Western Maine Conference? Racing as an Individual? Class C? NENSA? U16/EHSC? What IS all this?
At our team meeting, we briefly discussed the different types of races the team will participate in over the course of the season. In response to several follow-up questions, here is a brief run down of the various types:
WMC Races: On Wednesdays, we race in Western Maine Conference (WMC) races. These races are against schools of various sizes that are physically close to Waynflete including: Cape Elizabeth, Freeport, Fryeburg, Gray NG, Greeley, Maine Coast Waldorf (MCW), Yarmouth, and York. Until Day 2 of the WMC finals in February (Saturday), these are almost exclusively on Wednesdays unless there is some kind of weather-related adjustment.
Individual Races: Most of the Saturday events are races that focus on individual performance and each event is typically named (e.g. Sassi Memorial, Maranacook Waves, etc.) . Skiers do not need to ski for a high school team to participate in these events and many of them draw skiers from schools of all sizes from all over the state. One advantage to attending these races (which are frequently optional) is that they provide the only opportunities Waynflete skiers will have to get a sense of the skiers we compete against at States because…
States Races: At the beginning of February break, we race in the State Championships against other Class C schools, high schools that are similarly sized to Waynflete (1-399 students). However, every other Class C school in Maine is located north of Lewiston/Auburn and therefore are not part of the Wednesday WMC races! As a result, we only race against these Class C teams once a year at States. In addition to Waynflete, the Class C schools this year are: Mountain Valley, Orono, Fort Kent, Winthrop, Monmouth, Dirigo, Mt. Abram, Telstar, Madawaska, Maine School Science & Mathematics (MSSM), Fort Fairfield, and Ashland.
U16/EHSC: Once the regular season is over, at the end of February, Maine holds qualifiers for the state-wide U16 team (comprised of skiers who will be U[nder] 16 as of 12/31/19) and for the EHSC (Eastern High School Championships) team (comprised of any high school aged skier from across the state). Skiers can qualify for either one or both teams (if they are younger than 16 as of 12/31/19) and Waynflete has historically ended up with 2-3 skiers who qualify for each. These two newly formed Maine teams then attend All New England races during the first two weekends in March. VT, NH, often MA, and sometime NY each send their own state teams and these 3-5 teams compete against one another for the U16 and EHSC titles. Spoiler alert: Vermont wins.
NENSA: During the regular season, NENSA (New England Nordic Ski Association) races, also often called the Eastern Cup series, take place four times per year in NY, NH, VT and ME. They draw those athletes who are considering the possibility of skiing competitively for years to come.
Hopefully, that provides a basic introduction. But please feel free to ask questions as they come up about who needs to be where when and why!