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National U16 Camp Nominees Announced

April 29, 2014
USSA has released the selections for the National U16 training camp late July in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Midwest girls were strongly represented with Amanda Kautzer, Claire Benton, Hannah Rudd, Erin Moening and Anna Johnson earning their invites at Junior Nationals last March (a full quarter of the squad). A final list will be published late this spring.

CXC Midwest Competition Committee Spring Meeting Minutes

April 23, 2014
The CXC/Midwest Competition Committee held their open spring meeting last weekend in Eau Claire. A strong turnout provided some great dialog and generated a number of action items, including changes in U16 scoring/selection and trip leader, election of the 2015 head coach, policies revisions, and much more.

CXC Midwest Competition Committee Meeting Saturday

April 17, 2014
The CXC Midwest Competition Committee will be holding their annual spring meeting this Saturday, April 19th, in Eau Claire. Topics on the agenda include draft JNQ schedule, timing, review of last season, and election of a new head coach. The meeting is open to all.

Minnesota Coaches Association Spring Meeting

April 14, 2014
The annual spring meeting for the Minnesota High School Nordic Ski Coaches Association will be held Saturday, April 26th at the Vasaloppet Center in Mora. The current state meet proposal will be review, along with the recap on the last state meet and a discussion on the state of skiing in Minnesota. RVSP to secure lunch numbers.

Victor C Dunder Award Nominations Deadline

March 27, 2014
The deadline for submitting candidates for the Victor C Dunder awards is Monday, March 31st. The award is designed to help promising first year skiers obtain needed equipment.

CXC Midwest Competition Committee Spring Meeting

March 14, 2014
The CXC Midwest Competition Committee will be holding their annual Spring Meeting April 19th in Eau Claire, WI. A list of topics has been proposed, with a final agenda coming out later. The meeting is open to all, but need to be a registered club or team to vote.

US Nationals Test Sprints at MTU

March 13, 2014
Michigan Tech will be hosting a test event for their US Nationals sprint courses on March 29-30. Freestyle sprints on Saturday, classical team sprints Sunday. Must registration by Wed, Mar 26th.

2014 NENSA J2/U16 Championships Report

March 12, 2014
Ken Schoville provides a detailed report on the J2 Championships, also held in Vermont last weekend.

Junior Nationals Coverage

March 11, 2014
We wrap up our 2014 Junior Nationals experience with a recap of all over our coverage, as well as some notes from the week, including topics like the mass start leadout, lap timing, Midwest team awards, and more.

Junior Nationals: Relays Coverage

March 8, 2014
Junior Nationals in Stowe, VT, wrapped up on Saturday with the 3X3K freestyle relay events. The Midwest team finished the week strong, especially in the U18 division where the girls collected 2nd and 3rd and the boys 3rd and 6th. The U20 gals also snagged a podium spot with Kris Bourne anchoring the victory by a boot throw. Tom Bye nearly pulled his U20 team onto the podium as well, finishing 4th by less than a second. Other top results: U16 girls nail down 5th, boys 9th and Nicole Schneider racing up with the U20s helped secure an excellent 5th showing. Results linked in, video recaps of most of the races, and a few post-race photos added.

Junior Nationals: Freestyle Start List Posted

March 6, 2014
Friday's race at Junior Nationals is the last individual award event, a mass start freestyle race on the Trapp Family Lodge trails. It will feature the same course as the classical race on Monday. Start list reflects the ordering for the chevron mass start.

Junior Nationals Preview

February 26, 2014
Hard to believe, but Junior Nationals competition starts up next Monday at the Trappe Family Lodge in Stowe, VT. We've got a breakdown on the events and a look at the 2014 Midwest Junior National squad. Check back for on-site coverage all next week!

Victor C Dunder Award Nominations

February 19, 2014
Minnesota high school coaches are encouraged to submit their candidates for the Victor C Dunder awards. The awards are designed to get quality equipment to first year skiers in financial need. Application deadline is March 31st.

Minnesota State Meet Recap

February 18, 2014
The 2014 edition of the Minnesota State Meet exceeded expectations, providing some big surprises and remarkable achievements. We provide a look back at the races and some of the top performances, and review how our predictions turned out.

Michigan State Meet Recap

February 18, 2014
The Michigan High School Championships were held on the Vasa Ski Trail in Traverse City, Michigan this past Friday and Saturday, Feb 14-15th. Copper Country Ski Tigers won the combined (boys and girls) team title while Sarah Goble and Isaac Stone won the individual crowns.

Midwest Junior National Team Trip Information Site

February 18, 2014
The Midwest Junior National Committee has prepared a dedicated website for information on this year's Junior National Trip, including details on suit/warmup ordering, waivers, schedules/fees and gear drop-off.

Midwest Junior National Team Announced

February 16, 2014
The CXC Midwest Junior National Committee has announced the Midwest Division Junior National squad. Selection was based on performance in the qualifier race series, as well as some automatic bids. The list is preliminary, there may be some changes. Junior Nationals competition will be in Stowe, VT, the first week in March.

