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Team Birkie: Junior Development Education

May 10, 2024
Team Birkie offers Champions Corner to educate junior athletes through monthly Zoom sessions with ambassadors David Norris and Jessica Yeaton. The elite skiers share insights on training, nutrition, technique and race tactics. Designed to empower athletes of all levels, the interactive series also offers valuable life skills. Recordings are available.

Minnesota Spring Coaches Meeting Recap

April 29, 2024
The spring Minnesota High School Nordic Ski Coaches Association was held last weekend, Apr 20th, at the Vasaloppet Nordic Center. Read up on the meeting activity with the published minutes covering new officers, review of existing and new proposals, updates on a number of awards and venue discussions.

MSHSNSCA Award Winners Announced

March 31, 2024
The Minnesota State High School Nordic Ski Coaches Association has announced the award winners for the 2023-24 season. The coaches, assistant coaches and volunteers of the year recipients will be recognized with a trophy at the spring coaches meeting on Saturday, April 20th in Mora.

US Nationals/SuperTour Spring Series Team Sprint Results

March 24, 2024
The US Nationals/SuperTour Spring Series switched to freestyle technique Sunday and paired up for team sprints. APU men lead the way with the tandem of Zanden McMullen and JC Schoonmaker taking the win as fellow teammates Michael Earnhart and Luke Jager edged out Canadians Julian Smith and Antoine Cyr for second. SMS T2's Lauren Jortberg and Alayna Sonnesyn blew out the women's field, winning by more than 15 seconds over APU's Renae Anderson and Novie McCabe, with Alex Larson and Margie Freed of Craftsbury taking third. All eyes turn to Tuesday for the marathon freestyle races as major snowfall is expected in the hours between.

US Nationals/SuperTour Spring Series Classic Sprints Results

March 23, 2024
Classic sprint titles were on the table Saturday for the US Nationals/SuperTour Spring Series at Spirit Mountain in Duluth. The men's final featured a showdown of World Cup talent as Canada's Antonie Cyr and JC Schoonmaker faced off. Schoonmaker pulled off the victory with APU teammate Zanden McMullen moving in for second and Cyr taking third. Team Birkie's Zak Ketterson scored third for the US podium. The women's final came down to Erin Bianco vs Novie McCabe, both striding hard up the final climb and descending together, with McCabe moving ahead in the finishing stretch for the victory, Bianco second and Alayna Sonnesyn securing third. Racing continues Sunday with a freestyle team sprint format.

US Nationals/SuperTour Spring Series Classic Coverage

March 21, 2024
The Duluth organizers and Spirit Mountain staff delivered an excellent course for the opening day of the US Nationals/SuperTour Spring Series on Thursday for 10K classic technique racing. World Cup skiers were on exhibition as temperatures stayed below freezing for the events. The women hit the trails first with Novie McCabe taking the victory followed by Sydney Palmer-Leger and Ely native Erin Bianco. Canada's Antonie Cyr topped the men's field with Johnny Steel Hagenbuch the top American in second, Zanden McMullen third and Minnesota's own Zak Ketterson fourth. Results linked in, photosets posted along with video recaps.

Junior Nationals Mixed Relays Results

March 16, 2024
Junior Nationals wrapped up Saturday with the mixed relay freestyle events in Lake Placid. Warm and wet weather made for difficult conditions again, and while the Midwest didn't score any podiums they did have a number of top ten finishes: U20 6th (Hailee Zimpel, Davis Isom, Audrey Parham, Adrik Kraftson); U18 6th (Sydney Drevlow, Eddie Snider, Hanna Koch, Daniel McCollor); U16 8th (Linnea Ousdigian, Anders Decker, Elsa Lindfors, Logan Drevlow).

Junior Nationals Classic Distance Results

March 15, 2024
A rocky start to the final day of individual racing on Friday at Lake Placid for the Junior Nationals mass start classic events with organizers changing the course and schedule after crashes during the U16 opening races. However, Midwest continued to capture podiums as Logan Drevlow completed his dominance of the week with another victory in the U16 field and Linnea Ousdigian taking the surprise win in the U16 girls field. Other top results: MU16 - George Nelson 12th; FU18 - Sydney Drevlow 6th; MU18 - Daniel McCollor 8th, Eddie Snider 14th; FU20 - Hailee Zimpel 5th, Greta Hansen 10th, Audrey Parham 12th, Lillian Franzen 13th, Ashley Grossklaus (IMD) 16th; MU20 - Ben Dohlby 5th, Adrik Kraftson 10th, Jonathan Clarke 12th, Davis Isom 18th.

