PRESQUE ISLE, Me (WAGM) - The Presque Isle alpine ski team is gearing up for championship races in the next few weeks. The Wildcats are especially looking forward to competing at Bigrock for the Class B state championships.
"Definitely an advantage for us, we're so used to skiing here. Knowing the slopes really well is going to help us improve a lot," said junior Eleanor St. Peter.
"Part of the state experience is going away for a lot of us. I think having an advantage of it being our home course we'll do a little bit better," added junior Sheridan Boucher.
Head coach Scott Smith says in the past downstate teams have often underestimated the tough course.
"They take a look at the mountain and say oh it's not that big of a mountain compared to what they're used to skiing on. It probably has more terrain than most of those mountains. The race course has a lot more rollers and a lot more fall-aways. It's a tough course," Smith said.
The season got off to tough start with several canceled meets.
"This season has been tough because of all the snowstorms, so we haven't had as many meets as initially planned. So I think we've done pretty well with the amount of time we've had on snow," St. Peter said.
"We try to train like we are in race conditions. We try to have everyone train hard and work on their starts," Smith added.
The Wildcats have more skiers on the team this year, especially on the girls side.
"Definitely makes it more fun because you don't have to ride the lift with the same person each time. You can kind of expand your horizons and talk to everyone on the team," Boucher said.
The veteran skiers are trying their best to make sure the younger skiers are confident and stick with the program in the future.
"Have fun with it and be yourself. Try harder each race and try to beat your personal score," Boucher added.