Battle Creek SuperTour/JNQ Freestyle Coverage

February 16, 2014
The Battle Creek SuperTour Sunday featured individual start freestyle under a bright blue sky. Caitlin Gregg asserted herself back at the top of the leaderboard with in 11 second victory over Rosie Brennan in the womens 5K. Sylvan Ellefson posted the fastest mens time in the 10K. Zak Ketterson was the top junior male, with Anna French besting the junior girls. Results linked in, along with photosets from all the morning races.

Battle Creek SuperTour/JNQ Classical Coverage

February 15, 2014
The SuperTour series rolled into Saint Paul for a two day run, starting with mass start classical races on Saturday. In the mens grueling 15K, Minnesota native Ben Saxton battled for the lead, coming in second to Matthew Gelso, with Michael Sinnott rounding out the top three. The womens race came down to a pack of 5-7 skiers, with Rosie Brennan taking the victory, Chelsea Holmes and Jennie Bender collecting second and third. Tom Bye and Mattie Watts posted the top junior times on the day. Preliminary results up, along with video recaps from the 15K and 10K classical races.

A Legend Is Born

February 13, 2014
Mattie Watts, Irondale high school, won the Minnesota State Meet on Thursday. But did you know she won the race on a last minute pair of replacement classic skis after her own race pair were misplaced? We've got the full scoop behind this unbelievable tale.

Minnesota State Meet Coverage

February 13, 2014
Roughly a half foot of fresh snow fell overnight and into Thursday morning, making for tough conditions at the Minnesota State Meet at Giants Ridge. In the morning races, Zak Ketterson, Bloomington Jefferson, posted the top time with a very tight field of boys chasing less than 30 seconds back. Irondale's Mattie Watts came out storming, dominating the girls field and taking a 23 second advantage over Vivian Hett, Burnsville, going into the afternoon classical pursuit. In the afternoon races, Ketterson held his lead to take the boys title. The girls race lived up to expectations as Hett came charging after Watts, but as unable to close the last gap as Watts took the girls title by a few seconds. In an unbelievable twist, Watts won the race on a borrowed pair of skis from Marshal Landrum when her own pair was mistakenly taken! Team titles went to the favorites, Wayzata girls and Forest Lake boys. Results linked in, over 500 photos posted and video recaps of the pursuit races now online.

MSHSNSCA Awards for the 2013-2014 Season

February 12, 2014
On Wednesday evening the Minnesota High School Nordic Ski Coaches Association named the winners of the coach, assistant coach, and volunteer of the year.

Minnesota State Meet Preview

February 11, 2014
The big Minnesota State Meet is this Thursday, Feb 13th, at Giants Ridge! This year's competition looks tough in a number of areas - we provide a breakdown on the favorites and make our own predictions.

Wisconsin State Nordic Championship Recap

February 9, 2014
Ken Schoville provides a complete rundown on all the Wisconsin State High School Championships action last weekend on the Telemark Trails.

Wisconsin State High School Championships Classical Results

February 9, 2014
The Wisconsin State Championships wrapped up Sunday with the classical pursuit events. Dan DeLestry held off Mac FitzPatrick to win the overall pursuit title, as FitzPatrick posted the top classical time. Erin Bolger minute lead proved to be too much for the girls field as Bolger took the pursuit title with Emma Barnes skiing the fastest classical time. Iola girls narrowly defeated Lakeland for the girls team title, with 4-H Canski the top boys team.

Wisconsin State High School Championships Freestyle Results

February 8, 2014
The first day of the Wisconsin State Championships featured freestyle technique races on the Telemark trails Saturday. Erin Bolger, Lakeland, proved to be a class above besting the girls field by over a minute in the 6K race. The boys competition was much tighter, with Dan Delestry, Chippewa Valley, with Mac FitzPatrick, Lakeland, just 5 seconds back and Ian Liphart, 4-H Canski, third another 6 seconds behind. Sunday is the classical pursuit finale.

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Final

February 7, 2014
With sections complete, we make our final pass at the Minnesota High School Nordic Skiing rankings. While no changes at the top, we have made a number of fine tunings. We'll have our annual State Meet Preview next week.

Minnesota State Meet - Important Coaches Info

February 6, 2014
Reminder: Important information and deadlines for Minnesota high school coaches participating in the State Meet and/or Charlie Banks Relays.

Section 2 Coverage

February 6, 2014
Completing the fourth, and final, section race at Theodore Wirth, Section 2 titles were awarded Thursday. The top ranked Wayzata girls left absolutely no doubt in the results, posting a perfect team score of 394 (sweeping the first four positions), with Alayna Sonnesyn taking the girls individual title. Scott Harrison, Mounds Westonka, proved to be too much for the boys field, taking the individual title by over a minute. The Wayzata boys strung together the best foursome to take the team victory. Results and video recaps posted.

