This article was posted on Monday, June 4th, 2012
Long-time Twin Cities ski clubs Minnesota Valley Ski Team and Go! Training are joining forces under the banner of the City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation. The new combined club will have programming for youth through masters level skiers and will go by Loppet Nordic Racing.
Without doing anything, the new Loppet Nordic Racing club is arguably the strongest junior program in the Midwest. Between Minnesota Valley and Go! Training, the two former clubs placed 18 of the 48 athletes on the 2012 Midwest Junior National Team. And both Minnesota Valley and Go! Training produced Junior National Champions: Ben Saxton for Minnesota Valley and Sharmila Ahmed for Go! Training. On the Alaska Cup scale, the new combined club would also have ranked as the fifth best club nationally, with Minnesota Valley’s boys ranked second nationally.
Training sites will largely remained unchanged from previous years, though as the Theodore Wirth venue continues to improve more training will focus at Wirth Park. Piotr Bednarski takes the lead as the overall Program Director for the combined effort, with Reid Lutter continuing to focus on the Hyland training site. The coaching staffs of the two former clubs will also continue on with Loppet Nordic Racing.
At the outset, the new club will have three focus areas: Youth, Juniors and a new Competition Team. The Competition Team is a new year round training group for those athletes focused on national level competition. These top athletes will come together from all around the west metro to train together at least twice per week. Jacob Beste, a former National Team member and World Cup biathlete, will develop training plans and organize testing for the Competition Team.
The new club will also focus on the 9-13 year age group. Programs at French, Wirth, and Hyland will be starting in June for the 9-13 year age group. Participants will mountain bike, go on adventure runs, roller-ski a little, and compete in relays and team events.
The new club includes a substantial number of youth from the Nordic Ski Foundation’s inner-city programs as well. Foundation executive director John Munger is excited for the change: “Bringing [Bednarski] and [Lutter] and their combined coaching staffs under the Loppet umbrella is good for everyone. They bring a proven coaching philosophy, energy and experience to the organization. Everyone will do better because of this!”
You can find all the Loppet Nordic Racing program info here: http://www.loppet.org/loppet-nordic-racing/
Look for a new Loppet Nordic Racing website by mid-summer.