Junior Nationals Classic Sprints Results

March 13, 2024
Junior Nationals in Lake Placid, NY, got steamy on Wednesday as the temperatures soared into the 50s by afternoon for a full day of classic sprints. Leading the way for the Midwest again was Logan Drevlow, racing a savvy final to take the boys U16 title! Sister Sydney Drevlow finished just one step back, taking second place in the girls U18 final. Miles Miner (NE) also scored a second place finish in the boys U18 division. Other top results: Hannah Koch 7th FU18; Jordan Parent 8th FU20; Linnea Ousdigian 10th FU16; Ben Lewis (NE) 12th MU20. Results linked in. Racing resumes on Friday with classic mass start races.

Moose Valuable Skier Nominations

March 12, 2024
Moose Nordic is giving out the MVS Award again this year with the help of Finn Sisu, Madshus, and Salomon. Two Minnesota high school skiers will be chosen for living out the values of sportsmanship, humility, empowerment, and integrity. Each winner's high school team will receive a pair of Madshus Redline race skis, boots from Finn Sisu, and Salomon skate skis. Nominations deadline is March 24th.

Junior Nationals Freestyle Coverage

March 11, 2024
Junior Nationals competition in Lake Placid, NY, had a stormy start Tuesday as snow fell most of the morning, giving way to sunshine and strong winds in the afternoon. Minnesota State champion Logan Drevlow shined brightest for the Midwest on opening day as he earned the U16 boys crown by five seconds. Linnea Ousdigian nearly made it a Midwest sweep of the U16 titles, finishing second by less than three seconds! Also making the podium Tuesday, Ben Dohlby second and Davis Isom third in the boys U20 race. Other top 20 performances: MU16 - Connor Reckinger 8th, Soren Winikoff 9th, Jack Rudolph 12th, Dylan Little 20th; FU18 - Sydney Drevlow 5th, Hanna Koch 14th, Greta Dickman, 18th; FU20 - Hailey Zimpel, 9th, Ashley Grosslaus (IMD) 10th, Ella Niznik 18th, Audrey Parham 20th; MU20 - Adriak Kraftson 13th, Ben Lewis (NE) 16th, Jonathan Clarke 19th. Results linked in, along with links for photos and livestream replay.

Racing Outlook: US Nationals Spring Series

March 9, 2024
Believe it or not, but there is still one major race event in the Midwest this season: The US Nationals Spring Series/Supertour, happening at Spirit Mountain in Duluth, March 21-26th. Organizers are planning to shift to the event to the top of Spirit Mountain to utilize the snow at the top of the alpina runs.

Junior National Teams Announced

March 7, 2024
With less than a week to go before the big event, CXC has formally announced the full Midwest and Great Lakes team lineups for the upcoming Junior Nationals competition in Lake Placid, NY. Selected athletes will be competing Match 11-16 against some of the best in the US. Another group of U18/U16 athletes will also be heading north to compete at the Canadian Ski Championships being held March 10-16.

Wisconsin State Distance Championships Freestyle Coverage

March 3, 2024
The Wisconsin Nordic Ski League (WNSL) wrapped up their season Sunday with the Distance Championships freestyle races, along with Great Lakes JNQ qualifier. Due to the JNQ addtion, the freestyle races this year were run as an interval start (with seeding). Paige Beining, ANST, skied the second fastest Wisconsin time on Sunday to sew up her combined title. Josephine Kwasny, Iola, was second, Lauren Carlton, ANST, third in the combined WNSL scoring. Charlie Vater, Iola, put down a sub 19 min time on the 6K course to easily collect the boys combined title with Kristian Hudacek, CVN, second and Nathan Burke, Peak Nordic, taking third. Eric Anderson, guest skier from Lake City, had the fastest skate time on the day. Results linked in, photos posted along with video clips of the top skiers.

