Meets take place against one or more teams with each meet focused on either the Classic method or Freestyle/Skate method. For most meets, there are four timed races:
- Varsity Girls
- Varsity Boys
- Junior Varsity Girls
- Junior Varsity Boys
The races take place in this order! Therefore, Varsity arrives first to races.
Additionally, there may be Development races as well, allowing new skiers to experience racing without feeling pressure.
There are a few Varsity-only meets, and Coach Abery will specify these instances.
The top ten skiers from each Girls team and the top ten skiers from each Boys team compete in the Varsity race, and the remaining skiers compete in the Junior Varsity race. Skiers qualify for Varsity status on a race-by-race basis. By the evening before a meet, Coach Abery will define the Varsity and Junior Varsity rosters for that meet.
Junior Varsity skiers and new skiers are not required to race until they want to and may sign up to race before a meet once they are ready.
All skiers are welcome to race as no skiers are cut from the meets, with the exception of sixth graders. Sixth graders do not participate in races.
Coach Abery will specify the race distance, ski method, transportation information, and other details in the TeamSnap schedule.
Days, times, and locations
Races take place on weekdays, typically starting at 3:30 p.m. and ending by 5:30 p.m. Some Varsity-only races occur on the weekend.
Meet locations vary and will include the following locations:
- Valleywood Golf Course in Apple Valley »
- Hyland Recreation Area in Bloomington »
- Murphy Hanrehan Park Reserve in Savage »
- Kenwood Trail in Lakeville »
Coach Abery will specify the race times and locations in the TeamSnap schedule.
Be aware of the arrival time stated in the TeamSnap schedule, so that Varsity skiers have time for coaches to wax their skis.
Transportation to and from meets
Bus transportation is provided to meets at locations other than Valleywood Golf Course (team's "home" location) based on the bussing needs of the team members. To determine the need for buses for each "away" meet, a poll will be sent out one week beforehand to collect this information.
When a bus is available for meet transportation, it will depart from and/or return to Eagan High School's lower parking lot (east side -- not the Dakota Hills Middle School main entrance)
Parents of skiers who do not drive will need to be flexible in order to make sure skiers can get (a) to all meets at Valleywood, (b) to and from Eagan High School should the skier ride the meet bus, and (c) to all "away" meets should no bus be available for transportation in one or both directions. We recommend carpooling.
Coach Abery will specify the bus availability and schedule ahead of each "away" meet in the TeamSnap schedule.
Dressing for a meet
Racing skiers will wear their uniform and a bib with their number. Numbered bibs are handed out to skiers before the race and collected after the race. When skiing the uniform and bib must remain fully visible. See photos above for examples of skiers racing.
Skiers should wear base-layer clothing as needed under their uniform to remain warm and dry while skiing.
While warming up for a race, skiers may choose to wear additional clothing, like a jacket or warm-up pants. Before heading to starting line, skiers will leave their warm-up clothing with the rest of their gear at the team camp (the team's setup area for waxing and gear at the meet).
Capes will be available at most meets, which skiers can wear to stay warm once they remove their warm-up clothing. However, skiers should pack additional clothing as capes are not worn throughout the event's hours.
Packing for a meet
Skiers MUST come prepared to stay warm and safe in Minnesota's cold winter temperatures during the warm-up, while racing, and throughout the meet.
A simple plan for packing is to have
- A ski bag
- A backpack/duffle bag with a waterproof bottom
While skiers' gear will sit outside at the team camp, there are always parents or teammates around the camp setup, so all ski gear and backpacks will remain safe. Skiers may bring their school backpack with and not worry about losing it.
In your skier's ski bag, pack both sets of skis, poles, and appropriate boots. If the meet is
- Classic method, then then coaches will apply kick wax to Varsity skiers' skis, and skiers can warm up for the race on their Freestyle/Skate skis. Junior Varsity skiers will wax their own skis and may warm up on their Classic skis as well.
- Freestyle/Skate method, Junior Varsity skiers do not need their Classic skis for warm-up as wax won't be applied by coaches.
Make sure the ski bag is clearly labeled with their name.
If your skier is not using a ski bag, make sure the skis and poles are securely tied together. Rubber bands do not work. Make sure the gear is labeled with your skier's name.
Be sure the bottom of the bag is waterproof.
Skiers will be onsite a couple hours. No food or drinks are available for purchase at the meet. Come prepared with
- Water for pre-race
- Electrolyte drink mix post-race
- Pre-race snack (especially if coming directly from school)
- Post-race snack with protein
Skiers will remain outside during the meet. On really cold days, bring
- A bigger puffy/down coat to wear on top of uniform and warm-up clothing
- Hand warmers
- A blanket
These are important if the skier rides the bus--and has no car to warm up in--or gets cold easily and wants to keep watching the meet outside.
If the skier wants dry, warm clothes after their race, consider packing
- Dry socks
- Separate shoes or boots
- Dry base-layer shirt
There is usually a tent where waxing takes place and where skiers can get warm, but the warmth AND space available are limited. Plan to pack for the weather and brave the elements.
Skiers stay warm while skiing, but parents do NOT move around a lot while watching the races. The only warm place at a race is in your car.
Parents, come prepared with very warm boots or the cold will sneak up through the soles of your boots. Use hand warmers, foot warmers, hats, and layers--whatever you need to stay warm.
A good way to stay warm is to have a task. Numerous volunteer opportunities are available for parent sign-up the day before a meet. Sign-up availability is communicated via TeamSnap.
ISD 196 Nordic Ski Booster Club