Overview of the Night Glider Ski Program

Skiing is a metaphor for life…you can ski from cradle to grave.  The goal of the Wausau Night Gliders is to instill the love of skiing and develop modern efficient ski movements for a lifetime of skiing.  

Skiers are multiple sport athletes.  Many use cross-country skiing as a primary form of cross-training in the winter for another primary sport.  Other sports current Night Gliders participate in during the off-season include:  ballet, basketball, dance, cross country running, hiking, lacrosse, mountain & road biking, soccer, swimming, track and field. Regardless of why you Nordic ski, cross country skiing provides a way to live and enjoy a healthy active outdoor lifestyle. 

The Wausau Nordic Ski Club is a CXC member.  The Wausau Night Gliders (NG) is for skiers grades 3-8.  The Wausau Night Gliders have 2 teams:  Race team and Development (Devo) team.  The Race team is a member of and competes in the Wisconsin Nordic Ski League.  The NG Race team generally participates in 5-7 race events. The Coach conveys race schedule in early ski season. Some Night Gliders also participate in CXC Youth Cup events.  CXC Youth Cup event participation is at the discretion and payment of individual families.

How to choose between Night Gliders Race or Devo Team:

  • Race Team = Grades 4 – 8 & Phase 3 – 6 
  • Devo Team = Grades 3 – 8 & Phase 1 & 2

Image below courtesy of
CXC Entry Level Coaches Manual.  Cross Country Systems Training stages and phases. Long-term
              athlete development model.  (2022).

Ski ages stages and phases
Ski ages stages and phases
  • Still can’t decide?  This Chart contains the expectations for each group, cost of program, and many more details
    • Coaches place new skiers in the appropriate group based on a discussion between the parents and coaches. Devo skiers can move up to Race.
Equipment – Race TeamEquipment – Development (Devo) Team
Equipment is provided by the Wausau Nordic Ski Club Night Glider program.  Late registrations would be given team equipment if it is available otherwise, would need to purchase their own if WNSC-NG didn’t have appropriate equipment in the inventory.  Equipment provided consists of skate skis, classic skis, skate poles, classic poles, “B” skis for early/late season skiing, roller skis and roller ski poles.   Equipment is assigned to skiers based on a combination of skier development phase and first come first serve basis.  Registration for the current season began at the end of last season. Equipment is provided by the Wausau Nordic Ski Club Night Glider program.  Late registrations would be given team equipment if it is available otherwise, would need to purchase their own if WNSC-NG didn’t have appropriate equipment in the inventory.  Equipment provided consists of skis and poles.   Equipment is assigned to skiers on a first come first serve basis.  Registration for the current season began at the end of last season.  
Families who register after equipment is assigned are responsible to purchase skate & classic skis and skate & classic poles for their child.Families who register after equipment is assigned are responsible to purchase skis and poles for their skier.
All participants are required to purchase ski boots with NNN bindings.  At this age 1-pair of Combi boots are recommended for both skate and classic technique.All participants are required to purchase ski boots with NNN bindings.  At this age 1-pair of Combi boots are recommended for both skate and classic technique.
Race Team ExpectationsDevo Team Expectations
Dryland practice with roller skiing has a varied schedule. Coaches understand that skiers are generally multisport athletes. Coach conveys schedule to team.Practice is Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Arrival at 5:15 PM, Practice is 5:30-6:30 pm. An occasional Saturday or Sunday extra daytime session may be offered.
On snow practice is Monday, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Arrive at 5:00 PM. Practice from 5:15-6:30 pm. Skiing should be prioritized when snow is on the ground. Travel to snow may occur to areas with artificial snow or “lake effect” snow. Night Gliders practice times are coordinated with Wausau United high school team because families often have children in both Wausau Nordic Ski Club programs.Athletes have to be ready for “coaching” and learning technique and are expected to attend all practices as scheduled.
Race team participation requires travel and some overnight lodging.  Race team events occur in locations as far south as Madison, as far north as Houghton, MI and places in-between.  Team members are responsible for travel and lodging costs.Please refer to Chart for more details  and cost.
Schedule of Events 22-23 Ski SeasonDevo skiers are highly encouraged to participate in our home ski meets:
Jan. 7 Snekkevik
Jan 28 Badger State Games
Devo and Snowstriders families are encouraged to participate in the Beat the Bunny & CXC Youth Festival March 4-5 2023 hosted at Minocqua Winter Park. 

This is an end of season family orientated outdoor weekend for all youth.
Schedule of events

Financial Assistance Policy


3rd graders might move from Snow Striders into DEVO based on phase skill development.

4th graders will have priority over third graders to join DEVO if space is limited.

The Racing Team eligibility is based on both grade and phase skill development.


Communication for Race Team families occur digitally. Our sport is unique in that we often have changes in the schedule due to the weather and snow conditions. Your flexibility is needed and appreciated. 

If you have any questions please text Wausau Night Glider Head Coach Jon Oestreich at 715-432-7096.

Enjoy skiing!

Night Gliders Head Coach
Jon Oestreich
USSA Level 200
Nordic Ski Coach
Safesport Certified

Night Gliders Race Assistant Coaches
Mike Cavanaugh
Josh Sturm
Josh Zielinski 

Night Gliders Devo Coaches
Greg Kresse
Jeanne Alexejun
Rachel Kresse – Team Manager



** Note – All of our Coaches undergo background checks by an outside agency.


Images courtesy of
Boulder Nordic Sport. (2022). The 2022 – 2023 magazine is now available! Editions. BNS Magazine | Boulder Nordic. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from https://www.bouldernordic.com/bns_magazine/ 

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