Wisconsin State Distance Championships Classic Results

March 2, 2024
Day one of the Wisconsin State Meet distance championships in the books as athletes endured soaring temperatures while hammering out two laps of classic skiing on the snowmaking loops at the Birkie Trailhead. Iola's Charlie Vater posted the top time but three others are all within 10 seconds: Nathan Burke, Peak Nordic, Kristian Hudacek, CVN, and Eric Anderson, Red Wing. Paige Beining, ANST, had the best time for the Wisconsin girls, over 10 seconds ahead of Josephine Kwasny, Iola, and ANST teammate Lauren Carlton in third. LNR's Helen Townley, skiing as guest Great Lakes JNQ, had the fastest time in the girls field. Sunday will feature freestyle races, with the overall champion determined from the combined weekend times plus scoring from the earlier sprint championships.

Wisconsin State High School Distance Championship Predictions

February 28, 2024
Ken Schoville is back with his take on the Wisconsin high school Nordic skiing Distance Championship contenders! Rescheduled from mid-February, the big event is this Saturday and Sunday at the Birkie Trailhead in Cable.

Kortelopet Freestyle Coverage

February 23, 2024
After a fresh grooming by the Birkie crew, Kortelopet skiers raced the machine-made snow course in the afternoon in freestyle technique for the 20K event. The podium had a distinctive Minnesota vibe: Recently crowned Minnesota high school champion Logan Drevlow, Golden Valley, sailed away for the boys victory with Jace Haerter, Edina, second and Eric Anderson, Frontenac, third. On the girls side, Wayzata's Audrey Parham collected the title with Sydney Drevlow second, and Cloquet native Anja Maijala third. Results linked in, photos and video recaps now posted.

Kortelopet Classic Coverage

February 23, 2024
Kortelopet classic racing kicked off Friday morning, with the U20/Elite fields starting things off. The field did two laps of a fast 10K machine-made snow course as temperatures were much cooler, running in the mid 20s. Charlie Vater, Iola, was the first to cross the line in taking the mens U20/Elite race, followed by Neel Dums, Hayward, and Henry Brandt, St. Paul. Teammates Lydia Kraker and Greta Hendrickson, Duluth, came in 1-2 for the womens U20/Elite field with St. Paul native Alex Pundsack third. Results linked in, photosets along with recap video posted.

Junior Birkie Coverage

February 22, 2024
Over 400 kids turned out Thursday afternoon for the Junior Birkie races on the snowmaking trails at the Birkie trailhead. Age divisions ranging from under 8 years old to under 14 competed in 1.5K and 3K distances, including some hilly terrain. Results posted along with a selection of photos and a video highlight from the races.

Minnesota State Meet Day 2 Coverage

February 15, 2024
Cooler temps and bright sunshine Thursday for the team sprint events of the Minnesota High School Nordic Skiing Championships. Brainerd boys put on a strong performance to win the classic team sprint over Duluth East with Orono/Delano third. In the girls final, Duluth East pulled away from St. Paul Academy with Mpls Washburn taking third. Wayzata secured the boys team title by just six points over Duluth East as Hopkins dropped back to third. Duluth East girls won the team title, 12 points ahead of rising Washburn, as St Paul Highland Park earned third. Results linked in, along with video recaps of the finals.

Minnesota State Meet Day 1 Coverage

February 14, 2024
A beautiful day of racing Wednesday as the Minnesota High School Nordic Skiing Championships kicked off with classic and freestyle pursuit events. After the morning classic races, Wayzata boys had posted a commanding lead over Hopkins, with Duluth East just a few points back. Duluth East girls were in front by 18 points, but the battle for second was extremely close as six teams were separated by a total of eight points! Hopkin's Logan Drevlow will start first in the boys pursuit, with St. Paul Highland Park's Hanna Koch leading off for the girls. Drevlow held his lead in the afternoon pursuit, taking the boys title with McCollor moving past Minnehaha Academy's Finn Christiansen for second. The girls pursuit turned into an exciting battle as Linnea Ousdigian, Mounds View, starting in 4th, reeled in and overtook Koch to take the victory as a freshman. Koch finished in second, just five seconds back, with Wayzata's Lila Golomb third. After the first day of racing, Wayzata boys and Duluth East girls hold the lead in the team standings. Results linked in, and many, many photos posted.

Minnesota State Meet Preview

February 12, 2024
The Minnesota High School League Nordic Skiing Championships (aka. the State Meet) are this Wednesday and Thursday at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. We provide a brief breakdown on the action, along with some of the favorites and our picks.

