Juniors Program Coaches
Conor Lynch | Head U19 Coach
Growing up in Colorado my passion for snowsports began with nordic racing and freestyle skiing. At the age of 10 I began to race and fell in love with going fast and catching air. Ski racing has offered me the opportunity to travel all over North America and across Europe, training and racing until the age of 22. At which point I became a member of the Western State College Ski Team in Gunnison, Colorado before becoming a ski coach for Crested Butte Academy. I graduated with an Exercise and Sports Science degree from Western State in 2009, and helped to create Crested Butte Mountain Sports Team that same year. I am excited to turn my focus to athletes in Alaska, and to be a part of a growing program, giving athletes the opportunity to ski fast all over the world. When not working with athletes, you’ll likely find me looking for adventure on skis, bikes, or in a pair of running shoes.
Connor McDonald | U19 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.
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!
Martins Onskulis | U16 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.
Chris Maynard | U16 Coach
Sarah Lundgren | Head U14 Coach
Sarah Lundgren grew up in Alaska and started skiing with the Alyeska Ski Club at the age of six and competitively ski raced at the FIS level. In 2014, she moved to Spokane, WA to work towards her Bachelor of Science from Gonzaga University. She continued skiing with Gonzaga’s club team and began coaching for 49 Degrees North Ski Area race team. She became Level 100 certified and obtained her EMT I certification to become a safer and more experienced coach. In the spring of 2018, Sarah graduated with her degree in Biology. She has since returned to Alaska and looks forward to sharing her knowledge in goal setting and strong skiing fundamentals.
Ryan Gregory | U14 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.
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.
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.
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.
Kjersti von Wichman | Head 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!
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.
Lexi Patten – U12 Coach
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!
Jason Jeffers | U12 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!
April Ingrim | Head U10 Coach
Bio coming soon!