Juniors Program Coaches
Connor McDonald | U18/U21 Head 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 Olympics 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.
Martins Onskulis | U18/U21 Coach
I come from a small place in North East Europe, Latvia. I grew up skiing all over Europe. My passion for skiing started when I was 5 and after 20 years it is still there. In 2014, I qualified for the Sochi Olympic games and I have also raced two World Championships in Schladming in 2013 and Beaver Creek in 2015. In 2014, Sparky Anderson gave me a chance to ski for UAA and for five years I competed in college ski racing. In those five years, I really fell in love with Alaska. I have traveled a lot and I’ve seen some beautiful places in the world. But nothing compares to Alaska. Besides skiing, I play amateur soccer and hockey. During the summers, I am a full time carpenter, part time hiker, and a fisherman. In 2018, I graduated with a degree in Aviation and Business. Currently I am pursuing a MBA degree.
Nick Foster | Season 2022-2023 U16 Head Coach
Growing up in Twin Mountain, New Hampshire, Nick began skiing at the age of 2. In 8th grade, he attended Cardigan Mountain School and finished high school at New Hampton Schools, where he began ski racing full time. While at University of New Hampshire he began his career at Loon Mountain coaching U10’s & U12’s, working his way up through the program, finishing out as the Head FIS Coach by the time he graduated from UNH in 2006. Following his tenure at Loon, he returned to Cardigan Mountain School where he taught Life Skills and coached soccer, lacrosse, and ski racing. In 2007, he moved to Vail, Colorado and began working for Ski and Snowboard Club Vail as the Men’s then Women’s FIS and Nor-Am coach and race hill manager. After coaching for SSCV for 4 years, he took a hiatus from coaching, which gave him the opportunity to work events for the Vail Race Department and be part of many incredible events such as; Burton US Open, 2015 World Championships (both men’s & women’s), multiple Nor-Am Series races, as well as lead dye crew & section chief for 11 Birds of Prey Men’s World Cup in Beaver Creek. He moved to Tamarack, Idaho for the 2018/19 season, and started coaching for the Tamarack Ski Team. The following season he accepted the position of Executive Director of the Tamarack Ski Team. He is very excited to join the Alyeska Ski Team for the upcoming season.
Ross Wardrop | U16 Coach
Ross Wardrop grew up ski racing on Mt. Hood with the Meadows Race Team (MRT). He competed as a USSA and FIS athlete with MRT through the end of high school and subsequently enrolled at Montana State University (MSU). At MSU, he skied at Bridger Bowl and Big Sky (and in the backcountry) as much as he could while completing his degree. After university, he moved to Anchorage with his girlfriend (now wife) Marissa. Ski racing has been a part of his life as a competitor, race volunteer, and coach. Ross looks forward to enjoying the Alaska winter with ASC and supporting the athletes as they attack life.
Chris Maynard | U16 Coach
Chris is a born and raised Alaskan who grew up ski racing with the Fairbanks Ski Team as a Mighty Mite and Junior USSA Athlete. Chris trained with Paul Crews and the NCAA Alpine team at UAA for a season before transitioning to Montana State University in Bozeman, MT to pursue Business and Aviation degrees. While in Montana, Chris started to give back to the ski industry that provided so much growing up in Alaska. While attending MSU, Chris enjoyed teaching as a PSIA Level II instructor for several seasons at Bridger Bowl. Upon returning to Alaska, Chris was recruited to be the head coach for the Junior ski racing program at Arctic Valley for the Anchorage Ski Club. Chris found his way to Alyeska Ski Club where he spent several seasons coaching all ages of the Juniors program and became certified as a level 300 coach within USSA. Chris has spent the previous 4 seasons coaching in the Mighty Mite program and is excited to transition into the Junior Program with his two children. In his free time, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife and kids flying around Alaska, fishing, hunting and camping.
Ryan Gregory | U14 Head Coach
Ryan grew up in the Mt. Washington Valley of New Hampshire, where he competed as a USSA and FIS athlete. Since 2011, he has been coaching fall and summer ski racing camps in Copper Mountain, Colorado and Mt. Hood, Oregon for a family business. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology at UAA. Alaska has become the perfect home for Ryan to continue his passion for coaching along with sharing his enthusiasm for the outdoors. During the off season, Ryan seeks adventure through mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and hiking.
Rob Carte | U14 Coach
Rob grew up in Juneau and learned to ski at Eaglecrest when he was 9. He raced in the Mighty Mite and Junior programs until sustaining a knee injury in high school. After college and earning his Aircraft Mechanic’s license, Rob joined the Alaska Air National Guard and spent 26 years in various jobs around the world. His favorite job was being flight engineer & door gunner on combat search and rescue helicopters where he helped save over 100 lives. He recently retired from the military and works as an instructional lab tech at UAA’s aviation maintenance program. Rob is an Alpine Official and Level 100 coach who loves watching athletes meet their hard-earned goals. When he’s not coaching, he enjoys waterskiing, camping, hunting and fishing with his wife Jessica and their 5 kids.
