For top Maine high school skiers, their version of the Lobster Bowl and soccer and basketball’s senior games begin Saturday with qualifying races in Alpine and Nordic that lead to a spot on the Maine Ski Team.

The Maine Ski Teams will compete in the Eastern High School Championships against teams from New England and New York. The EHSC for Alpine is being held March 9-11 at Attitash Mountain in New Hampshire. Nordic will race March 16-18 at Mountain Top Inn & Resort in Chittenden, Vt.

“There will be some phenomenal skiing Saturday,” Maine Team Alpine coach Mark Cyr said. “It is a big commitment for three days at the EHSC but our kids get to ski against a lot of really good competition.”

EHSC are considered to be the premier event for Maine high school skiers.

“In Nordic skiing, other states do not have the rules we do in Maine regarding having private school skiers on our team,” Bean said. “So when we ski in the EHSC, we will face a good Vermont team that will have a large number of private ski school athletes on the team.

“We should be a very good team. We usually do well and are in the battle for top spots.”

Joining Cyr of Mt. Blue on the Alpine coaching staff will be Ronn Gifford of Maranacook and Tara Eretzian of Edward Little. Nordic coaches will be Merit and Sally Bean of Mt. Abram and Steve DeAngelis of Maranacook, along with several other coaches from across the state.

Alpine will race for positions at Black Mountain in Rumford while Nordic skiers will compete at Titcomb Mountain in Farmington. Alpine qualifiers will consist of runs in giant slalom and slalom while Nordic will feature a freestyle race in the morning followed by classical pursuit in the afternoon.

To earn a spot at the qualifiers, an Alpine racer needed to finish in the top 10 in either discipline (slalom or giant slalom) at their respective state meet (Class A, B and C). Any high school Nordic skier can attempt to qualify Saturday as there are no previous finishing requirements.

“We usually don’t get everyone who qualified for Alpine,” Cyr said. “Our numbers have consistently been in the mid 50s, so there will be some very competitive skiing in the qualifiers.”

“Nordic qualifying races will draw around 100 skiers,” Bean said. “It is a really fun group with a lot of quality skiers.”

The state Alpine team is made of 12 boys and 12 girls, the state Nordic team is comprised of 24 boys and 24 girls with no alternates.

Local skiers who are expected to race in Saturday’s qualifiers are:

Alpine girls: Heather Farrington, Mt. Blue; Mallory Parker, Mt. Blue; Elise Luce, Mt. Abram; Erin Luce, Mt. Abram and Olivia Tsouprake, Winthrop.

Alpine boys: Lucas Bonnevie, Mt. Blue; North Kay, Mt. Blue; Max Kay, Mt. Blue; Gary Kersbergen, MCI; Matt Delmar, Maranacook; Alec Daigle, Maranacook and Kelby Mace, Maranacook.

Nordic girls: Sarah Wade, Mt. Blue; Abby Mace, Maranacook; Adrian Huntington, Maranacook; Caroline Colan, Maranacook and Sadie James, Mt. Abram.

Nordic boys: Dustin Staples, Mt. Blue; Zach Veayo, Mt. Blue; Trent Rosenberg, Mt. Abram and Dylan Thombs, Monmouth.

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