Northwestern Alpine Ski Academy
Dan Janowiak Race Camps

History of the Northwestern Alpine Ski Academy

The Northwestern Alpine Ski Academy NASA (formerly the Manistee Ski Club) began to evolve in the late seventies and early eighties. Dan Janowiak began coaching the Manistee High School girls and boys ski teams in the fall of 1976. At that time only the MHS ski teams existed. Dan was determined to build a feeder program for the MHS ski teams to be more competitive state wide.

The Manistee Ski Booster Club was formed in 1976 to provide financial assistance to MHS teams. The Booster Club and a couple of coaching assistants helped Dan get some junior high school students skiing and the growth of alpine skiing in Manistee was under way. In about 1980 the Manistee Ski Booster Club changed its name to simply the Manistee Ski Club. The primary purpose at that time was to grow the sport of alpine skiing in Manistee. Fifth and sixth graders were exposed to skiing, then third and fourth graders. By the mid eighties children in K-2 were exposed to skiing. The program that introduced children to skiing for the first time was called the MSC Learn-To-Ski Program (today the Development Program). By the late eighties, nearly 100 Manistee children were a part of the Learn-To-Ski Program.

MSC Race Academy began by the mid eighties and MSC athletes were competing in both intramural and inter-club events. MSC aligned itself with other Northern Michigan ski clubs and a fun yet competitive schedule of events was in place for serious MSC ski racers. The MSC Race Academy was MSC’s premier race program from the mid eighties until 2004. Many Race Academy athletes moved on to the MHS ski teams in ninth grade. When they arrived on their high school team they were good skiers with race experience, ready to be competitive at the high school level.

In the mid ninety’s MSC expanded into the USSA programming (United Stated Ski Association). Dan Janowiak began training Manistee athletes and athletes from other areas for competition in the USSA forum. From the mid ninety’s through 2002 MSC athletes competed at both the Age Class and Ability levels of USSA. Today, the NASA CUSSA Program is considered  NASA's elite race program.

In the summer of 2009 MSC formally changed its name to the Northwestern Alpine Ski Academy (NASA).

NASA athletes have achieved great success in USSA ski racing not only with Region III, but Central Division, nationally (FIS, NorAm, and US Nationals) and internationally (European FIS and Europa Cup and World Juniors).  NASA athletes have won 10 Rocky/Central Junior Olympic titles, 2 USSA National titles and have represented the United States in international competitions including the Whistler Cup and Trofeo Topolino (world’s most prestigious children’s race).  NASA CUSSA has seen its athletes placed in the United States Ski Team’s National Development System and on the United States Ski Team.  NASA CUSSA athletes have also gone on to achieve NCAA Division I podium’s and NCAA Division I First Team All-American status.

The Manistee High School Ski Teams were one of the original nine schools recognized by the MHSAA when they sanctioned Alpine Skiing for girls and boys in the early 50’s.

Manistee High School ski teams have won numerous MHSAA Regional Titles. In 1999, the MHS girls team was Runner-Up in the State Finals. In 2009, the MHS girls were MHSAA Division 2 State Champions and the boys Division 2 Runner-Up. In 2011, MHS Coop Boys Ski Team was runner-up in the State Finals.  MHS Coop Ski Team in 2011 had its third individual State Champion.   MHS had one or both of its teams in the State Finals every year but two from the early 90’s through 2014. Typically, top MHS athletes were NASA CUSSA members.

NASA athletes have won 9 individual MHSAA State Titles in the past seven years plus 6 runner-up finishes.

NASA Denied Access to Crystal Mountain

Widely recognized as one of the state’s elite alpine ski racing programs, the Northwestern Alpine Ski Academy (NASA) was denied access to Crystal Mountain, its home for 45 years and 42 of those years under current Program Director/Head Coach Dan Janowiak. This unfortunate event occurred in the late summer of 2018. Crystal Mountain’s decision to eliminate NASA and start its own ski club was very out of character and unnecessary. NASA believed that in a short amount of time, Crystal Mountain would recognize that their decision was crass and cruel to the 51 NASA athletes and their families and all those who had been loyal to Crystal Mountain for many decades.
As NASA promised its membership, the club reached out to Crystal Mountain in the spring of 2019 and requested a return to its home hill for the 2019-2020 season. Crystal Mountain said “they do not envision extending an invitation to other clubs to locate at Crystal Mountain.”

For an accurate account of “what happened”, please take the time to read Dan Janowiak’s letter to the NASA families from September 30, 2018. (CLICK HERE FOR LETTER)

NASA Honor Roll (Since 2007)

Boys

Eric Baumeler (Benzie Central) All-State first team

Michael Bobian (Bear Lake) All-State first team, Jr. Olympian

Gabe Braveheart (Benzie Central) All-State second team, Jr. Olympian, Elite Region 3

David Cunningham (Frankfort) All-State second team, Jr. Olympian

Kalvis Hornburg (TC Central) All-State first team, Harvard Ski Team, Jr. Olympian

Lars Hornburg (TC Central) All-State first team, Harvard Ski Team, Jr. Olympian

Keegan Janowiak (Manistee) State champion, All-State first team, Jr. Olympian

Gabe Johnson (Frankfort) All-State First Team

Seth Johnson (Frankfort) All-State Second Team

Jack Kerby-Miller (Glen Lake) All-State first team

Pete Kerby-Miller (Glen Lake) All-State third team

Cole McCardel (TC St. Francis) All-State first team, Jr. Olympian

Kyle Paine (Ludington) Jr. Olympian, Elite Region 3

Andrew Pershinske (Leland) All-State First Team, Jr. Olympian

Dirk Phelps (TC Central) All-State first team, Jr. Olympian

Antonio Ramirez (Benzie), Jr. Olympian

Damon Rottermond (Detroit Catholic Central) State champion, All-State first team, Jr. Olympian

Stephen Siddall (TC St. Francis) State champion, All-State first team, Jr. Olympian

Bowen Stoops (Frankfort) All-State First Team, Jr. Olympian

Keagan Thomas (Manistee) All-State First Team

Kylar Thomas (Manistee) All-State Second Team

John Whiting (TC Central) All-State second team, Jr. Olympian, Rowmark Ski Academy, Plymouth State University Ski Team

Girls

Katie Bramble (Manistee) All-State first team

Kaija Hornburg (TC Central), All-State Second Team, Jr. Olympian

Lyndee Janowiak (Manistee) U.S. Ski Team Development Team, Five-time All-American at the University of Vermont

Nathalie Kenny (Manistee) Two-time state champion, All-State first team, Jr. Olympian, St. Olaf College skier

Hannah Klein (Spring Lake) All-State First Team

Taylor Klein (Spring Lake) All-State Second Team

Carlee McCardel (TC St. Francis) Two-time State champion, All-State first team, Jr. Olympian

Shannon McGovern (Glen Lake) All-State first team, Jr. Olympian

Madison Ostergren (TC Central, Rowmark Ski Academy) All-State second team, USSA Central Division slalom champion, Jr. Olympian, Westminster College

Andrea Paine (Manistee) All-State first team, Jr. Olympian, University of Michigan Ski Team

Kari Paine (Manistee) All-State first team, Jr. Olympian

Jessica Pershinske (Leeland), All-State Second Team

Christina Rennie (Glen Lake) Two-time state champion, All-State first team, Jr. Olympian, Colorado Mountain College, Captain

Mahrle Siddall (Glen Arbor) All-State Second Team

Sophia Veneklasen (Spring Lake HS, Bear Lake HS, Green Mountain Valley School) Jr. Olympian

Molly Whiting (TC Central) All-State third team, Jr. Olympian