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Section 7 Coverage

February 6, 2014
Section 7, racing under some very cool temperatures, showcased some epic battles on the trails of Giants Ridge Thursday. The Mesabi East girls came within three points of pulling off the upset, losing to Duluth East for the team title. Duluth East boys completed the team sweep of the titles. Keaton Long, Duluth East, and Sam Johnson, Mesabi East, started virtually together in the afternoon pursuit with Long striding ahead to take the boys individual title. Sam's own sister, Anna Johnson, started third in the pursuit but rocketed forward with a scorching classic time to take the girls title. Results posted, plus a few photos.

Section 4 Coverage

February 6, 2014
Cold weather delayed all of the section meets on Thursday, however, Section 4 was burning up the track once action got underway at Battle Creek. Living up to the hype, Leo Hipp, Forest Lake, and Nick Gardner, MPA, put on a show for the crowds who braved the cold temps. The pair started together in the morning classical races with Gardner holding off Hipp by 2 seconds to take the lead in the pursuit, and then saw Hipp pull ahead around the mid-point of the skate pursuit to snare the victory by a handful of seconds. Rocci Wolhk put a pair of strong races together to sail in for the girls victory. The Forest Lake boys and Stillwater girls both put in dominating performances placing all of their scorers in the top ten to easily win the team titles. Results, photos and video recaps posted.

National Nordic Foundation Auction in Final Days

February 5, 2014
There is still some time left to get in your bids on some great auction items, including a vacation in the Sawtooth mountains, US Ski Team apparel, and much more -- plus the proceeds benefit NNF!

Section 5 Coverage

February 5, 2014
Another day of crisp temperatures as section 5 teams competed on the trails at Theodore Wirth. Irondale's Mattie Watts bested the girls field in the classic race by nearly a minute, then held off all challengers in the skate to take the individual title. Steve Hokanson, Mounds View, skied to best times in both events to collect the boys title. Roseville girls bumped off Irondale for the team title, with Andover boys topping Mounds and Osseo. Results, photos and video recap posted.

Section 8 Coverage

February 4, 2014
Crisp morning temperatures did little to slow down the action at the Section 8 championships held at Maplelag Resort on Tuesday. St. Cloud Tech edged out Little Falls by a single heart breaking point for the boys title. Tech's own Isaac Wieber took the boys individual title, with teammate Cory Rouw second and Brainerd's Noah Baker third. Little Falls girls held off a challenge from Mora to win the girls team title. Maria Hauer, Little Falls, dominated the individual race, winning by three minutes. Katie Williams, St. Cloud Tech, finished second and Jenna Truedson, Bemidji, was third. Full results posted and with photos (more coming later this week).

Section 1 Coverage

February 4, 2014
Brian Abery reports: Section 1 held its state qualifying meet at Valleywood G.C. Tuesday with favorites Margie Freed of Eastview and Josh Podpeskar of Eagan garnering individual honors. In the Girl’s race Freed took a 36 second lead in the classic portion of the competition and almost doubled that margin by the time the freestyle race was finished. Katylin Lindeman of Winona/Cotter took second with Maria Berg of New Prague skiing to a third place finish. In boys races, Podpeskar took a 17-second lead over Winona/Cotter’s Noah Poling in the classic event and added another 16-seconds in the freestyle to ski to a 33-second victory. Podpeskar’s Eagan teammate Jacob Edmond rounded out the podium with a strong 3rd place finish. The favored Eagan Boys and Eastview Girls won the team competition. Results, photos and video recap posted.

Section 3 Coverage

February 4, 2014
Section 3 teams battled for the right to advance to State in their championship event at Theodore Wirth Tuesday. Top ranked Vivian Hett, Burnsville, fresh from Finland, still hammered the girls field with a three minute margin of victory. Erin Moening, Highland Park, was second along with teammate Elowyn Pfeiffer in third. Tamer Mische-Richter, Bloomington Kennedy, overcame a broken pole in the morning classic race to collect the boys title. Marshal Landrum, Como Park, and Sam Myers, Minnehaha Academy rounded out the top three. The Burnsville girls won big (by nearly 30 points) with Minneapolis South taking the boys title. Results and video recaps posted.

Wisconsin State High School Championships Predictions

February 3, 2014
Ken Schoville provides his annual breakdown on the Wisconsin High School Nordic Championships, scheduled for this weekend, Feb 8-9, on the Telemark trail system.

Section 6 Coverage

February 3, 2014
The Minnesota high school sectionals got underway Monday with Section 6 racing at Theodore Wirth. As expected, Zak Ketterson, Bloomington Jefferson, and Hannah Rudd, Robbinsdale-Armstrong, easily took the individual honors. In the team battle, St. Louis Park boys topped Minneapolis Southwest by eight points. Armstrong girls cruised to the title, placing six skiers in the top 11. Results, photos and video recaps all online now.

Racing Outlook

February 3, 2014
With Minnesota high school sections going on this week and cold weather coming in once again, stay tuned for possible changes to schedules for section meets. Section 7 has posted a revised schedule.

