First falling in love with cross country skiing as he grew up in the ephemeral winters of suburban Boston, skiing has had lead FXC Head Coach Pete Leonard on a northwestern journey through the rest of his life. He raced for Williams College, graduating in 2004 as captain of the ski team. From there he moved to Lake Placid, New York to work as the Assistant Coach for the New York Ski Education Foundation. In 2006, he was hired as the Head Coach of the nascent NSCF FXC program, so he drove across the continent in his VW hatchback to visit Alaska for the first time. In the decade since he began the program has grown from four athletes to more than a hundred.
Pete has coached for the US Ski Team at World Juniors (2012, 2016), the U18 Nordic Nations Cup (2011), the National Elite Group Camp (2011), and numerous Regional Elite Group Camps. He has been co-head coach of the Alaska Junior National Team since 2013 and a member of the staff since 2007. Pete has served as chair of the USSA Junior Coaches Subcommittee and Alaska representative to USSA since 2013. He has been a member of the Cross Country Alaska Competition Committee since 2006.
Pete likes to pretend to speak many languages, and has been known to conduct entire Prep Team sessions in pidgin Norwegian. He tries to balance his workaholic tendencies with outdoor adventures around Interior Alaska and in various areas of the Western US — particularly southern Utah and Washington’s Cascades of late.
Hilary grew up in Pennsylvania and has always loved being outside. She was a competitive runner and swimmer for 10 years and picked up biathlon and Nordic skiing at age 13. Hilary attended college at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, where she competed on their Division I cross-country ski team and graduated in May with a degree in exercise science.
Hilary has a passion for working with young athletes and has been coaching youth sports since she was in high school. She saw the job with FXC as an opportunity to be a part of a unique program and to be mentored by other excellent coaches in order to grow her knowledge. Hilary is excited for what this season will bring and looks forward to exploring the amazing outdoor playground Alaska has to offer.
Alasdair grew up in the southeast of Australia and has been cross country skiing since age nine. Alasdair represented Australia at the 2012-2014 Junior/Under 23 World Championships while completing a degree in sports coaching and exercise science from the University of Canberra. From 2014 until early 2016 Alasdair was coaching state-level teams and the Australian Junior Team before coming to Fairbanks.
Alasdair has been involved in ski coaching and outdoor education since 2011 and is looking forward to applying himself to the challenge of working in Alaska with such a large group of enthusiastic junior athletes and helping them to have every opportunity to achieve their goals. Alasdair is also looking forward to some huge backcountry crust skate skiing tours in the springtime.
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