TRAVERSE CITY — More than 80 high school skiers will compete this weekend in the state Nordic championships on the Vasa Pathway.
The races will take place at the trailhead off Bunker Hill Road.
There will be a 1K classic sprint Friday, starting at 2 p.m. All skiers will take part in time trials with the top finishers moving on to heats. The field will eventually be whittled down to the semifinals and finals competition between 4-5 p.m. with a plaque awarded to the overall boys and girls winners.
On Saturday, there will be a pursuit, starting with a 5.5K freestyle at 9 a.m. and ending with a 5.5K classic at 2 p.m. Individual and team champions will be crowned afterwards.
Seven teams are expected to compete, including four from Traverse City — Central, West, St. Francis and the Vasa Ski Club. The Vasa Ski Club is comprised of area skiers who do not attend Central, West and St. Francis. Skiers from the Houghton, Marquette and Petoskey areas will also vie for titles.
The sprints rotate on a yearly basis between skate and classic. This year it’s the classic.
“We built a new course for the sprints behind the Vasa warming hut,” said John Kostrzewa, coach for the host schools, Central and West. “There was a field back there that was not being used, at least not in the winter.”
The land was cleared and prepped “before our second big batch of snow,” Kostrzewa said.
“It’s set up for 30-foot wide start and finish lanes,” Kostrzewa added. “It makes for good viewing. Plus, you get a real fair start and a real fair finish. Six will go out at a time in the sprints. You want it wide and you want it long so there’s a nice battle to the corner and it’s not like you can block someone right away and they can’t get by you the rest of the race.