Jimmy Henderson | U14 Coach
Jimmy Henderson is a passionate ski racing coach and athlete with a strong background in the sport. He grew up racing at the early age of six through Alyeska Ski Club’s Mighty Mites and Devos programs, and progressed into the club’s Juniors program, where he competitively ski raced at the FIS level. After graduating from South Anchorage High School in 2015, Jimmy attended the University of Nevada – Reno, where he was awarded two Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting and Economics. He later pursued a Master of Accountancy at UNR, which he graduated with in the Fall of 2020. During his sophomore year of college, Jimmy joined Nevada’s Alpine Race Team and participated in USCSA collegiate-level ski racing, helping the team secure a Team National Ski Cross Championship title in 2018. As a coach, Jimmy believes in the importance of building a strong foundation of technical skills and developing athletes’ mental resilience. He also works to create a fun and engaging environment that helps his U14 athletes grow and improve. In addition to his coaching work, Jimmy is also a full-time audit associate at KPMG’s Anchorage office. Overall, Jimmy looks forward to sharing his passion for skiing with the U14 group.
S.J. Klein | U14 Coach
S J. (Yes, “S” is really his name) knows how lucky a kid is to grow up skiing at Alyeska. He grew up with the Mighty Mite program where he learned the fundamentals from Bud Gibbs, Butch West, and Phil Ramstad. As a Junior Racer, he was fortunate enough to learn from coaches like Mike Durtschi, Lolly Moss, Jon Gould, Cindy Gibbs, Alex Von Wichman and Marc Eid. Skiing gave him the chance to travel all over the East Coast where he raced Division I under John Laserte. He started a race program for a ski club on the Volcan Villarica in Chile the year after the US women’s team trained there. He coached with the Mighty Mites for seven years, with Lex Patten in the SPYDER program, and most recently with the DEVOS program. He loves watching skiers gain the skills and confidence to go as far as their drive and potential can take them. When he’s not growing sprouts, you’ll find him on the mountain or the trails chasing his son, Marc.
Brenna Petrie | U14 Coach
Brenna was born and raised in Alaska and has been a part of the Alyeska Ski Club since she was five years old, continuing racing all of the way through the FIS competition level. She was brought on as a coach in 2017, where she was with the U12 rascals for a few years before transitioning to the U14 age group. In 2020, she became a Level 100 certified coach and is currently working towards getting her Level 200. When she isn’t coaching she is attending UAA, where she will be graduating in spring 2022 with a degree in Health Science with an Athletic Training minor. Once graduating she will be applying to Physical Therapy grad school so she can continue to work with people and help them understand their body mechanics so they can excel in their life adventures.
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.
Kjersti von Wichman | 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 ASC’s U10/U12 programs. Kjersti’s philosophy is that the U10/U12 programs should be FUN and for everybody that likes to ski!
Sarah Abts | U12 Coach
I was born and raised in Alaska and grew up skiing and racing at Alyeska through the Mighty Mite and Juniors programs. I am a sophomore working on my Bachelor of Science for Biology at UAA. Besides growing up ski racing I have worked at Alyeska Resort for the past three years ski instructing. Skiing has always been a great sport and interest of mine and over the years I have learned to appreciate it more and more. There is truly nothing like speeding down a hill on skis making amazing turns. I am looking forward to coaching the U12 Juniors this year!
Cristiano Mergozzi | U12 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.
Tasha Foster – U12/U14 Coach
Tasha was born and raised in Vail, CO learning about the outdoors and playing as many sports as possible. At 13, she decided to focus on hockey after having to choose between ski racing and ice hockey. She then played travel hockey for Colorado Selects throughout high school, after which she went on to play four years of college hockey at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. After graduating, she began her coaching career with the Boston Shamrocks U19 girls’ juniors ice hockey team in Woburn, MA. But the mountains were calling, and she headed back home. Once in Vail, she started working for Vail Resorts race department hosting a large variety of ski races and events, including 2015 World Championships, USSA & FIS races, Burton US Open, and was on dye crew and a section chief for three Birds of Prey Men’s Downhill World Cups in Beaver Creek. While in Vail, she was also coaching girls hockey for Vail Junior Hockey Association, the same club she grew up playing in, where she evolved into the roll as Assistant Director of Girls Hockey, and skills coach for U12, U14, & U16 girls teams and U10 & U14 boys teams. In 2018 she moved to Tamarack, Idaho and began coaching for the Tamarack Ski Team. The following season she took on the role of Head Alpine Coach, working mainly with U12’s & U14’s. Tasha has her level 100 USSA Alpine Ski Coaching & Referee Cert’s, along with her level II USA Hockey coaching certification. Whether she finds herself on snow or ice, Tasha loves coaching and is stoked to start a new adventure in Alaska, and to be out there making as many turns as possible with the Alyeska Ski Club kids!
