Parents, coaches and athletes. Thank You!. We had a great night of ski racing. Two very different course set. A buff course in spite of the balmy temps. Thank you to all the excellent course work by our parents. Thank you gate judges, finish refs, chief gate judges, announcer, photographers, videographers, assistant starters, coaches.... what a terrific team effort. We know how to run an excellent race. Well done.
I got a lot of questions tonight about the rest of the season: YES, WE ARE STILL PRACTICING. We start right back up again tomorrow morning. 9:30AM. We will be on lanes 3, 7, and 8. There may or may not be teams there at 9:30. We are guaranteed those lanes at 10, but come over at 9:30 just in case they are open then. If there isn't room, we will warm up on center chair. We will continue practice next week. Basically the same schedule, but check the website for details later this weekend. We will train until March 8th or 9th, depending on coach availability. Warning: it will be very crowded tomorrow... come a bit early because the drop off lanes might be backed up. They have a full slate of lessons and lots of teams practicing and warm weather which will bring out the public.
Now to the race results. Congratulations to MAST Alum Simon McMahon who notched a nice victory for himself skiing for his new school and my alma mater, Benilde-St. Margaret's. Erik Arnold was only .12 seconds behind Simon in third. Erik posted the fastest second run of the day on a rip-roaring fast course. I bet he wishes he could get another crack it to see if he could break 15 seconds. So close. Andreas was only .03 seconds behind Erik, placing fourth overall. Charlie, Jaxson, Levi and Eli claimed 5th through 7th places. For the girls, Gabby Harritt had another great race, placing second behind one of fastest U16 girl skiers in the upper midwest. Both Nahlah and Meghan had breakout races today, placing third and fourth overall. Great skiing girls. And Vada showed everyone that a month off to recover from thumb surgery didn't slow her down one bit. And Kate Moore finished sixth, putting five MAST skiers in the top six.
I get to brag about my Pod 8 girls who swept 2nd through 8th place in the JV girls race. Lia Rulf had a stellar race placing second, followed by Maddie Graff, Mia Collins, Bret Margolis, Elika Vahhaji, Ramie George and Josie Bitney. It was really fun to see your hard work pay off with some terrific "squared up" skiing this afternoon. In the boys' JV race, Sam Moore, Luke Moertel, Henry Payne, and Eli Kroll placed 4th through 7th. Very strong finishes boys. A special call out to Christopher Fernandez. Today was Christopher's first race of the season. Christopher had never even skied before joining MAST and he not only survived two race runs today, he skied them very well. No missed gates and no falls. And he was carving turns. I am really proud of you Christopher. You have come a long ways this year.
In team scoring, we had a three way tie in the boys' race. I have never seen this before. Three races separated by one point and each team going 1 win and 1 lost.
BSM 28. BSW 27 SW 28
SW 27 WHS 28 WHS 27
On the girls side, Washburn girls went 3 wins and 0 losses. Great team skiing Washburn.
The full results are attached. See separate tabs for girls results, girls jv results, boys results, and boys jv results.
See you all bright and early. I will get video posted yet tonight if I can stay awake. Otherwise.... morning.
Dear MAST Athletes, Families and Coaches:
Before discussing Sections, the Captains would like to announce that tomorrow is FLANNEL FRIDAY. Wearing a flannel shirt on Fridays is a long-standing MAST tradition. The captains would like everyone to wear flannel shirt tomorrow. I would still like you to race in your gs suit however. So, wear flannel, but race aerodynamic.
After eight or so weeks of hard work and mind-blowing improvements across all pods, it is time to announce the coaches’ selections for the Section IV Championships at Wild Mt on Wednesday, March 3.
Alternate and Forerunner: Calvin Lamosse
Alternate and Forerunner: Chloe Bitney
Alternate and Forerunner: Eleanor Vap
Alternate: Beckett Wedren
Race Schedule: Attached is a spreadsheet listing the athletes by team as well as the schedule for both the morning race involving the Washburn teams and the afternoon race involving the SW and MAST teams. I have also attached several documents that the Section IV Meet Manager sent, just in case you want to see EVERYTHING.