Minnesota Sections Preview

January 31, 2014
The Minnesota high school sectional races, which determine which teams and individuals advance to the State Meet, will be held next week. Eight section races in four days, beginning Monday, Feb 3rd. We post a spectator's guide on the favorite teams and individuals.

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Waxing Recommendations

Minnesota Section and State Meet Information

January 31, 2014
The Minnesota Coaches Association has cranked out last minute reminders on sections and the big Minnesota state meet. Time critical: If your team is in the running for the section title, you must have your team photo submitted by today, January 31st!

Northstar Invite Results

January 29, 2014
Dan Josephson reports: For the Northstar Classic Invite, the temps were in the upper teens and the weather was very nice compared to what we have been dealing with the past few weeks. The Varsity and JV raced a 5.75km classic race and the Junior High skied a 3.5km classic course. The traveling wood ski trophies went to Detroit Lakes for the boys and Grand Rapids for the girls. Top skiers for the boys was Zach Foltz from Detroit Lakes with a time of 16:02 and for the girls it was Jenna Trudeson from Bemidji in 17:50.

Midwest Junior Nationals Point Standings

January 29, 2014
After three JNQ series, the Midwest Junior National Qualifying appears to be firming up. The latest point totals thru the Mt. Itasca weekend are now posted. The final Midwest JNQ will be held Feb 15-16 at Battle Creek, St. Paul, MN.

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 6

January 27, 2014
Weekly rankings for the Minnesota High School Nordic skiing scene are posted. No major changes, the story remains the same at the top: Wayzata girls and Forest Lake boys, Vivian Hett and Zak Ketterson. Sections are next week!

Midwest Juniors Take On the World

January 27, 2014
The U23/World Junior Championships kick off on Wednesday, along with the Junior Nordic Competition this weekend, and Midwest skiers will be part of a strong US field. We break down the two competitions, including events, websites, and even webcams for some early morning hours viewing.

National Nordic Foundation Auction

January 27, 2014
National Nordic Foundation Master's Auction started on Monday. A fundraising initiative with a $100,000 matching grant attached, the master's auction aims to raise $20,000 with amazing gear, and exclusive services.

Mt. Itasca CCSA/JNQ Sprints Results

January 26, 2014
Mt Itasca wrapped up three days of racing with the JNQ classical sprints on Sunday. Zak Ketterson continued his strong season, taking the mens U20/U18 final. Ulrika Axelsson, Swedish skier for MTU, won the U20/U18 womens final over Caroline Brisbois. U16 titles went to Michael Jarzin and Amanda Kautzer.

Mt. Itasca CCSA/JNQ Freestyle Results

January 25, 2014
Cold temperatures brought a delayed start to the racing action at Mt Itasca on Saturday. Alice Flanders posted another incredible skate race, topping the womens field by 42 seconds in just 5K. Paul Schommer was the top mens finisher. U18 titles went to Rocci Wohlk and Ian Torchia, U16 victories for Erin Moening and Nathaniel Blichfeldt.

Rochester Invite Results

January 24, 2014
John Resman reports: The Rochester Nordic Ski Invitational was held at the Eastwood Golf Course on Friday. 172 skiers from Northfield, Red Wing, Rochester, and Winona skied a freestyle 5K on a trail wandering throughout the golf course. The weather was a balmy 30 degrees. Gusty west winds and soft snow conditions made it slow going for the skiers. Noah Poling, Winona, was the boys varsity champion and led his team to the title. Kaitlyn Lindaman, Winona, was the girls varsity champion. The Rochester and Winona girls battled it out for the team title with the Rochester team squeaking ahead of Winona by two points.

Nordic Jamboree Results

January 22, 2014
The first Nordic Jamboree was held Monday at Theodore Wirth park. The jamboree format packed in a full day of racing, starting with an 8K continuous pursuit (classic switching over to skate), sprint qualifiers and sprint heats/finals, and wrapping up a four person combined technique relay. Minneapolis Southwest boys and Eden Prairie girls won the overall titles.

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 5

January 20, 2014
The season pushes on with the State Meet less than a month away. Some great results over the last week highlighted by a pair of phenoms in the boys field and relative stability in the girls. Forest Lake boys and Wayzata girls, along with Zak Ketterson and Vivian Hett, all solid number ones again this week.

Little Falls Camp Ripley Pursuits Results

January 21, 2014
Terry Wasland reports: With cool temps and great snow conditions, 12 teams battled it out in a 10 K pursuit on Camp Ripleys Biathlon range on Monday, Jan 20th. In the Boys race, St. Cloud Tech's Isaac Wieber dominated the field and with the help of teammate Cory Rouw in second led his team to the boys title. Close behind in the team competition was Brainerd edging Little Falls in a tiebreaker. The Boys race in Section 8 appears to be up for grabs as 5 teams are all within striking distance. In the Girls race, the Mora Mustangs put together a very solid effort to outdistance Little Falls in second and Mesabi East in third. Individually, Maria Hauer of Little Falls showed why she is considered one of the skiers to watch in the state as she crushed the field by a 3:22 margin of victory. A pair of Mesabi East gals, Emma Hafdahl and Emma Greenlee finished second and third respectively for the Section 7 contender.

