With the first race in the Minnesota High School Cycling League's debut only 15 weeks away, teams throughout Minnesota are being formed and registered for the new high school mountain bike racing league.
Teams from Washburn, Rochester, Cannon Valley, and Minnetonka have set up web sites, which can be found at minnesotamtb.org/teams. Teams already registered with the Minnesota League include Anoka, Burnsville-Lakeville, Cannon Valley, Rochester, Minneapolis Washburn, East St. Paul Metro, White Bear Lake and Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Some of the teams are being formed by women interested in supporting the new league. "In a sport that is traditionally dominated by male participation, it's cool that several of our teams are being formed by women," said Minnesota League Director Gary Sjoquist.
"Sue Welch down in the Cannon Valley area and Martha Flynn in the East St. Paul area are not only helping form teams, but are also working on becoming licensed coaches. Both the Minnesota League and [National Interscholastic Cycling Association] NICA work hard to encourage female participation both at the student-athletes and the coach level."
Getting teams registered with the Minnesota League and identifying parents to help as coaches and volunteers is only part of the story. Many locations are hosting meetings at high schools and middle schools to recruit student-athletes, boys and girls, to become team members.
"We had a bunch of kids and parents attend a meeting last week at Northfield High School," said Sjoquist. "In the next two weeks, recruiting meetings will take place for District 196 team (Apple Valley, Rosemount, Eagan, Eastview), as well as for teams in Roseville and Burnsville/Lakeville area."
Team meeting locations and contact information, as scheduled, will be posted at minnesotamtb.org.