As many of you know, GLD has a points hurdle that athletes need to meet to be eligible to represent Great Lakes at the Junior Nationals. The purpose of this eligibility requirement is to help the GLD have athletes at developmentally appropriate trips where the athletes are competitive with their peers nationally.
The initial points hurdle values for many of the age groups initially missed the target. The GLD JR Committee executive group has examined the issue and found the following: The GLD point ceiling (eligibility requirement) was set too low to form a team in some age groups. Utilizing Midwest as a benchmark along with current USSA points (85th place nationally) and simplifying the criteria there has been a change to the ceiling for 5 out of 6 age groups. Updated points eligibility standards for both Females and Males (an athlete’s FIS/NRL style formula points have to be below the value) are as follows:
With half of the GLD JNQs now having taken place, there is much better information to work with. This midseason adjustment to the Great Lakes JN Team eligibility requirements should benefit the athletes and open up more opportunities for the hard-working athletes in GLD. This adjustment will be reported on and reexamined at the full GLD Junior Committee at the spring CXC Congress. Going forward for this season, our athletes and families have a better mark to shoot for and plan around.
There are also 2 more spring trips available for GLD athletes that do not have these points hurdle eligibility requirements, the NENSA U16 Championships and the CXC U18 Trip to the Eastern HS Championships. Each of these trips is also great opportunities for the GLD athletes and will provide the athletes on these trips with high-quality competition experiences against athletes that are at similar levels, setting athletes up for both successes on the trip and future success.
Those that do not meet the eligibility marks or are not within the age group ranking limit on world cup points, and are not selected to the GLD JN Team, but are selected to the U16 or U18 trips should not feel lasting disappointment and instead embrace the chance to keep racing in the spring. In fact, Central athletes that have taken these trips have gone on to compete on the World Cup after having these experiences early in their career.
Also, note that the College of Saint Scholastica is a GLD Club. CSS petitioned to be part of the Great Lakes Division with its new boundaries. I understand that the CSS athletes will be at all GLD JNQs, but would not be able to be at all MW JNQs. With this, junior athletes from CSS, UWGB, MTU, and NMU are all eligible to ski for GLD. College athletes from other divisions are also eligible to ski for GLD if their hometown is in GLD. Athletes with choices in the Central division will have to declare their division if they have a choice prior to Feb 1.
A GLD eligible athlete declaring for another division will be treated as a decline. They will not be named to the team or be counted against the age group maximum quota limits.
GLD is tracking/scoring all possible GLD athletes and will continue to do so through the season. If an athlete declares for another division after the season starts, their points will still be scored in any GLD JNQ they race in to maintain the integrity of points from one race to the next.
Our CXC Staff thanks the GLD Jr Executive Committee for working diligently through this process as we transition to the new boundaries of GLD and work through some of the transition issues that come up along the way. We hope our GLD community embraces these midseason changes.
Joe Haggenmiller | Sport Development Director
U.S. Ski & Snowboard – Central Cross Country Skiing