MAST Fact Sheet
Alpine ski racing is challenging, fun and exciting. Benefits include physical conditioning, friendly competition and the development of skiing skills that will last a lifetime. Here is a quick summary of things prospective racers and their parents may want to know about the team and ski racing.
- Minneapolis Alpine Ski Team (MAST) began competing in high school alpine racing in 2000.
- MAST is a “cooperative” team combining students from multiple schools in the Minneapolis Public School system.
- All Minneapolis Public School students in grades seven through twelve are eligible to join MAST.
- MAST team members possess a wide range of skiing ability levels, from beginner to expert. All ability levels are welcome. Our coaching staff will work with you to help you improve whatever skills you bring to the slopes.
- MAST is funded through a combination of funding sources: Minneapolis Public Schools, team fees, MPS activity fees, and fundraising.
- Fundraising opportunities are available to MAST athletes and families to help cover the team fee.
- MAST is incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and managed by a Board of Directors.
Ski Season - Training
- The MAST coaching staff consists of six paid coaches: Head Coach Mark Conway, Assistant Head Coach Joel Hedrick; and Assistant Coaches Daniel Polland, Matthew Polland, Jack Strand and Daniel Haberman.
- Additionally, MAST athletes benefit from the time and energy of a large and experienced staff of volunteer coaches.
- All the coaches work hard to maximize skill development for all athletes and to teach safe skiing habits and maintain safe training environments at all times.
Ski Season - Training
- Our season starts with physical conditioning (dryland) training beginning in late October and is organized by the team captains. The season officially begins November 9. Most likely, the first week or two of training will consist of additional strength and conditioning work held from 4:30-6PM Monday-Friday at the Washburn HS Stadium.
- Skiing begins when Hyland opens for skiing. This usually happens the week of Thanksgiving. The season ends on February 10 with the Minnesota State High School Championships held at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minnesota.
- Practices are held at Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area in Bloomington. All athletes are required to purchase an unlimited season pass to Hyland.
- Generally, practices are offered six days a week, Monday-Saturday. Students and parents are encouraged to discern and establish a training schedule that works best with the athlete and his/her academic goals and outside responsibilities/commitments. We encourage a minimum of three training sessions per week for all team members but for those who want to compete at a higher level, more training will be necessary.
- A finalized training and race schedule will be available in late October. Training times can and do change depending on training space availability. In the past and generally, MAST offers training from 5-7:30PM or 6:30-8:45PM, Monday through Friday, and from 7:45-10:30AM or 10:30-1:00PM on Saturdays and over Winter Break.
- Athletes are responsible for securing transportation to and from Hyland for practices and races. Many families set up car pools.
- Whenever possible, MAST will charter a bus to transport athletes to camps and “away” competitions. When smaller numbers of athletes are involved, parents will be asked to help with transportation to and from races at other ski areas during the season.
- MAST will offer four to five (optional) supplemental training sessions at ski areas that offer more challenging terrain: Welch Village, Wild Mt, Mt Kato. The cost to attend a supplemental training session is usually $40-45 per session, which includes a lift ticket and bus transportation.
- MAST is offering an extended training camp (optional) at Giants Ridge over winter break (Dec. 30-Jan 2).
Ski Season - Competition
- MAST sets its own competition schedule. In 2014-15, MAST competed in dual meets against Benilde-St. Margarets, Mound West Tonka, Edina, Chaska-Chanhassen, Academy of Holy Angels, Wayzata, Mankato, Armstrong-Cooper, Eden Prairie, Orono, Virginia, Hibbing, and Lake Crystal. MAST also entered teams in two invitational meets at Wild Mt and Welch Village and competed in the Minnesota State High School Section IV Championships.
- The varsity squads consist of 10 male and 10 female athletes for dual meets and 6 male and 6 female athletes for invitational races and Section Championships. The varsity roster is determined by time trials and race results and can change at any time, depending on who is skiing fast that week.
- Dual races generally start at 4:30PM on weekdays. More than half of our dual races are held at Hyland Hills. Invitational races and the Section Championships are held during the school day.
- At most dual meets, all team members race. Those designated “varsity” score in the varsity race and everyone else competes as “junior varsity” and scores in the junior varsity race.
- During the season, students from all Minneapolis high schools compete together as two teams of boys and girls: Southwest and a combined Washburn/South/Roosevelt (MAST) squad. At the Sectional Championships, each high school (South, Southwest, Washburn, and Roosevelt) is allowed to field a team. Should we be fortunate enough to field students from North, Edison, or Henry this season, they will race on the MAST team in competition.
- All MAST athletes have the opportunity to earn high school letters and athletic honors in alpine skiing.
- Parent involvement is critical to the success of MAST. Parents are encouraged to become involved with the team in a variety of volunteer roles (instructors, race workers, accounting, marketing, fundraising, website management, statistics, equipment, photography, cooking, etc).