FARMINGTON — The best young Nordic ski racers from around New England will be at Titcomb Mountain this weekend, when the Eastern Cup series arrives in Farmington.

Approximately 800 racers, coaches and fans are expected for the event, and it will be the largest Nordic event hosted by the mountain.

“We’ve put on a number of large Nordic events for high school, and some college, but this our first Eastern Cup,” Karleen Andrews, manager of Titcomb Mountain, said.

Sponsored by the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA), the Eastern Cup series is one of four competitions held in northern New England this winter. Skiers will compete for spots on the New England team will compete at the Junior Nationals in Soldier Hollow, Utah in March. Some competitors could one day join the United States Ski Team.

“This is the beginning of the ladder towards the U.S. Ski Team,” Doug Dunlap, a member of the Farmington Ski Club, said.

Titcomb has prepared for this event since last April, including widening trails and expanding the start-finish area. More than 60 volunteers helped prepare Titcomb for this event.

“There was a lot of work behind the scenes in the summer, as far as trail work goes,” Andrews said.

Fire departments from New Sharon, Chesterville, Wilton, Temple and Industry donated fire hose, making it possible to get water from a nearby pond and get manmade snow on the Nordic course. That base, combined with the natural snow that fell in Farmington on Thursday, should provide for good conditions for racers, Dunlap said.

“Both of these courses are in excellent shape,” Dunlap said.

On Saturday, athletes will race in 1.2 kilometer sprints at the Bond Brook course in Augusta. On Sunday, competitors will race a 1.4 kilometer course at Titcomb that includes portions on the mountains alpine slopes. The women will start at 11 a.m. and race 10 K, while the men will start at noon and race 15 K.

Sunday will begin with Bill Koch League races at 9 a.m., followed by Junior 2 (ages 14-15) races at 10 a.m.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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