Cable CCSA/JNQ Classical Results

January 19, 2014
Perfect conditions Sunday at Telemark for the classical CCSA/JNQ races. In the mens 10K, Kyle Bratrud was kept from a weekend sweep by UAF's Michael Fehrenbach, who won by just two seconds over Bratrud in the interval start format. Juniors titles - U18 Zak Ketterson holds off Nick Gardner by 2 seconds, Tom Bye first for U20, Logan Zueger top U16. In the womens 5K, Natalia Naryshkina posted the top time. Junior titles - U18 Vivian Hett was tops, with Mattie Watts just 4 seconds back, Sonja first for the U20, Hannah Rudd completes her weekend sweep of the U16.

Cable CCSA/JNQ Freestyle Results

January 18, 2014
Top class racing returned to the Telemark Resort grounds on Saturday for a mass start freestyle race that featured a brutal climb up Mt. Telemark. In the 15K race, Kyle Bratrud edged out a top field of competitors to take the victory by six seconds. In the womens 10K, Alice Flanders bested the field field by 15 seconds. U20 titles went to Luke Brown and Sonja Hedblom. U18 claimed by Zak Ketterson and Alayna Sonnesyn (3rd overall!).

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 4

January 13, 2014
With Nationals wrapped up and the huge Mesabi East Invite in the books, we juggle up the boys individual rankings (again), introduce a few rising stars in the mix, and fine tune the team rankings. The top remains the same though: Forest Lake boys and Wayzata girls teams along with individuals Vivian Hett and Zak Ketterson.

Midwest Skiers Earn International Trips

January 13, 2014
With the completion of US Nationals last week, the selections were made for the U23 World Championships (U18 and World Juniors announced earlier). Midwest skiers earning their ticket with top performances include Rosie Frankowski, Ben Saxton, and Anne Hart, as well as Team Sprint World Champion Jessie Diggins.

Lake Superior Ski Club Waxing Service for JNQs

January 12, 2014
The Lake Superior Ski Club is to offering race waxing service for the upcoming Junior National Qualifier races.

Mesabi East Invite Coverage

January 11, 2014
Another great Mesabi East Invite was held with over 1200 athletes participating and using the full courses at Giant's Ridge. Nick Gardner cruised to a solid classic victory as did Allison Ternes. The afternoon freestyle races proved to be upsets as Leo Hipp rose to the top and Alayna Sonnesyn captured the girls field. Top ranked teams Forest Lake and Wayzata lived up to their top rankings to take home the team titles. Results and photos now posted.

Nationals: Classical Sprints

January 10, 2014
The US Cross-Country National Championships wrapped up with classical sprints on Friday at Soldier Hollow. Nichole Bathe capped a very good week by taking a spot on the senior womens podium with a third place finish (collecting second place) as CXC's own Natalja Naryshkina won. Rosie Brennan collected the National title (Naryshkina is not eligible). Reese Hanneman took the victory for the men. In the juniors race, Adam Martin took first with Sam Elfstrom second, and Jan Ketterson taking 5th. While many of the Midwest skiers departed earlier in the week, there were some additional top performances today: Zach Goldberg 1st MJR B final, Anne Hart 3rd MSR B final, Ben Saxton 6th qualifier, Deedra Irwin 9th qualifier, Rosie Frankowski 11th qualifier, Felicia Gesior 12th qualifier.

USSA Final Points Standings for U18 and World Juniors Qualifiers

January 9, 2014
After Wednesday's races at US Nationals, the points where tallied up to determine the qualifiers for the U18 (Scando) and World Junior trips later this winter. For the Midwest, Mattie Watts and Vivian Hett both scored trips to Finland (U18), along with Nichole Bathe and Adam Martin earning a beautiful trip to Italy for World Juniors.

South Suburban Conference Hyland 5K Recap

January 9, 2014
Brian Abery reports: The SSC came back from the holiday break and cold with a 5 km freestyle freestyle event Wednesday afternoon on Hyland Park’s new course. In spite of the cold weather and increase in hills some great times were turned in. In the Boy’s race, Eagan’s Josh Podpeskar bested Bloomington’s Tamer Mische-Ritcher by 16 seconds with ISD 196’s Rhett Carlson taking 3rd another 5 seconds back. With Vivian Hett of Burnsville competing at Senior Nationals, Eastview’s Margie Freed showed she had few peers in the SSC taking the Girl’s race by 1:32 over teammate Kylie Kramer with Burnsville 8th grader Kelly Koch rounding out the podium another 8 seconds back. Eagan once again took the Boy’s race with Eastview winning the Girl’s.

