Minnesota High School Sections Preview

February 4, 2022

What a crazy last 12 months it’s been for Minnesota high school Nordic skiing!  Last season we were struggling with how to navigate a major pandemic, and after thinking there would not be a State Meet, plans changed and the meet was held in early March.  This season adds another twist, as the high school league folds sprint races into the scene and we begin the era of two day State Meets.

The new State Meet,and thus sectional qualifying format, becomes exponentially more complicated.   As a refresher, the old format:

  • 5K freestyle and 5K classic races, the latter race is pursuit format start
  • Each team could race up to seven skiers
  • Team score were calculated by awarding points based on finisher placement from the combined time, with only the top four from each team being used to calculate the team score
  • The top two teams advanced (7 skiers)
  • The top six individuals not from the advancing teams also qualified
  • A total of 40 skiers (20 boys and 20 girls) 

The new format:

  • 5K classic and 5K freestyle races (the latter race a pursuit format start) along with two-person freestyle team sprints
  • Each team can race five skiers in the 5K classic and freestyle pursuit races, and just two in the two-person team sprints
  • The team sprint consists of two skiers, each skier doing two laps of a 1.2-1.5K course, alternating each lap, in relay format
  • Skiers can not participate in both the pursuit races and team sprints
  • While all five skiers in the pursuit races will generate points, only the top three from each team will count toward their pursuit team score.  Points start at 80 points for first team and decrease by one point for each finisher
  • Team sprint scores start at 159 points and decrease by three points for each finishing two person pairing
  • Team score is calculated adding together the pursuit team score and the team sprint score.   Maximum team score would be 396 points (237 pursuit + 159 team sprint)
  • The top two teams advance (5 pursuit skiers + 2 team sprint skiers)
  • The top four pursuit individuals not from the advancing teams qualify
  • The top two-person sprint team that is not from the advancing teams also qualifies
  • A total of 40 skiers (20 boys and 20 girls)

Got all that?   At the State Meet, the events are spread out over two days, with the classic races held the afternoon of the first day, while the team sprints and freestyle pursuit races are held on the second day.   For almost every section, it gets a lot crazier as all of the races – classic and freestyle pursuit, plus team sprint heats and finals, happen in just one day!



The typical section meet schedule should look like:

  • 9:30 am, 10:00 am  Boys and girls 5K classic
  • 11:00 am, 11:30 am, 12 pm, 12:30 pm Boys and girls team sprint heats
  • 1:30 pm, 2:15 pm Boys and girls team sprint finals
  • 3:00 pm, 3:30 pm Boys and girls freestyle pursuit
  • 4 pm awards

Of course, every section could have their own schedule and things like weather and logistics could impact the starting times.

Dates, Locations and Teams

  • Monday, Feb 7th
    • Section 2 - Theodore Wirth
      • Eden Prairie, Edina, Holy Family Catholic, Minneapolis Southwest, Minneapolis Washburn, Minnetonka, Richfield, Shakopee, Coop: Bloomington Jefferson/Bloomington Kennedy, Coop: Chaska/Chanhassen, Coop: Jordan/Belle Plaine.

  • Tuesday, Feb 8th
    • Section 1 - Hyland Lake
      • Burnsville, Eagan, Hastings, Lakeville North, Lakeville South, New Prague, Northfield, Park, Prior Lake, Coop: Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eastview, Simley, St. Thomas Academy, Coop: Winona/Cotter.
    • Section 3 - Theodore Wirth
      • East Ridge, Math & Science Academy, Coop: Minneapolis South/Minneapolis Roosevelt, Minnehaha Academy, St. Paul Academy and Summit, Coop: St. Paul Central/Open World Learning, St. Paul Highland Park, Two Rivers, Woodbury.
    • Section 8 - Maplelag (day 1)
      • Alexandria Area, Bemidji, Coop: Brainerd/Pequot Lakes, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Coop: Little Falls/Pillager, Moorhead, Coop: Sartell/St. Cloud Cathedral, St. John's Prep, TrekNorth, Wadena-Deer Creek, Willmar.

  • Wednesday, Feb 9th
    • Section 8 - Maplelag (day 2)
    • Section 5 - Theodore Wirth
      • Coop: Andover/Legacy Christian Academy, Anoka, Blaine, Champlin Park, Coon Rapids, Coop: Elk River/Zimmerman, Irondale, Maple Grove, Osseo, Park Center, Parnassus Preparatory, Rogers, Sauk Rapids-Rice, Coop: St. Cloud Apollo/St. Cloud Tech/Rocori.
    • Section 7 - Giants Ridge
      • Cloquet/Esko/Carlton, Duluth Denfeld, Duluth East, Ely, Grand Rapids, Coop: Hibbing/Chisholm, Coop: Marshall/Lakeview Christian Academy, Coop: Mesabi East/Mountain Iron Buhl/Eveleth-Gilbert/Virginia, Mora, Coop: Proctor/Hermantown, Coop: Two Harbors/Cook County.

  • Thursday, Feb 10th
    • Section 4 - Battle Creek West Theodore Wirth
      • Forest Lake, Coop: Great River/Liberty Classical Academy/Avalon/Twin Cities Academy/Praske Home, Mahtomedi, Mounds Park Academy, Mounds View, North, Roseville Area, Coop: Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village/Centennial, St. Paul Como Park, Stillwater Area, Tartan, White Bear Lake Area.
    • Section 6 - Hyland Lake
      • Benilde-St. Margaret's, Blake, Breck, DeLaSalle, Coop: Heritage Christian Academy/Providence Academy/West Lutheran/RiverTree, Hopkins, Minneapolis Edison, Minneapolis North Community, Minneapolis Patrick Henry, Mound Westonka, Coop: Orono/Delano, Robbinsdale Armstrong, Robbinsdale Cooper, St. Louis Park, Wayzata.