The Elite team was on tonight's 10 o'clock news, click here<> to watch. Best community outreach ye
 ar to date with athletes really busy hosting Fast and Female events, helping at kids events, and working at junior camps.

Coaches have stepped up community support of nordic programs. Two of our coaches, Dylan Watts and Sam Sterling, are going to help with local high school programs. Dylan at West HS and Sam at East HS. Eric Strabel at Regional Elite Group camp at Hatcher Pass. Eric and Charlie will coach at Junior Nationals. Casey Fagerquist stepping up this fall to help World Cup waxing during fall schedule. Erik Flora coached 3 US ski team camps and First Tracks High School camp in Fairbanks. Plus we hosted a new Alaska "open" Junior Glacier Camp. This is a good year for coaches to extend their experience to help strengthen Alaska and US skiing.

Good for our programs, Anchorage skiing is really good for early season right now. Glenn Alps and Hatcher Pass are race ski ready with good coverage. Russian Jack and Hilltop are skiable, but quite a few rocks/grass. The NSAA did a great job rolling Hilltop today. Let's help Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage set record sales of trail pins. The more support they get, the better grooming we will see! click here<> to join.

This is a great club to be a part of. I look forward to seeing everyone on the trails!


Erik Flora
APU Nordic Ski Center