Race Workers: Mpls has been assigned many race duties for both races, but nothing we can’t handle with grace and competency. For both races we need:
Here are the links to sign up to work the Section IV races.
Washburn sign up - https://signup.com/go/qkzdEyt
Southwest and MAST sign up - https://signup.com/go/FAoFvSQ
Please look at the schedule carefully to see when and where you need to be.
Transportation: All athletes must secure your own transportation to and from Wild Mt. We are not taking a bus this year. If you can't find a ride, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternates: your job is to be ready to ski just in case one of the six starters is unable to race that day and to support your teammates. This has happened twice in my tenure so please make sure your skis are tuned and you are well rested. Some of the alternates will also be forerunning. If you are forerunning, note that there is a forerunners meeting 30 minutes before the start of the race in the finish arena. Your job is to give the coaches the chance to see how the course skis.... does it ski as inspected or do we need to make a change to our tactics. This is a very important role. Be ready to ski your best.
Food: We do not have a tent this year, nor will we be serving food or beverages. So, bring water and healthy snacks or a sandwich to chow down between runs. Something with protein. A piece of fruit or vegetable. No nuts however. We have several athletes with severe nut allergies on the team.
Team Meeting: There will be a team meeting for all Section skiers and alternates on Monday at Hyland at 5PM. We will meet outdoors. We will announce a meeting place over the weekend. If for some reason you cannot attend, please get ahold of Daniel or myself.
Everyone, we have a lot of skiing remaining. Continue to attend practice and train with purpose and intensity, even if you are not racing at Wild next week. Do not waste this opportunity to continue to improve your skills. Many breakthroughs can and will happen if you continue to put in the work.
Finally, here is a link to a story about Jessie Diggins in yesterday’s Star Tribune. Athletes, please read this. Parents too. She has a great approach to delivering peak performances.
See you tomorrow.
Attached is the race plan and run orders for tomorrow's race. Varsity and JV skiers will again be racing together. The first run starts at 4:30pm. Inspection opens at 3:45. We will race in our Pods again. First and second run order is the same. We have a full slate of race workers. Thank you MAST parents. JV parents: if you cannot make the earlier race time, just let me know via email. I certainly understand since we were originally holding the JV race later in the day.
Athletes, you need to TUNE YOUR SKIS TONIGHT. Tuning skis is more important than getting in one more training session. I have seen too many of you sliding your turns this week due to DULL edges. A fresh layer of wax would also be good for your skis and help them run more cleanly. So.... If you can't practice AND get your skis tuned AND do your homework AND put your head on the pillow at your normal bedtime AND give your parents a hug and kiss for all the support they have given you this season, then stay home to make sure you have time to get the last four things checked off your list.
Team photos: I always forget to organize a date for a team photo. BUT NOT THIS YEAR. I got it organized. I just forgot to announce it. Hey everyone, we are taking photos tomorrow. The first priority is to take photos of each training POD. We will also take school (team) photos by gender, with the exception of the MAST skiers who will take one group photo. And finally, we will take photos of the Section Championship teams. I ask for your cooperation tomorrow. Coaches will direct you when it is your time to have your picture snapped. You will stay masked and you will maintain some measure of social distancing for the photoshoot.
Speaking of Sections... Daniel will be announcing the Section IV Championship teams at practice today. I will send out a team announcement after practice tonight announcing those teams as well as all other details about the Section Champs at Wild Mt next Wednesday. Also, there will be a meeting for all section athletes and alternates at 5PM on Monday at Hyland. Please plan on attending, once you know who your are.
You get to hear from me twice today. Isn't it a great day!
