Press Release: Minnesota High School Cycling League to Allow Middle School Racers this Fall. Overwhelming demand from 7th & 8th grade levels prompts

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Press Release: Minnesota High School Cycling League to Allow Middle School Racers this Fall.

Overwhelming demand from 7th & 8th grade levels prompts test.

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Mpls Washburn - Eastwood Race 2012

Media Contacts:
Libby Hurley / libby@minnesotamtb.org 952-835-4540

Aug 29, 2013 - Bloomington, MN - For the first time, middle school students (7th and 8th grade) will be allowed to compete in the Minnesota High School Cycling Leagues’ high school mountain bike racing program as part of a pilot program approved by the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). Middle school students can register with the MN League and compete in a single middle school-only race to be held between the Girls and Boys division races at the Sept. 29th competition, held at Hillside Mountain Bike Park in Elk River, MN.

“We’d like to thank the NICA Board of Directors for allowing this opportunity, and also the NICA staff who worked out the logistics,” said MN League Director Gary Sjoquist. “After our season, we’ll report back to NICA to see if the program can be extended across all NICA leagues for the 2014 season.”

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Burnsville Racer & Future Racer | Eastwood 2012

Since 2001, NICA leagues have only allowed student athletes in 9th through 12th grade to compete in their high school mountain biking competitions, although each league has reported being asked by parents repeatedly to add middle schoolers. From NICA’s perspective, allowing middle schoolers to join existing high school mountain bike racing teams seems a logical evolutionary step.

“There’s a lot of recruiting going on as middle school students grow into high school students,” said Sjoquist. “It’s important to NICA’s growth to capture these students before they’re lured into traditional sports.”

MN League’s Middle School Pilot Program details are now posted to the MN League website. Questions about the Middle School Pilot Program, or about the MN League, can be directed to MN League Director Gary Sjoquist.

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Salem Hills | 2012

High school mountain biking starts again on Sun. Sept 8!

Last year, the MN High School Cycling League launched a mountain bike racing series with 160 student-athletes from 15 teams at Salem Hills trail in Inver Grove Heights, MN and brought a new sport to the state of Minnesota. Growth and participation has exploded over the summer -- 25 teams and over 300 racers are preparing to race on Sun. Sept. 8 at Salem Hills once again.

Mark your calendars for Race #1 on Sun. Sept. 8!
Girls Racing begins at 10:00am and Boys Racing begins at Noon.
You need to see this to believe it. Minnesota - get ready - the fun is about to start all over again!
Additional details and a course map will be posted by Sept. 3 to the minnesotamtb.org website.

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About the Minnesota High School Cycling League
The Minnesota High School Cycling League, founded in 2011, serves all Minnesota high school-aged students, and regardless of ability level, is committed to providing a positive co-ed cycling experience. New for 2013, the MN League launched Crank Sisters, an outreach program established to recruit girls to race and women to become licensed coaches in the MN League. Each MN League season includes summer camps, a five-race series, wilderness first aid certification courses and a Spring Leaders’ Summit for training and certification of coaches. The MN League exists by virtue of a range of fundraising activities, as well as generous donors, and MN League sponsors including the founding national sponsor, Specialized Bicycle Components; as well as establishing NICA sponsors Easton Foundations, SRAM, and Trek Bicycles; major sponsors Sho-Air, Clif Bar and Company, Clif Bar Foundation, Primal Wear, Quality Bicycle Products, GU Sports, Kinetic, Maxxis, CamelBak, Feedback Sports, Fort Lewis College, Fox Racing Shox, and Ritchey Designs; media partners Mountain Bike Action, Dirt Rag, Mountain Bike Review, Switchback and Cyclingnews. MN League specific sponsors include Founding Retailers Penn Cycle and Erik’s Bike and Board Shop, Mt Borah, Life Time Cycle, HealthPartners Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, Muscle Milk, the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series, Park Tool, Peace Coffee Racing Team, Salsa, Ipsity Marketing, Random Bikes, and Valley Bike and Ski. For more information on the MN League, visit minnesotamtb.org.

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