St. Peter, Minn. - The Gustavus Adolphus College men’s and women’s Nordic ski programs will transition from varsity status to club sport status beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year.
The Gustavus men’s and women’s varsity Nordic ski programs began during the 1999-2000 academic year and participated as members of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). The MIAC discontinued its sponsorship of Nordic skiing in the 2004-05 academic year when the number of schools required to sponsor a championship dropped below the league minimum of six. Currently only two of the original six MIAC institutions sponsor Nordic skiing. For the past ten years the Gustavus men’s and women’s Nordic ski programs have competed as members of the Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA).
According to "Save Gustavus Nordic Skiing", the team was blind-sided by the decision. Says Thomas Kendrick, " Minnesota has possibly the best high school ski program in the country, and it is a huge shame that without Gustavus there will now only be two NCAA nordic ski programs in the state of Minnesota that offer both men's and women's skiing."
With this transition, Gustavus will now support 23 varsity athletic teams including men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s tennis, softball, baseball, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field.
The newly structured Nordic ski club teams will continue to participate in select CCSA events as other Nordic ski clubs are currently doing.
Gustavus is a Division III member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). As a club sport, Nordic skiing will no longer be a NCAA competitive sport.