April Ingrim | U10 Head Coach
April Ingrim grew up in Alaska and started skiing with the Alyeska Ski Club at the age of 5 with both Mighty Mites and Devos. April moved up through the Juniors program until graduating high school in 2017. April is currently attending UAA, pursuing a Bachelor degree in Business Management, minor in Real Estate with a concentration in Real Estate Management. Ski racing has had a massive impact on her life. She is excited to be coaching the next generation of skiers and share her passion and love for the sport.
Tyler Abts | U10 Coach
I grew up with the Alyeska Ski Club, first through the Mighty Mites program then the Juniors program. I’ve been skiing at Alyeska my whole life so I know the mountain very well. I am a senior in High School planning to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage upon graduation. I an excited to be getting involved with ASC as a coach and I am looking forward to sharing this ski year with all of you!
Frances Carlisle | U10 Coach
Born and raised in Girdwood, Frances first learned how to ski in her driveway at the age of two. At age 4 she began ski racing with Mighty Mites and eventually graduated to the Alyeska Ski Club Juniors program. When Frances was 15, she moved to Park City Utah to attend the Winter Sports School and ski for the Park City Ski Team to pursue her love for racing. She skied all over the country and was able to extensively expand her knowledge of the sport. After a career ending injury, Frances quit ski racing at the age of 17 and was able to attend college at Auburn University to study Graphic Design. Even after spending 4.5 years in Alabama, Frances still dreamt of skiing at Alyeska. There is something special about Girdwood and the mountains that surround it. Now a Graphic Designer for Bear and Moose’s Tooth, Frances is excited to be home and is ready to be back in the ski racing environment. She hopes to pass her passion for the sport on to the kids she has the pleasure to coach.
Morgan Haymans | Alpine X Head Coach & Juniors 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.
Hudson Moe | Alpine X Coach
Hudson Moe grew up in Alaska, spending a short time racing with the Alyeska Ski Club. He later moved to Jackson Hole Wyoming and continued to compete with the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club participating in their racing and freeride teams concurrently. In 2011, shortly after graduating from high school, Hudson enlisted in the U.S. Army. During his time in the service, aside from flying on and repairing helicopters, Hudson developed a deep interest in optimizing human performance, mind and body, in austere environments. In 2019, Hudson transitioned into civilian life, spending a year post service contracting for the DOD overseas. He is now a full-time student pursuing degrees in Biology and English. Hudson will be working with both the Juniors and Alpine X programs this season.
Nick Crews | Alpine X Coach
Nick grew up skiing in Girdwood, first as a Mighty Mite before racing in the Alyeska Ski Club Juniors program through high school. He began backcountry skiing in the Girdwood and Turnagain Pass areas and now has 10 seasons of backcountry and avalanche experience throughout the Rocky Mountain West. During his time at Colorado College studying Computer Science, Nick worked for the school’s Outdoor Education Program and has logged hundreds of hours leading and instructing backcountry skiing and rock climbing. He also has many hundreds of hours of experience as a professional STEM tutor for high school and college students. Nick has his Avy 2 certification, several certifications as a rock climbing instructor, and is an [expired] WFR. Nick is excited to share his knowledge of skiing, the mountains, and responsible recreation with the Alyeska Ski Club community!
Jason Jeffers | Alpine X Coach
After moving to Alaska in the 1900’s, I learned to ski at Alpenglow and Arctic Valley (back when the military lift was still around). I spent several years skiing with the race team at Alpenglow. Looking back now, the coaches I had during those early years had a very significant impact on the rest of my life. The skiing fundamentals and the passion for the mountains that those coaches instilled in me impacted every day of the following 30+ years of skiing. My hope is to continue the cycle and pass on skiing fundamentals and a passion for the mountains to the next generation of skiers. In the BK (before kids) era, I spent much of my free time climbing and skiing in the backcountry. I also worked for several years as a PSIA instructor. Now my free time is split largely between family time, raising our 4 boys, and praying for snow!
Kiefer Davis | Alpine X Coach
I grew up skiing and racing with Alyeska Ski Club from the mighty mites through the junior program. I attended college at UAA for Mechanical Engineering and was an assistant coach for the U12 and U14 juniors programs at Alyeska Ski Club during that time. After three years of coaching with Alyeska Ski Club, I helped revive the alpine racing program at Arctic Valley. I coached the Arctic Valley Ski Team for four years representing all age groups. It was very rewarding to build that program to what it is now and help grow the love and appreciation for the sport of ski racing in Alaska. Alyeska has always been my home mountain though, and I am thrilled to be back with Alyeska Ski Team for the Alpine X program this year.