Juniors Program Coaches
Scott Zahn | Head FIS Coach
Kieffer Christianson | FIS Coach
Kieffer joins our coaching staff after recently retiring from competitive ski racing, and is looking to help the next generation of ASC athletes develop. After growing up racing in the Alyeska Mighty Mites and Juniors programs, Kieffer went on to spend the last decade racing across the Nor-Am, Europa Cup, and World Cup circuits. A 2x Children’s World Champion, four-time World Junior Member and U.S. National Champion, Kieffer is looking forward to putting his coaching boots on while continuing to provide visual aid and perform drills with ASC athletes. He is eager to share information about what it takes to be a top level athlete, while reminding the kids that skiing should always be fun. He’s also looking forward to living in Girdwood after many seasons on the road!
Cristiano Mergozzi | U19 Coach
Born and raised in Verbania Italy, right on the shores of Lake Maggiore he learned to ski and mountaineer on the mountains behind his house. After a few years working as a chemical technician in two large companies from Milan, he decided to take another route in his life. Since then, he has worked as a ski racing coordinator and assistant in snow making and slope preparation. Working for one of the largest ski areas in Europe (Breuil – Cervinia Italy) and Nakiska Canada, Cristiano has acquired knowledge in ski racing. Alongside national teams he has learned to create the best working environment they needed. Now adays, he tries to squeeze job, family and mountaineering in his life; and even though he may be a bit busy at times he is always able to finish whatever project he has on his plate.
Jennifer Danza | Head U16 Coach
A mother of two, her job is juggling her kids and coaching her “other” kids. Growing up in a small town in the alps she and her five siblings all ski raced internationally. Fully certified Italian ski instructor, level 2 Italian ski coach and Performance level Canadian coach, she has had vast experience in various countries coaching athletes in ski racing. Her dream is to pass on her passion of skiing to her athletes and one day maybe to her children. On her down time, she loves tagging along rock/ice climbing and mountaineering with her husband and friends. She hates cooking so ask her husband to make a meal not her!
Connor McDonald | U16 Coach
Conor McDonald hails from Copper Mountain, Colorado. Most people know him as Da Bucky. When he wasn’t pursuing his outdoor adventures of climbing, hunting, and guiding, he ski raced for Team Summit. After sweeping the Junior Olympic’s with wins in all four disciplines and qualifying for the US Ski and Snowboard Development team, Bucky broke his back. After several years off due to surgery, Sparky Anderson gave him a spot to join the Seawolves. Being involved in the sport, and then away from the sport, Bucky discovered he loves to see how much others enjoy the sport of ski racing.
Steve Mashburn | U16 Coach
A former USSA alpine racer and ASC Alyeska Ski Club member, Steve is part of three generations of Alyeska Resort patrons who devote themselves as “die-hards” to the sport and share a love of skiing. Steve has been actively coaching at ASC for the past 17+ years. He has coached Mighty Mites, Devos and is currently an Assistant Coach for the U16 athletes as well as the Club’s RTC, Timing & Equipment Manager. Wearer of many hats: skier, racer, parent, graphic designer and coach, Steve simply enjoys life and has a passion for skiing fast and being with his family.
Steve is also the creative genius behind many of ASC’s design materials. You can see his work on everything from our team merchandise and uniforms to our event and marketing pieces.
Allie Ace | U16 Coach
Allie grew up skiing at Elk Mountain in Pennsylvania. She raced USCSA for Penn State, while earning her B.S. in Finance. In 2010, she moved to Lake Tahoe, California to pursue a full time coaching career. Allie has coached all ages and ability levels, from Mighty Mite to the National level. She has worked at multiple resorts including international destinations in New Zealand, Australia, Chile and South Korea. Allie is a USSA Level 300 Coach and Level 3 PSIA Instructor. Allie loves sharing her passion for skiing with others. When not skiing, Allie enjoys teaching yoga and working as a whitewater raft guide.
Audrey Hume | U14 Head Coach
Audrey Hume is Alaska born and raised. She started skiing with the Alyeska Ski Club when she was four years old, and raced with the club for 10 years. Audrey skied for the Far West Regional Team, the Western Regional Team, and competed as an NCAA athlete for two years with the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her racing career includes finishes in multiple national competitions, NorAm circuits, as well as many international competitions. While coaching for Alyeska Ski Club, Audrey is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Construction Management. Her coaching philosophy is that every athlete, regardless of talent or dedication, should have the tools required for success. It is the coach’s responsibility to facilitate and encourage those successes and to lead by example, both on and off the hill.
