Junior Program (High School)
The APU Junior Program is a High School age development program for cross-country ski racing. The goal of the junior program is to develop cross-country ski racing skills through training, athlete education, and above all, fostering healthy sport for life.
During the junior development phase, training transitions from broad base activity to specific ski training. Sessions are 3-6 times per week. Activities include skate and classic skiing, running, ski imitation, classic and skate roller skiing, and strength. Training will be balanced between intervals, distance, speed, technique, and strength.
Training is typically located at Hillside, APU, and Kincaid. Athletes will also take special training sessions to run in the mountains or ski other trails. APU facilities include strength room, team room for video analysis, wax room, and summer skiing opportunities on Thomas Training Center located on Eagle Glacier.
The APU Junior Team has a strong tradition in Nordic skiing, winning the US Ski & Snowboard Junior Club Award in 2013 and 2020. Our Junior members have gone on to become the best skiers in the US and the world, including World Junior and World Cup Champions. The junior program is a great stepping-stone, a good challenge, and a lot of fun!
Head Coach: Eric Strabel
Assistant Coaches: Eliza Rorabaugh, Naomi Kiekintveld
Spring (May 1 to May 23) …….. $220
5 sessions per week, Monday through Friday, 3:30 PM – 5:15 PM.
Summer (May 24 to August 18) …….. $1030
6 sessions per week, Monday through Friday 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM; and Wednesday 3:30-5:30 PM.
Fall (August 21 to September 29) …….. $495
2-4 sessions per week, scheduled around HS XC Running.
Fall Transition (October 2 to November 3) …….. $530
5 sessions per week, Monday through Friday, 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM.
Winter (November 6 to April 6, 2024) …….. $1100
2-4 sessions per week, scheduled around HS Nordic Skiing.
Year Round (May 1 to April 6, 2024) …….. $2370
All seasonal programs at reduced rate. Bi-annual payment plan available ($1185 due at enrollment, $1185 due Oct 1st).
- APU (map link) – Meet on the lawn in front of Atwood Center.
- Hilltop Ski Area (map link) – Meet at the far end of the inner parking area at the Nordic Ski Trailhead.
- Kincaid Park (map link) – Dryland Activity: Meet at the ‘soccer ball’ patio along the paved path near the chalet. On Snow: Meet on the north side of the lower parking lot.
- Glen Alps (map link) – Meet at the main trailhead.
- Prospect Heights (map link) – Meet at the main trailhead.
- Upper Huffman (map link) – Meet at the main trailhead.
- Rabbit Lake Trailhead (map link) – Meet at the main trailhead.
- Appropriate Clothing – layered options to start warm in cold weather and be able shed after warming up. Bright (white/fluorescent) colors are strongly encouraged for roller ski days.
- Waist pack or drink belt – to carry drink, snack, shed clothing items, other personal gear comfortably.
- Watch – with time-of-day and stop watch functions. Heart rate and GPS devices can be neat but they are not required to make great training.
- Running shoes – adequate cushioning for long durations and traction for steep mountains. Proper fit is important so please don’t delay after you’ve outgrown the older ones.
- Hill bounding poles – slightly shorter than classic pole length (or outgrown classic poles) is ideal, but your classic poles can work in a pinch.
- Bike Helmet – required to participate in all roller ski and bike practices.
- Skate Roller Skis Skate Roller Skis – larger diameter and narrower wheel models are ideal as a skier gains further roller ski experience. For less experienced or smaller skiers, or skiers with more flexible combi style boots, a smaller diameter and wider wheel model such as the Ski Skett Fire or Fischer RC5 are good to learn on. Composite shafts that decrease vibration are recommended if the budget allows. Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking (AMH), currently the only local source of roller skis, have a great selection. Online options include FinnSisu ». Chat with a Coach or AMH salesperson for more guidance.
Classic Roller Skis – Same info as skate roller skis, although most have similar wheel sizes. If seeking a tried and true best, consider these »
- Classic Roller Skis – Classic Roller Skis – Same info as skate roller skis, although most have similar wheel sizes. If seeking a tried and true best, consider these »
- Roller Ski Poles – Same as regular ski poles except with special roller ski ferrules replace the snow baskets. They switch easily via hot glue.
- Roller Ski Boots – Regular on-snow ski boots work well but a proper skate boot (not “combi” boots) is recommended for skate roller skiing.
On Snow (Winter)
- Appropriate Clothing – Insulating active wear is important. Long underwear and warm pants, jacket, hat, and gloves should be worn. Additional intermediate layers are great to adjust for being cold at the beginning of training and overheating during higher intensity training. An extra warm puffy coat is very nice to keep warm outside while not actively training.
- Waist pack or drink belt – to carry drink, snack, other personal gear comfortably.
- Watch – with time-of-day and stop watch functions, heart rate and GPS devices can be neat but they are not required to make great training.
- Studded Running shoes – Running is still important throughout the Winter.
- Skis – Refer to our Ski Fleet Recommendation Plan (coming soon!)
- Ski Poles – separate classic and skate length sets. Refer to sizing chart (coming soon!)
- Ski Boots – the most important piece of equipment to make certain the fit is proper. Shop around and try on several options. Whatever fits you most comfortably and of adequate quality is best.
- Ski Wax/Service – Waxing can be fun and exciting! Refer to our Wax Box Recommendations (coming soon!)
- Health – Participants must be healthy to participate in practice. Stay home and take rest when you’re sick. Communicate with the Coach any existing injuries that may be affected by performing in our practice activities.
- Basic Physical Fitness – Participants must be able to maintain contact with the group as it progresses through trail networks, which they may not know. Typically, the tail end of our group can run nonstop for over 1 hour.
- Readiness – Participants are expected to arrive in time to receive important instructions given at the beginning of each practice, and with appropriate gear. (See Equipment)
- 2023-24 Besh Cups Races, organized by Cross Country Alaska, sanctioned by US Ski & Snowboard (must be a USSS member).
- 2024 USSS Junior National Championships
- 2024 USSS Senior National Championships
- 2024 FIS World Junior Cross Country Ski Championships
- 2024 U18 Nordic Nations Championships
- High School Racing, organized by NSAA
- Registration Payments and Waivers All registration is online and required before attending the first session.
- Besh Cup Race Support is included in the Year Round and Winter membership fees.
- Performance Discount Junior National performance incentive 25% discount for top three individual finish and 10% discount for top ten individual finish. Discount is for year round program registration. Please contact coaches to get a registration coupon.
- Family Discount After purchasing two year round memberships, all additional memberships are half price. Please contact coaches to get a registration coupon.
- Payment Plans are available for year round memberships. The payment can be split into two payments, the first half is due before the first day of practice and the second half due October 1. To enroll, choose the year round payment plan option when registering.
- Helmets are required at all roller ski sessions.
REGISTER ONLINE NOW
One-Week Trial Membership
If you want to check out the program before signing up, we offer a complimentary one-week trial membership for new members.
One Week Trial Registration »