The competitors have been established, the venue is ready and the administrators are in place. All that remains for this week’s Alpine and Nordic skiing state tournaments to go on as scheduled is to wait and see how cold it gets.
The forecast for Biwabik’s Giants Ridge Recreation Area, the site of the meet, is a concern. Lows well below zero are expected all week, with the National Weather Service calling for a low of 15 below and a high barely reaching the single digits Wednesday, the day of the Alpine competition.
A slight warmup is predicted for Thursday’s Nordic racing, calling for a high around 9 degrees.
The Minnesota State High School League guidelines call for postponement of an event if the air temperature is minus-4 degrees or lower and the event is more than a minute in length (most Alpine skiing runs are shorter) or postponement of all events, no matter the length, if the temperature is minus-20 or the wind chill is minus-40.
It looks likely that the meet will avoid those limits and go on as planned, but it won’t hurt to pack an extra pair of long johns and a balaclava.
The dance team state tournament is set for Friday and Saturday at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Don’t expect a repeat of 2015, when accusations of plagiarism led five teams to protest Faribault’s victory in the Class 3A high kick portion of the meet. The MSHSL has since tightened its rules and believes it has adequately addressed the issues that led to the protest and subsequent uproar. Staff writer David La Vaque will look more closely at the fallout and resulting changes in Friday’s Star Tribune.
Elsewhere this week:
Section playoffs: All 16 spots for next week’s state tournament will be decided this week. Two-time defending Class 2A champ Hill-Murray puts its undefeated record (25-0-1) on the line in a Section 4 semifinal gainst Stillwater Tuesday at Aldrich Arena. If the top-ranked Pioneers win, they will face either Mounds View or White Bear Lake in Thursday’s final at Roseville. … No. 2-ranked Minnetonka, which has played in four of the past five Class 2A championship games, received a bye in the Section 2 quarterfinals and kicks off its postseason Tuesday at Braemar Arena. The top-seeded Skippers play Holy Family/Waconia in a semifinal at 6 p.m., to be followed by the other semifinal at 8 p.m., pitting No. 2-seeded Eden Prairie against No. 3-seeded Chaska/Chanhassen. The Section 2 final is Friday at Ridder Arena at 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Hill-Murray at Elk River, 7 p.m.
Thursday: Minnetonka vs. Edina (at Braemar), 7 p.m.
Saturday: Holy Family vs. Stillwater (at St.Croix Rec), 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Cooper at Bloomington Kennedy, 7 p.m.: The Metro West title is at stake as both teams have league-leading 7-1 conference records.
Saturday: Orono at Minnetonka, 1 p.m.
Tuesday: Cretin-Derham Hall at Mounds View, 7:15 p.m. One-half game separates Suburban East leading Cretin-Derham Hall from Mounds View atop the conference standings.
Thursday: Shakopee at Apple Valley, 7 p.m.