Tim Thornley | U14 Coach
I grew up ski racing with Alyeska Ski Club. I’m currently studying at UAA. Coaching is the perfect way to stay connected with skiing, while going to school. I’m always waiting and ready for the perfect day to take out my speed skis and go as fast as I can.
Morgan Haymans | U14 Coach
I grew up ski racing for Alyeska Ski Club. I came up through the Mighty Mite, Devos and Juniors programs. I competed in alpine until I graduated from high school, racing at the FIS/USSA level. I skied in college for Western State Colorado University and competed in freeride and ski cross. I competed at the 4* FWQ level in freeride and won a sickbird award. In ski cross, I was an USCSA All-American all four years in college and I represented the United States at the 2015 World University Games. After graduating I continued racing and competed at the Nor-Am, Europa Cup and US Grand Prix level. I finished 3rd Overall in the SX Nor-Am standings in 2016. In 2017, I was the USASA National Champion. My final year racing I became World Cup eligible before I suffered a career ending injury. I am excited to be back home in Alaska and stay involved in skiing. I am looking forward to working with athletes to help them improve their fundamentals/skills in and outside the race course.
Brian Hartman | U14 Coach
Bio coming soon.
Chris Hildreth | U14 Coach
Bio coming soon.
Lex Patten | Head U12 Coach
I grew up skiing in Alaska, from the Hillberg and Hilltop rope tows, Arctic Valley “T” bar to the Poma lift on the Tanaka hill. I’m an inaugural member of the UAA alpine ski team and proud alumni. I have coached skiing since the early 80’s while in college. My coaching career has included every level of ASC skiing from Mighty Mites to Masters. My coaching highlights include regional, national and international competitions and have coached athletes to podium finishes at all those levels including Olympics. I am proud to be working with U12 program athletes’ goals and dreams.
Morgan Leach | U12 Coach
Morgan has been a member of the Alyeska ski club for 13 years, from Mighty Mites through the Juniors program. “I am currently in my sophmore year of college at UAA. I hope to bring my love of skiing, positive energy, and drive for fun on and off the mountain to the Alyeska Ski Club this winter and many more to come”. Morgan is the inaugural member of our Post Graduate Coach Mentoring Program.
Cabell Hildreth | U12 Coach
Cabell grew up ski racing with the Alyeska Ski Club and coached for the Hilltop Alpine Racing Team during his Junior and Senior years in High School. He coached ASC’s Juniors U10 team last season and is now excited to be a part of the U12 coaching group. Cabell is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Automotive Technology at UAA. When he’s not skiing, you can find him under the hood of a car! Cabell is excited to have the opportunity to pursue his two passions and continue to give back to the sport of ski racing as a coach and mentor for a younger generation.
Brenna Petrie | U12 Coach
I have been a racer with the Alyeska Ski Club since I was five years old and wanted to stay involved with ski racing as I went to college at UAA. Coaching just happened to be that perfect opportunity. As a coach, I hope to see the other side of the racing world and learn more from it. I have a strong passion for the sport and strive to be as happy and energetic as possible. See you on the hill!
Kjersti von Wichman | U10/U12 Head Coach
Kjersti was born and raised in Norway. From as early as she can remember, Kjersti was told to go outside and ski until dinner was ready. Learning early that cross country skiing was not a good fit for her, she gravitated towards downhill skiing when not skijoring with the family dogs. Growing up ski racing in Norway, and being a part of their National team, she was lucky enough to travel all over Europe and experience the Europe Cup and World Cup circuit. She came to the US to study at the University of Utah and skied for the Utes for 3 years. At that point serendipity made her fall in love with Alaska so she moved up here to coach after finishing school in Salt Lake City. Kjersti spent 4 years coaching the UAA Ski Team with fellow Alaskan Paul Crews, followed by 2 years on the women’s US National Tech Team which brought her back to her European roots. Kjersti and her husband, Brad, have 3 kids who all love to ski. She is very excited to be a part of the new ASC U10 program. Kjersti’s philosophy is that the U10 program should be FUN and for everybody that likes to ski!
Zach Burris | U10 Coach
Bio coming soon.
Hannelore Gruber | U10 Coach
Hannelore Gruber grew up racing in Colorado for Team Summit and the Loveland Racing Club. She also raced in Skimeister Nordic and alpine events during High School. Hannelore then moved to Alaska to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management at UAA. She has coached Mighty Mites for three years and is now very excited to work with the Juniors U10 group. Coaching allows Hannelore the opportunity to work with athletes who enjoy the sport as much as she does and have fun while doing so!