PRESQUE ISLE, Me (WAGM) - It was an exciting Chummy Broomhall Cup for the UMPI nordic ski program last season. Connor Hrynuk was the state champion and the men's team finished in first. This Saturday at 10 and 11 the Owls and the Nordic Heritage Center will host the event for the first time.
"This is a big deal for us. This is the first college race the school and the county has hosted. We've hosted some biathlon world cup races. This is an opportunity to showcase our venue and trails for the rest of the college teams in Maine. A lot of these college teams like Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby are teams that we race every weekend for NCAA's. If we can convince them this is a good place to come for college races then hopefully we'll be hosting NCAA regional races and potentially national championships in years to come," said Owls head coach Tim Whiton.
This is the 11th year of the event that serves as a state championship for the Maine teams and honors a very important figure in Maine skiing history who passed away in December.
"He was the President and founder of Chisholm Ski Club, which they own Black Mountain in Rumford. Chummy was very instrumental in bringing skiing to Maine essentially. He was a two-time Olympian and a decorated World War II verteran. He was around for a long time and this race was designed to commemorate him," Whiton explained.
The Women's team has one skier and the men have three just like last year. All three men will need to race well in order to place again.
"We're definitely on the upswing right now. The plan is to race these guys into shape a little bit to be racing well this weekend and the next few weekends after that. Some of the other teams are racing really well, but I'd say we're all pretty even in a lot of ways and it should be an exciting race," he said.