Michael Meehlhause

February 8, 2021

Coaches Association Seeks State Meet Input


I hope your seasons are going well. It’s been a hectic few days since the MSHSL board met and voted to allow for a State Meet. I believe we are very fortunate to have an official State Meet on the calendar, but remind everyone not to be complacent amidst this pandemic. There are questions about the format, location, qualifying, and more. I want to share what we know, what we don’t, and our next steps as an association.

Here’s what we know: 

  • The State Meet is scheduled for Friday, March 12th tentatively at Giant’s Ridge.
  • Boys will race in the morning and girls in the afternoon limited to 88 participants per group. 
  • Section managers are meeting Wednesday morning to discuss formats for State and Section championships.
  • MSHSL will listen to suggestions and input from the Coaches Association, but will also make final decisions based on MN Department of Health guidelines.

What we don’t know:

  • The exact format for Sections and State. I know a few sections have already been working with their managers on recommendations and encourage those that haven’t to do so. We will know much more after the Section meet managers discuss this Wednesday morning.
  • Team and individual qualifiers per section. Right now MSHSL is firm on total athletes (88 each for boys/girls), but would entertain a reduced section team size and increased individuals. As of now they seem firm on limiting team participation to just the winning team to help keep the overall numbers down. 
  • Location and availability of snow. Many of you have expressed concerns about traveling to Giants Ridge, and we also all know how volatile early March can be for temperatures and snow cover. 

Next steps:

  • I want to hear your input and questions. I’ve linked a Google Form that I encourage you to complete. Please be constructive, reasonable, and mindful of how quickly the situation can change. 
  • Link to Google Form for coaches input: 
  • Each section needs to provide me a representative and contact information for an executive committee. This committee will review your suggestions, decisions made by the section meet managers, and provide formal input to MSHSL. I’d like to have this committee put together to meet as soon as the end of the week.
  • The Executive Committee will send recommendations to MSHSL and share those and any response with the rest of the Coaches Association.

Remember, our goal is to provide consensus on how best to safely and fairly conduct a State Meet this season. It is impossible to make everyone happy in this situation, but in a season unlike any other, remember that we are coaches trying to give our kids the best experience we can while safely leading them through the other side of wherever this journey takes us.

Good luck, stay warm, and happy skiing.


Michael Meehlhause

President, Minnesota State High School Nordic Ski Coaches Association

TrekNorth Nordic Ski Team