MAST Section IV (and State) Championships Update
Dear MAST Athletes, Families and Coaches:
The Section IV Championship will be held at Wild Mt on Wednesday, March 3. Although most of the section squads are set based on race day performances during the season, there are a couple of sixth seed starting positions that are still up for grabs. To make a final decision, the coaches are waiting for results from Friday’s race with BSM. Those results plus an analysis of the times you post in training this week will be used by the coaches to finalize our section championship team selections. I know this is stressful to those of you on the bubble. I also know that parents need to know who will be racing. Parents, feel free to contact me directly if, for planning purposes, you need to know now rather than later.
Athletes, the coaches know how hard you have worked. Our teams are competitive because all of you push each other to go faster and work harder every day. So, I want everyone to know that even if you are not selected to represent your high school at the Section IV Championships, you are an integral part of your school’s section squad. You helped push your teammates to be the best skiers they could be this year. And it shows. The rate and depth of improvement I see in your skiing at our races from week to week is mind blowing. Skiers who could barely roll a ski on edge are now carving turns and moving their hips inside on the gate and clearing with their outside hand. Those who just learned to carve a ski last year are now scoring in varsity competitions. Everyone who has been coming to practice and working hard has made tremendous improvement. You should be proud of your accomplishments and you should be proud of how much you have pushed your teammates to ski faster. When the SW, Washburn and MAST boys and girls compete on March 3, they will be a threat to score high because you pushed them every day in training. Take pride in that contribution.
Section Champs will be very different this year.
First, Section IV is divided into two subsections. Teams are assigned to subsections based on coach rankings. We have good news in this regard. The Washburn boys and girls will be competing in the morning subsection. The Southwest and MAST boys and girls will be competing in the afternoon subsection.
The winning team in each subsection will advance to the state meet. The top five finishers in each subsection (after members of the winning team are subtracted out) will advance to the state meet as individual qualifiers.
Covid is also forcing other changes to how the Section Champs will operate this year.
Here is what little information I have on the State Meet at Giants Ridge. Even less is known about this race.
What we have been told about State by the MSHSL:
How MAST will approach State:
The MN State High School Alpine Championships will be the first high school championship held since last winter. As restrictive as these changes are, it is important to remember that just ten weeks ago we weren’t even certain if we would have a season. We will just need to make the most of whatever opportunity we are given here.
More to come... soon, I hope.
MAST has an immediate need for two roles that work behind the scenes, can you help or know someone who would be great?
Communications - review previous MAST Marketing Communications, rework for current recruiting and ski team promotion.
Event Planning - help plan this season's banquet. MAST is looking at how best to honor our seniors, athletes, and coaches this year. We are considering options for a virtual banquet and an outdoor, in person banquet as appropriate within current Covid guidelines.
Please email Jodi, email@example.com, for more information. We would appreciate any time you could give!
Thank you! Go MAST!
Attached is a roster of athletes listing their race intentions for Friday's race against BSM. If you don't have a YES by your name you will not be on the run order unless you state your intentions by the time I lay my head on my pillow tonight.
Here is a link:
Well, another great night of racing. Thank you VOLUNTEERS!!! Every position was filled. Athletes, please thank your parents--if they got you to the hill, thank them. If they worked the race, thank them twice. Once from you and once from me. Under those face masks were smiling faces soaking up the sunlight. We have never before raced this deep into the month of February. Who can't smile about that. I hope people were also smiling about how well our athletes skied tonight.
Gabby Harritt and Kate Moore finished first and third in the girls' race. Nahlah and Meghan were close behind in fourth and fifth place. And the freshman girls continue to impress, placing 6 athletes from the class of 2024 in the top 11. Eighth graders Amelia Moertel and Lia Rulf had strong finishes as the 9th and 10th fastest girls for Washburn today.
Andreas Drekonja put down two very consistent runs today to take first place in the boys competition. Teammate Owen Hemer was close behind in second and Charlie Smith had an outstanding second run to secure third place and ward off Levi Ehlers who skied the second run on the edge of disaster today. Levi, great job finding ways to stay in the course without spilling too much speed. Love the aggressiveness. In a post race interview with ESPN, Charlie Smith credited the breakthrough of his second run to the fact that he focused his vision two and three gates ahead in the course. This allowed him to see the line he needed to take more easily. Try it. The Washburn boys had their largest victory over SW to date. We'll have to wait until next Friday to see whether the SW boys, led by Erik "thunderthighs" Arnold, can turn the tables on their crosstown rivals.
