Team Hardwood Celebrates 25 years in 2021!
We take Pride in Team Hardwood’s Tradition of Success and Excellence
Tradition – we have a long and successful Cross Country skiing Tradition at Team Hardwood.
Great teams and great skiers have contributed to that Tradition. Each new team builds on that
Success – Our success at all levels, from local to international is a testimony not only to the hard
work of our skiers and coaches but also to the degree to which they have come to believe that
they can succeed. We aspire to be one of the most successful teams in Ontario and Canada. Our
coaches and skiers are dedicated to pursuing the highest and best standards of training and
performance for cross country skiing.
Success is being better than you used to be.
Excellence is committing to trying as hard as you can to be as good as you can be at everything
in your life, including skiing.
Team – Concern for the Team comes before concern for ourselves. The spirit of the Team is
something created by every one of us, every day. Team spirit is created by the way we handle
the biggest, most important moments and the smallest details. Our Team is a community based
on mutual respect and friendship. We celebrate the individual accomplishments of every
member of the Team at every level of ability. Every member of the Team from the fastest to the
slowest should feel the support and encouragement of the entire team whether he/she
succeeds or fails.
Pride – We are humble in defeat and even more humble in victory. We carry ourselves with
CLASS at all times. We will be known for being respectful in public and protect the reputation of
our Team at all times. If we do this, we can take PRIDE in our accomplishments knowing that
the satisfaction of what we achieve will last long after our competitive days are over and serve
as an inspiration for others who come after us.
The TRADITION of SUCCESS and EXCELLENCE that TEAM HARDWOOD can take
PRIDE in includes:
- In the winter of 1995-96 one lone skier – Luke Myles was the only member of Team
- In the fall of 1996 Team Hardwood officially formed with 28 athletes, mostly high school
- In 1998 Team Hardwood attended it’s 1 st Junior Nationals at Val Cartier, Quebec. Luke
Myles, Ryan Seigel and Ian MacLeod won the 1 st ever medal in the Challenge Boys relay.
- In 1999 Team Hardwood finished 5 th overall at Junior National Championships in
- In 2002 the team was 1 st ranked junior team and 2 nd ranked overall at the Canadian
Championships in Mont Ste Anne
- In 2016 the team was ranked 3 rd overall at Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay.
- In the early 2000’s the team won 5 Ontario Club Championships in a row.
- Team Hardwood has consistently been one of the top 3 clubs in Ontario and one of the
top 10 clubs in Canada.
- In 2019 Team Hardwood won the Ontario Team relay and sprint championships
- In 2019-20 Team Hardwood finished 3 rd in the OCup club final standing.
- Skiers who have won medals at National championships include Stephen Hart, Stephen
Lowry, Anna Geiger-Whitlock, Luke Myles, Ryan Seigel, Ian MacLeod, Alana Thomas,
Jordan Cascagnette, Bob Thompson, Scott Hill, Nic Monette, Ryan Jackson, Jenn Jackson,
Finn Dodgson, Bella Howden, Madi Fraser, Joey Foster, Lenny Valjas, Mary Thompson,
Erin Tribe, Harry Seaton
- Skiers who qualified for National Training Centers – Jordan Cascagnette, Bob Thompson,
Stephen Hart, Alana Thomas, Scott Hill, Lenny Valjas, Joey Foster, Jenn
Jackson, Ryan Jackson, Nic Monette, Erin Tribe, Harry Seaton
- Lenny Valjas spent 10 seasons on the National Team including 2 Olympic Winter Games
- Scott Hill qualified for World Junior, U23 and World Sr championships.
- Jenn Jackson qualified for World Jr and U23 champs and World Cup races
- Alana Thomas qualified for World Cup races
- Ryan Jackson qualified for 2 World Jr champs
- Joey Foster qualified for World Cup races and NST Next Gen Team
- Bob Thompson qualified for World Cup races
- Jordan Cascagnette qualified for World Jr and FISU champs
- Alec MacLean qualified for FISU champs
- Team Hardwood finished 2nd overall on the Ocup in 2021-22
- Theo Ochrym won a medal at Nationals in 2022 and was named to a training centre for 2022-23
- Coach Mark Doble was NTDC head coach for 2 seasons after coaching at Team
- Other skiers went on to coach at the club and district level including Jordan Cascagnette
at Highlands Nordic, and Madi Fraser and Finn Dodgson as SOD district coaches
- Jessica Roach has gone on to coach at Nickel Plate Nordic from 2020-22 and is now coaching at Sovereign Lake Nordic for 2022-23
- Founding coach Jack Sasseville has been coaching for over 40 years, 13 years with the
National Team. He is a 4x Olympic Team coach and attended 5 other Olympics as the TV
analyst for XC skiing, Biathlon and Nordic Combined.
“Skiing is fun, racing is fun, training is fun, success is fun.” This has been the motto of Team
Hardwood since the beginning.
“We ski best at the end”. At the end of intervals, at the end of practice, at the end of races, at
the most important races at the end of the year. Skiing best at the end requires perseverance
and mental toughness.
Team Standards and Policies
- Be on time. Arrive 10-15 minutes early enough so that you can be ready to train at the
start time of the workout. Being late shows a lack of respect for your team, your
teammates and the coaches. GET A WATCH!
- Attendance is not mandatory, however, the more workouts you attend the better you
will become. Excellence in cross country skiing is about consistency and is more than
just training. You need great technique, mental and tactical skills. The coaches cannot
help you to improve in any of these areas if you are not at practice. A missed day of
training will take you 2 days to catch up. The team is relying on you to be there.
- Respect the Team – the team is everything. Contribute rather than participate. Give
more than you take. Everyone has a place where they can contribute to helping others.
Ski and race for the team and each other. Be happy when others succeed, help them
when they fail. Hold your teammates accountable and be accountable to them. You will
get back much more than you give.
We will create a Tradition of making a Team Statement as often as we can. We will
warm-up and cool-down together at training sessions and as much as possible at races.
We stay on our feet at the finish. Team members stay to support skiers in later races
and for awards.
- No one ever got fitter or faster standing around talking. Unless injured or otherwise
instructed, we NEVER stop during a workout. Always finish what you start, including all
warm-ups and cool-downs from start to finish. We never stop because stopping is giving
up and giving up becomes a habit just as surely as success does.
- HTFU – suffering and pain is a part of xc skiing. Embrace the suffering, embrace the
suck! Share the suffering with your teammates. You always have 20% more to give – live
in the 20%. But it is not the pain that slows you down and hold you back, it is your
perception of the pain. If you think it takes too much effort or that it is impossible then
you will slow down. No whining, complaining or excuses!
- We ski best at the end! In training, in races and at the end of the season at the
important races. While others are slowing down, giving up or stopping we are powering
through to the finish. It is at the end of training sessions where we get the most fitness,
hone our technique when we are tired and become mentally stronger. It is at the end of
races where we succeed.
- Strive for Excellence – excellence takes discipline, dedication, love of what you are
doing, accountability, honesty, humility, responsibility, truth (to yourself and your
teammates and your coaches) and faith. The process is the goal.
- Drinking any alcoholic beverage, smoking or the use of any controlled substance at any
time on trips or at races is grounds for dismissal from the team.
- Skiers and coaches will follow all rules and guidelines set out by Nordiq Canada and