JTP (Junior Training Program) 1992 – 2007; JNT (Junior Nordic Team) 2007 – 2019

Program established 1992 by a group of parents with children of high school age, all of whom grew up skiing in Ford Sayre BKL and were members of the Hanover High XC Ski Team. Marilyn Denk, as Ford Sayre nordic program head, added the Junior Training Program with first dedicated coaches, Joe Walsh (head) and Elisabeth Hofer. 12 athletes for 1991-92 season. Ford Sayre Council accepted JTP as separate program 1993; Leo Hamill first JTP program head.

The goal of the program was simple: capitalize on the strength of the group, especially at weekend qualifying and other races (outside the high school environment), work together to improve skiing, fitness, and racing skills. Coaches volunteered to work with the group to supplement the offerings of the high school program.

Program Highlights:

  • 1995 national champion individual race USSA Junior Olympics (JO’s)
  • Obtained van for group travel (1996)
  • Started using houses, condominiums for overnight trips to further team unity and reduce expense burden
  • Fall 2007 program name change to Junior Nordic Team when skiers began participating in Ford Sayre as their only ski program/team
  • 2008 Ford Sayre Nordic named NENSA Club of the Year for 2007 – 2008. Scottie Eliassen Head Coach for BKL and JNT (1996-2013).
  • 2013 July Scottie Eliassen featured in Faster Skier series, “Female Coaches in US Nordic Skiing: Part of the Team, Part III: Female Coaches’ Impact on Teenage Skiers” https://fasterskier.com/fsarticle/part-of-the-team-part-iii-female-coaches-impact-on-teenage-skiers/
  • Inaugurated Norway trips (now a total of 5) to experience a noted ski culture, watch world class ski racing, compete in local Norwegian events. During 2017 trip, 16 JNT skiers participated in Norwegian Birkebeiner along with the 8 adult leaders
  • JNT skiers were forerunners for two Holmenkollen World Cup races 2017
  • JNT skiers were forerunners at Dartmouth NCAA championships in Hanover
  • Helped 7 athletes qualify and compete in 2019 USSS JN’s
  • Embraced and utilized a variety of coaches
  • Expansion to other schools: Lebanon, Kearsarge, Mascoma, Sharon, Thetford, Oxbow, Fall Mountain
  • Evolution to only winter team for all athletes (none on a high school xc ski team)

Average program size: 13

140 +/- individuals in program over the years


Joe Walsh, Elisabeth Hofer, Dennis Donahue, Scottie Eliassen, Jay Davis, Tim Caldwell, Eric Goldwarg, Sarah Torkelson, Ed Merrens, Jennie Brentrup, Natalie Rupertsberger, Rosalie Lipfert, Lizzie Torkelson, Chelsea Little, Chris Lindsey, Lizzie Anderson, Heidi Caldwell, Gillian Sowden, Evan Dethier, Keith Kantack, Hilary McNamee, Jørgen Grav, Elissa Bradley, Joel Bradley, Erik Lindahl, Adam Glueck

Note: 2010-11 Astri Syse and Håkon Korsvold were coaches in Ford Sayre BKL, and helped JNT with information about Norway’s approach to coaching high school aged juniors. They hosted the JNT and Norwegian juniors for dinner at their house in Asker 2017 which was followed by a club ski.

Alums who returned and coached FS BKL: Ben Jasktrzembski (while a Dartmouth undergrad), Rosalie Lipfert (while a Dartmouth undergrad), Jennie Brentrup, Georgia Griffin (while in med school), Derek Krater, Lucy Skinner (while in med school), Dan Hopkins

Program Heads

Leo Hamill, Dennis Donahue, Dan Nelson, Greg DeFrancis, Dan Haedrich, David Lindahl, Ashley Milliken, Cindy Glueck

Other notable facts related to involvement in cross country skiing and post JNT activities by JNT participants/alums and coaches:

  • JNT coaches served as team leader, head coach, coach at USSA/USSS JO’s and Junior National Championships (JN’s) at least 35 individual coaching trips
  • One coach was head coach of Ford Sayre BKL and JTP/JNT for 18 years, the head coach for JNT for 5 more years
  • Coached for team NH at numerous NENSA U16 and EHSC competitions
  • NENSA founding board member
  • Current, long standing (since inception) member of NENSA Athlete Development Committee (ADP)
  • Past member USSA national junior committee
  • Chair of NE Junior Olympic committee before NENSA and during first years of NENSA
  • Two coaches long term members of New Hampshire Nordic Coaches Association (since beginning)
  • Current New Hampshire Nordic Coaches Association qualification committee member
  • Alum worked full time for NENSA
  • Alum working as head coach Colorado junior program
  • Hosted several coaches’ clinics (BKL, in house)
  • Head coach organized and led in house creation of ski competencies (before USSA) to match USSA age development progression
  • Organized and executed multiple Ford Sayre Silver Fox Trot races, including qualifiers for New England junior championship teams
  • Head coach and coaches over 5 years produced nearly $30,000 JNT rolling net income through prudent use of coaches and sound expense management
  • Two coaches inducted into Vermont Ski Hall of Fame
  • Multiple Olympics by several coaches and one athlete
  • Internationally recognized nordic ski and biathlon journalist
  • Internationally known and respected mountaineer and guide; author of illustrated mountain climbing book, “Climbing the Seven Summits”
  • Multiple MBA’s, MD’s, PhD’s
  • Fulbright Scholarship awardees 
  • Norway study abroad during/after JNT
  • Business founders and owners
  • College coaches (xc ski, running, cycling), junior coaches, youth coaches
  • One JTP/JNT skier qualified for World Junior Champs, two raced in World Junior Champs as alums and one raced in World Junior Olympics
  • Nordic Combined Junior World Championship competitors while in JNT, as alum
  • Biathlon Junior World competitors as alums
  • World Junior (XC) qualifers/competitors as alums
  • Biathlon World Cup as alum
  • XC World Cup competitor as alum
  • Women’s jumping World Cup as alum
  • Overall winner inaugural women’s NC continental cup as alum
  • Multiple podium finishes at JO’s, JN’s
  • Multiple USSA, USSS, All Americans junior national xc championships
  • NCAA champion
  • Two JN National Champions
  • US Ski Team as alum
  • EISA skiers, many college team captains
  • College varsity runners, pole vaulters, lacrosse players, cyclists
  • Multiple marathon runners, multiple qualifiers for Boston Marathon, one qualifier for Women’s’ Olympic Marathon Trials
  • Dipsea female winner – fastest time; Dipsea family winners (two members of one family)