Thank you again to all the parents and the coaches who worked today's race. Another quality race under your belts.
See you bright and early...
First, attached is a letter of notification from MPS formally notifying the team of a positive Covid-19 test on MAST. As an update to yesterday's announcement on the same subject, there was one MAST skier who was in close contact with the first athlete. This athlete received word of a positive test this morning. That athlete was already in quarantine when news of the positive test arrived this morning.
Second, Joel and I are cancelling the 6:30PM practice tonight for Pod 7/8 athletes only. We want to give our rapidly improving 7th and 8th grade athletes a night off to TUNE YOUR SKIS. You have been working really hard and improving very fast. We want you to make sure your skis are tuned for tomorrow's race and that you get some rest. This will give you the best opportunity tomorrow to perform at your peak. Were you to practice tonight, you would either have to sacrifice sleep to get your skis tuned or skip tuning your skis before a race. Best to tune and rest rather than ski. We have practice Saturday morning early (7:45am), so plan to ski then instead.
Third, I have re-ordered the run order for tomorrow's race. We are going to operate a bit differently tomorrow.
So.... the bottom line is that you need to find your lead coach and pod as soon as you are on the hill tomorrow and then stick together, but socially distanced.
Please read this email a second time.... print it off and stick it in your jacket so you understand the plan when you get to the hill tomorrow.
Meanwhile, keep your social distance at practice. Keep wearing your masks.
Can't wait to see you ski fast tomorrow!
First, I am so sorry to report that we have a second covid positive case. This athlete is from a different pod than that of our first positive case. I cannot see how the cases are linked. I think all of you have done a fantastic job wearing your masks at practices. With three weeks remaining in the season, we should double our efforts to stay socially distanced at practices. When waiting in line to take a training or race run, please maintain six feet of distance between yourself and other athletes. No clustering at the bottom of the hill. And when not on the hill, please maintain six feet of social distance with anyone who is not in your family unit and be sure you and the other person(s) are wearing masks. It would be nice if you could avoid indoor socializing with anyone from outside your family for the next three weeks, but I know that is not always possible. If you are car-pooling to the hill with another family, I suggest that you keep a window cracked in the car to help with air circulation.
Second, Daniel was in the process of setting up training at Wild Mt for those athletes who are vying for a spot on a section championship squad. We are canceling that project to minimize pod interaction. Our only practice on Saturday will be at Hyland from 7:45-10:15AM.
Third, attached are the race plan and run orders for Friday's race with the Academy of Holy Angels.
PLEASE NOTE: VARSITY AND JV WILL RUN TOGETHER.
AHA does not have a jv squad this race so we will run our JV skiers at the end of the run order. NO 6PM JV RACE.
So.... Inspection will open for BOTH JV AND VARSITY at 3:45PM. If you can't be on the hill until 4PM you will still have enough time for inspection. Go directly to the race venue (lanes 1 and 2) when you arrive at Hyland.
Race Volunteers: I have combined the folks who signed up to work the varsity and jv races. Given the time change for the JV skiers, it is possible that some JV race volunteers will be unavailable for a 4:30 race start. If this is the case, let me know. You could always work the 2nd run if you can get there in time. My guess is that the 2nd run would start somewhere between 5:15 and 5:30. We still could use a few more gate judges.
Practice TODAY at 9:30AM. We will be off the hill by 11:45.
Sun is shining. Refreshing temps outside. We will stay below zero this morning but the bright sun will help. We are on lanes a, b, c so we will be riding the chairlift. I don't think anyone will be shedding a jacket today as you did yesterday. Lots of layers. Use your darker lens for your goggles today.
See you soon.