Nationals: Freestyle 5K, 10K, 20K, 30K Results

January 8, 2014
The exciting mass start distance races were held Wednesday at Soldier Hollow for the US National Cross-Country Championships. It was a banner day for Team Gregg, as Brian Gregg took the mens 30K race down to a sprint finish, losing out Sylvan Ellefson to finish second overall. In the womens 20K, Caitlin Gregg stomped the field, taking off like a rocket to win by an incredible 3:36 margin! Top Midwest results: Matt Liebsch 7th, Jake Brown 11th, Paul Schommer 25th; Rosie Frankowski 6th, Anne Hart 18th, Jordyn Ross 20th, Alice Flanders 23rd. In the juniors races, Vivian Hett had a great race finishing 4th. Jan Ketterson was the top Midwest junior male, finishing 9th.

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 3

January 7, 2014
Minnesota High School Nordic ski rankings for the first full week in January. No major shakeups, though Zak Ketterson resumes the mantle of number 1, with Vivian Hett solidifying her top spot. Forest Lake and Wayzata continue as the top ranked teams.

Hodag Challenge Recap

January 5, 2014
Ken Schoville provides a detailed recap on the Hodag Challenge races, January 4th, in Rhinelander.

Nationals: Freestyle Sprints

January 5, 2014
Sunday featured the freestyle sprints at Soldier Hollow for US Nationals. The course was particularly tough, featuring a huge climb and descent. Jennie Bender claimed another sprint title, adding a freestyle crown to her classical title from last year. Caitlin Gregg took 2nd, with Rosie Brennan 3rd. In the men, "old man" Torin Koos still has it - sprinting to the mens victory, with Ben Saxton 2nd, and Reese Hanneman 3rd. Top Midwest qualifier results: Caitlin Gregg 1st FSR, Nichole Bathe 2nd FU20, Annie Hart 2nd FU23, Mattie Watts 2nd FU18, Vivian Hett 3rd FU18, Hannah Rudd 3rd FU16; Ben Saxton 2nd FU23.

Nationals: Classical 10K, 15K Results

January 4, 2014
US Nationals opened Saturday with the distance classical races at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah. In the womens race, Caitlin Gregg had a smoking result, finishing 2nd overall, just 14 seconds back of the winner, Becca Rorabaugh. Caitlin Patterson was third. Top Midwest results: Anne Hart 17th, Nichole Bathe 19th, Jordyn Ross 21st, Mary Kate Cirelli 23rd. The men's 15k classic was won by Erik Bjornsen in the 3rd lap after chasing down the fastest 1st and 2nd legs posted by Kris Freeman, who finished 3rd overall. Brian Gregg finished a strong 5th overall to complete a great Team Gregg performance with wife Caitlin. Other top Midwest results: Ben Saxton 12th, Adam Martin 15th, Matt Liebsch 21st, Karl Nygren 22nd.

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 2

December 25, 2013
A little late this holiday week, but we've factored in some good head-to-head racing from the Wausau JNQ races to shuffle up the individual rankings this week, including new number ones for the Minnesota high school Nordic scene!

Wausau JNQ Classical Results

December 22, 2013
The second day of racing at Greenwood Hills in Wausau featured the classical distance races. The college kids came out swinging Sunday, as they posted the top times overall with Rosie Frankowski and Chris Parr leading the way. In the U20, Niki Reker and Jan Ketterson topped the field. U18 titles went to Vivian Hett and Ian Torchia. Hannah Rudd completed the weekend sweep in the U16 girls, with Michael Jarzin first for the boys.

Wausau JNQ Sprint Results

December 21, 2013
The Midwest JNQ series kicked off Saturday in Wausau with freestyle sprint races. In the qualifiers, Ben Hugus and Lisa Konig posted the fastest times to get things rolling. The U18 girls showed great speed as they dominated the U20/U18 A final, with Mattie Watts taking the victory. Sonja Hedblom was the U20 champ. It was the opposite case for the boys U20/U18 final as the U20 boys sealed all six slots with Matt Nichols collecting the win. Tamer Mische-Richter stood atop the U18 podium. U16 titles went to Henry Gore and Hannah Rudd.

Related:

Video from Harris Dirnberger: Sprint B/A Finals

High School Coaches: Diggins Role Model

December 17, 2013
Jessie Diggins will be featured on KARE-11 news in the Twin Cities Wednesday night (repeated Saturday morning). Former Diggins coach Kris Hansen extols the team player and role model Diggins was at Stillwater.

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 1

December 16, 2013
With the results finally starting to roll in, we post our first set of Minnesota High School high school Nordic ski rankings. No shakeups at the top, as Wayzata girls and Forest Lake boys still reign, and Irondale's Mattie Watts and Bloomington's Zak Ketterson remain #1, but there have been some movers.

