The Michigan Cup Committee met outside on August 29 at the Hanson Hills Pavilion at Hanson Hills Recreation Area in Grayling to plan the 2021-2022 Michigan Cup Race Series. Composed of representatives from each of the Michigan Cup teams, each team had one vote although anyone can attend the meeting. So what happened at the meeting?
Each year, the prior year's participation levels by gender and age class are used to determine how many points are awarded to individuals. For the coming season, individual points are awarded as follows:
Ruth Oppliger of the Vasa Ski Club Junior Development Committee sent an email to the Michigan Cup Committee proposing improvements around junior development to get more kids involved in our programs. Ruth thought one way to improve junior involvement in our programs is through more racing opportunities. "Racing is a fun way to build skills, fitness and confidence in young skiers."
She proposed the Michigan Cup Committee:
Vasa Ski Club Junior Development Committee proposed there be 4-5 junior (high school and middle school aged skiers) focused races that are scored throughout the 2021-2022 season. The junior races would be the main focus of the day, to only include junior skiers, and be appropriate distances for the junior athletes (5-7 km for High School and 3-4 km for Middle School); preferably with a mix of classic and skate disciplines.
Vasa Ski Club Junior Development Committee noted that although there are junior races and a junior cup (the Biac Cup) within the Michigan Cup, they often take “second fiddle” to the citizen/adult races. They hoped putting a focus on junior racing will not only help the Vasa club grow but will help other ski clubs in Michigan boost their youth programming and involvement overall for the sport of cross country skiing. They proposed additional Junior Michigan Cup Races for the Calendar such as:
Unfortunately, no one from the Committee attended the Michigan Cup Committee to discuss their ideas. The Michigan Cup Committee was fully supportive but none of the other Junior teams were contacted by the Vasa Ski Club Junior Development Committee nor did we have any indication that any of the venues had been contacted about whether they could hold the races and who would organize and time the race.
The Michigan Cup selects races to be part of the Michigan Cup but does not organize any races on it's own. The proposal was tabled until the Vasa Ski Club Junior Development Committee could contact the other junior programs and work with individual race venues to see if they would host races and ask to be included in the schedule.
The Michigan Cup has historically donated money to the USSA/CXC Skiing Great Lakes District (mainly Michigan) juniors to attend regional or national competitions. Recently CXC Skiing reorganized the divisions, merging Michigan and Wisconsin into the same district. The Michigan Cup Committee voted to limit funding to only Michigan skiers.
Based on information we had, the Vasa 12K race was designated a junior race. Post meeting, Gussie Peterson provided an update:
Gussie learned that the Michigan State High School Championships, hosted in the Upper Peninsula, were on the same weekend as the Vasa and she expected few juniors at the Vasa. Also, the 12K race is now a 15K race due to logistical efficiencies. 15k might be a bit much for juniors.
She also mentioned that the Vasa does "plan to run a 6K classic race for the juniors on Sunday, though again, there probably won’t be much participation" because of the high school championships, but the Michigan Cup Committee could designate it as a points race. The Michigan Cup Committee has not yet discussed this proposal.
Existing races get priority on the schedule, and certain days are reserved for those races. In 2022, January has five weekends rather that four, opening up an extra weekend early in the season and giving race directors some options to move the date of their races, if only for a single year.
The race directors of the Black Mountain Nordic Races proposed changing the dates of the Black Mountain ski races from their traditional first weekend of March to the last weekend of January for the 2022 season. Historically March has been a little iffy weather-wise. The Michigan Cup voted to allow moving the Black Mountain Classic and Black Mountain Freestyle to January 28 and 29 for the 2022 race season.
Because the Black Mountain weekend is now open, Mariah Frye Colie asked that the Michigan Cup Relays be moved from March 13 to March 6. The Committee assented.
Because early snow is also less reliable, the Michigan Cup Committee voted to lmove Lakes of the North Freestyle Winterstart and Forbush Time Trial races from the weekend of December 11 and 12 to the following weekend, December 18 and 19, if there is not enough snow on the first weekend.
Gussie Peterson also asked in her post-meeting email if the 15km race can be slated as a partial points race for seniors. As it was post-meeting, the committee has not yet put this to a vote.
A discussion around the Noquemanon Ski Marathon took place. The Noque doesn't really care about the Michigan Cup and if we were to drop the the Noque from the Michigan Cup schedule we would have another weekend to schedule a lower peninsula race. For example, we could move the Black Mountain races permanently into January when the snow is more favorable.
A straw vote resulted in teams generally in favor of dropping the Noque from the calendar, but a real vote was tabled until next season so teams could canvas their members for input.
|Sat Dec 11||Lakes of the North Freestyle (Lakes of the North)|
|Sun Dec 12||Forbush Time Trial (Forbush Corner)|
|Sat Dec 18||OPEN|
|Sun Dec 19||OPEN|
|Sat Jan 1||Hanson Hills Michigan Cup Team Ski Day (Hanson Hills Recreation Area)|
|Sun Jan 2||OPEN|
|Sat Jan 8||Frosty Freestyle (Huron Meadows Metropark)|
|Sun Jan 9||Krazy Klassic (Huron Meadows Metropark)|
|Sat Jan 15||Cote Dame Marie (Hanson Hills Recreation Area)
Northbound Outfitters Kids Ski Festival (Northbound Outfitters)
|Sun Jan 16||OPEN|
|Sat Jan 22||Noquemanon Ski Marathon|
|Sun Jan 23||OPEN|
|Sat Jan 29||Black Mountain Classic (Cheboygan)|
|Sun Jan 30||Black Mountain Freestyle (Cheboygan)|
|Sat Feb 5||White Pine Stampede (Mancelona, MI)|
|Sun Feb 6||Michael Seaman Memorial Classic (Forbush Corner)|
|Fri Feb 11||Michigan High School Championships (Marquette)|
|Sat Feb 12||Michigan High School Championships (Marquette)
North American Vasa (Traverse City)
|Sun Feb 13||North American Vasa (Traverse City)|
|Sat Feb 19||Forbush Freestyle (MI Cup Freestyle Championships)|
|Sun Feb 20||Hanson Hills Classic (MI Cup Classic Championships)|
|Sat Feb 26||Boyne Vistas Freestyle (Boyne Mountain)|
|Sun Feb 27||Muffin Race (Cross Country Ski Headquarters)|
|Sun Mar 6||Michigan Cup Relays (Cross Country Ski Headquarters)|