Minnesota High School Rankings - Final Round

February 11, 2024
The Minnesota Coaches Association has published their final round of high school Nordic Skiing rankings. Della Bettendorf, Protocor/Hermantown and Logan Drevlow, Hopkins, take over the number one rankings and Duluth East owns the team rankings, going into the State Meet next week.

Minnesota Section 7 Championship Coverage

February 7, 2024
Test driving the 2024 State Meet course layout, Minnesota High School Section 7 raced on primarily machine-made snow at Giants Ridge on Wednesday. Duluth East nearly had the perfect score, sweeping the boys freestyle podium with James Kyes, Paavo Rova, and Carl Morse, and taking second in the team sprints final. The Duluth East girls duplicated the boys near perfect score, Proctor/Hermantown's Della Bettendorf besting a pack of Duluth East girls for the pursuit title as Lydia Kraker was second, Rowan Bixler third, Liesl Cope-Schareffe fourth. Duluth East girls and Ely boys won the team sprint titles, with the Ely girls joining the boys next week in taking second place. Proctor/Hermantown girls and Ely boys teams advance to State, as well as the Mora boys sprint team. Results linked in, along with photos from Erik Riker-Coleman and Jake Richards.

Minnesota Section 5 Championship Coverage

February 7, 2024
Holding the last metro area championship, Minnesota High School Section 5 competed on Hyland Lake's snowmaking loop Wednesday. Elk River/Zimmerman girls claimed the team title by winning the team sprints and then watching Emily Baker move up from third in classic to take the pursuit title with teammate Claire Swanson coming in second. Champlin Park's Abby Hibbs finished third in the girls pursuit. In the boys freestyle pursuit, Park Center/Totino's Reid Binsfeld claimed victory with Blaine's Nathan Taylor second, Rogers' Will Campbell third. Blaine boys scored the team title, with Rogers advancing as well. Fighting over the second girls team spot was Blaine and Coon Rapids in a tie, Blaine going to State based on their top three pursuit times. Coon Rapids boys won the team sprint, and Maple Grove girls sprint team earned a spot at State with their second place finish. Results linked in, photos from the pursuit races are posted.

Minnesota Section 3 Championship Coverage

February 6, 2024
The snowmaking venue at Battle Creek provided the courses for the Minnesota High School Section 3 Championships on Tuesday. The battle for the girls title proved extremely close as three teams finished within two points! Coming out on top yet again was the St. Paul Highland Park squad at 384 points, with St. Paul Central and St. Paul Academy tieing in second at 382 points -- Central winning the tiebreaker on top three pursuit times. On the boys side, St. Paul Central took the team title, just three points ahead of Mpls South/Roosevelt. Helping to secure that Central victory, the boys won the team sprint title, with Blake earning a trip to State as well. St. Paul Academy's girls won the team sprint final. Star Hanna Koch, Highland Park, dominated the girls pursuit, winning by nearly two minutes in front of teammate Alex Pundsack, with Central's Elsa Lindfors taking third. Minnehaha Academy's Finn Christiansen won the boys pursuit, Tim Tzeutschler, Highland Park, second and Henry Brandt, Central, in third. Results linked in, photos from the classic races posted.

Minnesota Section 8 Championship Coverage

February 6, 2024
The Minnesota High School Section 8 moved to the snowmaking venue of Mt Itasca for their championships on Tuesday. Fergus Falls' David Ronnenik winning performance in the boys pursuit, along with a second place finish by their sprint team, earned Fergus a place at the State Meet. Gabe Hallgren and Eli Knapp of Brainerd finished second and third in the pursuit, and when combined with their sprint team victory, easily locked up the team title. Bemidji boys scored third in the team sprint, providing a State Meet berth. The Brainerd girls had similar results to the boys, with Annelise Baird taking the girls pursuit title, and their sprint team finishing first in the final, to collect the team trophy. Alexandria's Jaelyn Miller was second in the pursuit, followed by Bemidji's Mia Hoffman. Sartell/Cathedral finished second in team scoring, and Moorhead was third in the team sprints, allowing both to advance. Results posted, along with photos from Becky Robertson.

