Program Manager/Head Development Coach – Meghan Cornwall
Meghan joined BNJRT in the winter of 2014 coaching the U10 skiers. Over the years she has worked extensively with all age groups on the team. She was introduced to nordic skiing in the northwoods of Minnesota and on the Birkie trail as a kid, and loved being out on the snow during winter. In high school, she raced for St. Louis Park High School, Minneapolis Ski Club and Go!Training (now Loppet Nordic Racing). After high school Meghan skied for four years at Colby College in Maine, graduating in 2011 with a degree in environmental studies. She is a USSA Level 100 certified coach.
Head U16+ Coach – Kristen Bednar
Kristen was born in Essex, Vermont and grew up focused on swimming, soccer and downhill skiing. In high school she was recruited by soccer teammates into Nordic skiing, which became her primary sport over the course of her high school career. After high school, Kristen attended St. Lawrence University where she started as a two-sport athlete before focusing on skiing her last two years. She consistently placed in the top-20 on the EISA circuit, and competed in the 2006 Junior Nationals and the 2007 and 2009 NCAA Championships. After graduation, Kristen earned her MBA at the University of Rochester and worked there for 3 years before moving to Nashville, TN where she lived for the past 6 years. While she still trained for a ski marathon each year she lived in the south, Kristen missed mountains and snow and (finally) moved to Boulder.
Assistant Coach – Caroline Lustgarten
Caroline grew up skiing in Vermont with her family-run youth ski team, Klister Club on the trails around her house. She started competing with the Bill Koch league at 12 years old, which fostered her love of competition. At Champlain Valley Union High School, Caroline led her team to four state championships, and podium places at States and New Englands. She also played lacrosse and soccer, later trading in her cleats to run cross-country, for that extra endurance kick. Caroline continued her ski career at St. Lawrence University, where she studied Political Science. As captain her senior year, she made the All-East team and qualified for NCAAs, where she had a top finish of 16th-place. After graduation, Caroline moved to Washington, DC to start a career in public relations and marketing. The mountains kept calling though, so in February 2015 Caroline moved to Boulder where she now works for a local experiential marketing agency. When she isn’t on snow or in the office, you can find her hiking, running or biking the trails in and around Boulder.
Assistant Coach – Emily Pickner
Emily was born and raised in Boulder where she grew up hiking, biking, swimming and skiing with her parents. She joined the Boulder Nordic Junior Racing Team at age 9 and raced on the team for 11 years. Emily qualified for the Junior National Championships four times throughout her racing career, placing consistently in the top 20. She also raced at the Senior National Championships and qualified for the Regional Elite Group ski camp. Ski racing fueled her love for the sport, so she decided to become a coach for BNJRT in 2017. Emily’s love of skiing and an athletically oriented lifestyle has contributed to her eagerness to learn more about the science of sports performance and injury prevention. Emily studied Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder, and graduated in May 2019. She has plans to earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.
Assistant Coach – Eric Lustgarten
Eric’s ski career began as a young Vermonter enjoying Nordic with his brother Ben. His passion for the backcountry transitioned into racing for Burlington High School. He continued his ski career at St. Lawrence University where he studied Geology. Eric placed respectively in the top-20 throughout his career and earned two Junior National sprint championships. The valuable lessons learned throughout his ski career are now essential values used throughout his daily life. After graduating college in 2014, Eric moved to Washington, D.C. to work finance in the renewable energy sector. Like many Vermonters, Eric’s love of the mountain lifestyle brought him to Boulder. When he isn’t developing renewable energy projects around the world, Eric can be found exploring the mountains by foot, ski, and wheel.
Assistant Coach – Sam Nelson
A native of Minnesota, Sam learned how to ski by joining the Minneapolis South High School nordic team, and training in the summer with Loppet Nordic Racing. After skiing and running in high school, he attended Montana State University in Bozeman, competing with the triathlon and cycling teams, and raced at USAT collegiate nationals twice. While at MSU he got involved with Bridger Ski Foundation, first as a post-grad skier and then serving in various roles on the coaching staff, most recently as the U10/U12 head coach for both the Intro program and Development team. Sam graduated from MSU in 2019 with a degree in Human Geography, competes regionally and nationally as a triathlete during the summer, and is a USSA Level 200 certified ski coach.