Holiday Relays Coverage

December 14, 2013
Mark Stange reports: Irondale girls and Mounds View boys won the girls and boys classic events at the 34th annual Holiday Relays held at Trollhaugen, December 14th. Wayzata girls and Stillwater boys took the skate events. Wayzata girls and St. Louis Park boys won the combined awards, with Wayzata claiming the Bill Simpson Trophy for the fastest overall time over all four events. Individuals with the fastest split times were Mattie Watts (Irondale - girls classic), Steve Hokanson (Mounds View – boys classic), Alayna Sonnesyn (Wayzata – girls skate), and Sam Boardman (Park-Woodbury-East Ridge – boys skate).

MSHSL Proposal Voting Results

December 10, 2013
President MSHSNSCA Dan Josephson provides a voting tally on the proposed changes to the Minnesota State Meet qualifications. Plus still room for the multi-event meet in Little Falls, and get those meet results rolling in!

Updated Mesabi East Invite Info

December 10, 2013
Full details on the Mesabi East Invite including coaches details, meet info, and pasta feed RSVP, has been posted.

Midwest JNQ Scoring Clarification

December 9, 2013
The Midwest JNQ officials have issued a clarification on the U16 (J2) scoring for this season.

Wayzata Girls Win National CC Title!

December 8, 2013
The Wayzata high school girls cross-country running program capped an incredible season with a victory at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregan on Saturday! Many of these same girls will be back on skis this week, preparing to defend their Minnesota State Nordic title. The Edina boys team also competed, finishing 10th.

Mesabi East Registration Open

December 5, 2013
Registration is now open for the 2014 Mesabi East high school invite at Giants Ridge, scheduled for January 11, 2014. Registration must be completed online, and by the January 3rd deadline. And this year, there is a field limit of 1300.

SEC Freestyle Relays Coverage

December 3, 2013
Scoring the first high school meet of the season, the SEC conference competed in a two-person freestyle sprint relay format at Troll Hollow on Tuesday evening. Top ranked Forest Lake edged out tough squads from Mounds View and Stillwater to take the boys victory. Stillwater girls topped the Roseville and Forest Lake teams in another tightly matched competition. Results and photos posted.

MSHSL Proposal Voting Update

December 3, 2013
Voting on the changes to Minnesota State Meet qualifying proposal shows roughly half the teams have weighed in. The remaining member teams have until Friday, Dec 6th to cast their ballots.

Minnesota HS Coaches State Meet Qualification Proposal Voting

November 26, 2013
The Minnesota High School Nordic Ski Coaches Association has opened voting on a proposal to change the State Meet qualification to be the top two section teams, plus the top six individuals not on those teams. Voting is only allowed by high school coaches that are members of the association, and will conclude on December 6th.

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Preseason

November 12, 2013
We fire up the Minnesota high school Nordic rankings with a 'preseason' set to get everyone talking. Check out our early favorites and then watch for the first official set to come out in early December.

Spotlight: Forest Lake Ski Team

November 11, 2013
With Monday's opening day for Minnesota high school Nordic season, we dropped in at Forest Lake for their first day of practice. After a short talk with head coach Deno Johnson, the team rolled out for a long distance run along the shores of Forest Lake. Post-run, the team came back inside for some core strength training. Forest Lake fields one of its biggest teams in many years, with just over 20 skiers, and is expected to make a serious run at some state titles this season.

Related:

Photoset: 36 photos

Start of the MN High School Nordic Season Update

November 11, 2013
As the Minnesota High School Nordic season is underway, the Coaches Association is reminding coaches to complete their required paperwork on the MSHSL website, news on a proposed change to the State Meet format, and test runs of a possible three event format.

National Champions Prep for Senior Year

November 10, 2013
One of the shining moments from Junior Nationals last March was the tandem set of J1 titles, won by Midwest skiers Alayna Sonnesyn and Ian Torchia. With the start of the Minnesota high school Nordic season today, November 11th, we check in with both champions as they prepare for their senior seasons:
Interview: Ian Torchia
Interview: Alayna Sonnesyn

Twin Cities Cross Country Ski Coaches Invited for Level 100 Certification

November 7, 2013
CXC and the Loppet Foundation will host a CXC/USSA Level 100 Coaches Certification on Sunday, Nov 17th at Theodore Wirth. Level 100 certification is recommended for coaches working with all ages and levels of cross country skiing, from youth to adult and introductory level to world class.

Midwest Junior National Wax Coaches Selected

November 5, 2013
Bill Pierce and Chris Harvey have been selected as the wax coaches for the 2014 Midwest Junior National team. Coaching applications are still being accepted for the remaining positions.

Minnesota State CC Meet Coverage

November 2, 2013
An absolutely perfect day for cross-country running Saturday with cool temps, light winds, and bright sunshine for the Minnesota High School State Meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield. In the girls AA, the Alexandria sisters Bethany and Megan Hasz went first and second, with Bemidji's Jenna Truedson completing the northland sweep coming in third. Wayzata girls team placed all of their runners in the top 12 to win by a dominating 97 points. In the boys AA, Wayzata's Connor Olson made favorite Obsa Ali work for it, as Ali won the final sprint by just over two seconds. Wayzata boys made it a school sweep, edging out Edina by 13 points. The afternoon saw the class A runners hit the field, starting with the girls A. Emi Trost, Cannon Falls, ran a strong race to take the victory with Annandale girls scoring the team title. The boys A race was a dogfight for most of the first, breaking open in the final 500m as Perham's Keeghan Hurley sailed in for the win. Perham easily won the boys team title.