Minnesota Section 2 Championship Coverage

February 6, 2024
Elm Creek was host to the Minnesota High School Section 2 Championships Tuesday, as temperatures soared into the 50s by the afternoon events. The Minnetonka duo of Evie Malec and Nina Fedje went 1-2 in the girls freestyle pursuit, helping to secure a spot for their team at the State Meet. Washburn's Chloe Angerman took third with teammate Zoe Wagner in fourth, leading Washburn to the team title. In the boys freestyle pursuit, Anders Westanmo, Bloomington Jefferson, and Edina's Jack Haerter put on a close race, with Westanmo pulling ahead in the final 300 meters. Sam Scott, Minneapolis Southwest was third. The Bloomington Jefferson boys won the team title, with Edina also advancing. Team sprint titles were won by Eden Prairie girls and Burnsville/Shakopee boys. Results linked in and photos from the freestyle pursuit posted.

Minnesota Section 1 Championship Coverage

February 6, 2024
Section 1 held their championship event Tuesday at Hyland Lake. Winona/Cotter's Anna Gilmer used a top classic performance to hold off Lakeville's Faye Braun for the girls pursuit title, with Emily Percival, Eastview/Rosemount taking third. Tommy Simmons, Prior Lake/New Prague, logged the fastest classic and skate legs to collect the boys title with Hastings' Josiah Trost using a strong freestyle leg to move up to second, Luke Poppinga, Eagan, finishing third. Team sprint victories were earned by Winona boys and Eastview/Rosemount girls. Overall team titles went to Prior Lake/New Prague boys and Winona/Cotter girls. Also qualifying for state were the Winona/Cotter boys and Eastview/Rosemount girls teams, and the sprint teams of 196 boys and Prior Lake/New Prague girls. Full results linked in, plus photos from the classic distance races.

Wisconsin State Sprint Championships Recap

February 5, 2024
The Wisconsin State Sprint Championships for the Nordic High School League were held over the weekend at Ariens Nordic Center. Cathy Putman provides a full recap on the racing action!

Minnesota Section 6 Championship Coverage

February 5, 2024
The Minnesota High School Sectional competition got underway Monday with Section 6 Championships at Hyland Lake, utilizing their full 5K snowmaking loop. Hopkins' Logan Drevlow took the classic lead by 14 seconds over Wayzata's Daniel McCollor, then pushed it out another nine seconds to win the boys freestyle pursuit title. Josh Frett of Breck was third. Hanna Wilsey, St. Louis Park, held a narrow six second lead going to the skate race and again posted the best time to be crowned the girls champion, Erica Kazin, Orono/Delano was second with Lila Golomb, Wayzata, third. Wayzata swept the classic team sprint titles as the tandem of Matthew Janneke/Charlie Gundale won by just three seconds and the pairing of Margaux House/Carlee Freeman topped the girls field. The St. Louis Park girls won the team title over Wayzata, having to use the first tiebreaker of top three pursuit times to collect the win. Wayzata boys had the best team score. The Hopkins boys and Wayzata girls will join them at State, along with sprint teams from Orono/Delano boys and Hopkins girls. Results linked in, along with photos from the freestyle pursuit races.

Victor C Dunder Ski Equipment Award Nominees Sought

February 5, 2024
Nominations for Victor C. Dunder awards are due by March 31st. The Victor C. Dunder award is designed to get quality equipment to first year skiers in financial need.

Wisconsin State Meet Postponed

February 4, 2024
In a Birkie trail update this morning, the Birkie announced the Wisconsin State Meet distance races, scheduled for Feb 10-11th, have been postponed in order to preserve the best conditions moving toward the 50th anniversary Birkie. No date/location has been announced for the State Meet. Note that the Birkie snowmaking trails are closed for the foreseeable future.

Minnesota High School Sections Preview

February 3, 2024
This coming week is the Minnesota High School Sectional competition, with individuals and teams competing under some very difficult conditions for entry into the big dance: The Minnesota State Meet. We've got a breakdown on the section changes (many), locations and schedules.

Wisconsin Nordic High School Sprints Predictions

February 1, 2024
The Wisconsin High School Sprint Championships are this weekend, Feb 3-4, at the Ariens Nordic Center. Ken Schoville attempts to shed some light on possible champions in this snow sparse winter.

Metro East Conference Championships Coverage

January 30, 2024
Conference Championships are happening all across the state as teams prepare for sections next week. Metro East held theirs at Battle Creek on Tuesday, packing in a big day with classic and freestyle pursuit events. Ethan Albrecht, Mahtomedi, and Abigail Lindquist, Simley, won the pursuit races with the Hastings boys and Two Rivers girls topping the team pursuit scoring. Photographer Shannon Brault captured the action in the afternoon freestyle pursuit races.