MN HS Coaches Fall Association Meeting Agenda

October 21, 2013
The MN High School Nordic Coaches Association annual fall meeting is this Saturday, October 26th, at the Vasaloppet Nordic Center in Mora, MN. The full meeting agenda has been posted.

LNR-SISU Rollerski Time Trial Coverage

October 12, 2013
Loppet Nordic Racing and Sisu came together Saturday morning for a rollerski time trial in the neighborhood streets near French Park. The figure eight course featured two climbs and a lot of rolling terrain. In the mens older group, Doug Debold, Nathan Foster and Tamer Mische-Richter broke away from the pack on the second lap to head into a sprint finish. Similarly in the older girls race, Niki Reker and Mattie Watts moved to the front and split away half way through the 10K to cruise into the finish together.

Midwest Head Wax Tech and Coaching Applications

October 12, 2013
The Midwest Junior National Team is seeking applicants for a number of positions including: head glide wax tech, head kick wax tech, and general coaching positions. Application deadline is Oct 20th.

Minnesota HS Coaches Fall Update

October 3, 2013
The annual Minnesota HS Nordic Skiing Coaches Fall association meeting will take place in Mora, at the Vasaloppet Training Center, on October 26th. Once again the state meet qualifying/format discussion is on the table, and the agenda is open for new topics.

Roy Griak Invite Coverage

September 28, 2013
The annual Roy Griak Invitational generates some of the best cross-country competition from around the region for a tough day of college and high school racing. Wayzata set the gold standard Saturday taking both the boys and girls team titles! Anna French led the way for the Wayzata girls, finishing 2nd overall with Connor Olson taking 4th for the boys. Maroon division titles went to Minneapolis Washburn boys and Notre Dame Academy girls.

Spotlight: Duluth XC Juniors

August 6, 2013
The Duluth XC Juniors are wrapping up their summer season this week and on Monday, participated in their annual Seven Bridges time trial. The time trial consisted of a 2.25k uphill skate rollerski (mass start) followed by a 3.25k run.

Related:

Photoset from Bryan French: Seven Bridges Time Trial
Results: Seven Bridges TT

Spotlight: West Side Nordic

July 31, 2013
Coach John Dyste reports: It was a perfect day Wednesday for the WestSide Nordic group to finish its summer program with a lactate guided training session on the Carver Climb.

Related:

Photoset from John Dyste: Lactate Testing - 4 photos

Spotlight: Nordicwerks

July 26, 2013
On Friday mornings, the Nordicwerks Ski Klubb summer training group heads to the Fick Farm near Scandia for an intense strength/power workout. Skiers participate in nearly 20 different exercises in a program designed by former State Champ Ben Fick's father, John Fick. Russian box jumps, slide board sets, suitcase lunges, kettle bell squats and tire sprints are just some of the more unique drills intended to build explosive power and strength.

Spotlight: Sisu Juniors

July 24, 2013
Near perfect conditions with temps in the low 70s and light winds provided the launching pad Wednesday evening for a number of skiers to assault some Afton coulee uphill time trial records. Leading the way, Irondale's Mattie Watts crushed the previous high school girls time posting a 6:46 time. After the quick TT up the coulee, the Sisu group rollerskied for nearly two hours on the backroads of Afton.

Related:

Photoset: 82 photos
Results: Sisu Afton Coulee Skate TT

Spotlight: Vakava Juniors

July 24, 2013
Wednesday morning the Vakava Juniors were out on the Battle Creek Ravine road in St. Paul for a skate technique session. Ahvo Taipale, along with long-time coaches Greg Weier, Richard Clark with assistance from Chris Torvi, worked the over 50 strong group in a series of series, including video analysis.

Related:

Photoset: 52 photos

Spotlight: Loppet Nordic Racing Juniors

July 19, 2013
We stopped out Friday morning to catch the big Loppet Nordic Racing (LNR) junior program working out on the downhills at Hyland. The group was roughly 60 strong, even with a majority of their competition team up in Hayward this week. After a 15 minute warm up run, the group did four level 3 hill striding reps then broke into smaller groups, working on explosive power and some technique. The groups came back together for the final drill, a set of 1 minute fast walking/striding straight uphill.

Related:

Photoset: 76 photos

Summer Junior Training Programs

May 25, 2013
We've updated our training calendar with all the summer junior training options. Most programs start the second or third week in June, so get those registrations rolling in!

2013 Collegiate Tally Board

May 22, 2013
Find out where the Midwest high school seniors are planning to ski next season with our annual collegiate tally board. Send us your plans, we'll update it regularly.

2012-13 Season Highlights

May 1, 2013
Review highlights and results from the 2012-13 high school racing season.