Twenty-six Berkshire County alpine ski racers and four teams have earned the right to compete for state titles on Tuesday.
The MIAA alpine skiing championship will be held in Central Massachusetts this year at Wachusett Mountain. It’s a two-run event with boys and girls alternating between slalom and giant slalom.
The first run begins at 9:30 a.m. Boys are scheduled to ski giant slalom in the morning and girls will ski slalom. They will switch disciplines in the afternoon.
"We hope the skiing gods are with us," said Monument Mountain coach Pete Dunham. He was speaking for his teams, but could have been speaking for any of the 26 skiers heading to Wachusett.
The Berkshire County champions, the Taconic girls and Monument Mountain boys, will represent Berkshire County along with the Monument girls and Pittsfield boys, who finished second in the standings.
But the second-place finish did not guarantee the Spartans or Generals a spot at Wachusett.
Under the qualification rules, each league gets two positions per team. Since there are six girls teams and seven boys teams, there are 12 openings for the girls and 14 for the boys.
Of the 12 girls, five are from Taconic and three from Monument. Both teams can qualify for a state title because it takes three racers to finish in order to vie for the state team title.
Pittsfield ski coach Bob Geller said that temperatures are expected to be around 6 degrees when the skiers take to the mountain Tuesday.
"It should be fast. It should be hard," Geller said. "The snow should be in great shape."
The slalom course, according to Geller, has five slightly uphill gates. On the GS course, the top turn is very steep, but two-thirds of the course is fairly flat.
"Gravity and weight can make a difference," said Geller.
Monument is led by Emily Martin, who won the final GS and swept the slalom in Berkshire County. She is joined by Michaela Bartlett and Jennifer Evans.
Martin and Bartlett are racing in the top 15. Martin has bib No. 5 and Bartlett has 13.
"I think they have a good chance because of their start positions," said Dunham.
League champion Taconic will be represented by Maria Giacoletto, Michaela Craft, Jill Scussel, Lindsay Curry and Amanda Ely.
Also competing as individuals are Lenox’s Ella King, Pittsfield’s Ali Williamson and Emma Pizutto and Wahconah’s Brittany Quinn.
Trent Pfeiffer, who won all six races this year, will be part of a five-man Monument team. He’ll be joined by Thomas Berle, Trevor McFarland, Kevin Marzotto and Joey LaBrasca.
"Trent has the most racing experience. He’s probably the least nervous," said Dunham. "These guys know how to squeeze a little energy for skis. On flatter, more technical courses, you have to be able to do that."
Pittsfield has three racers going and has qualified as a team with Erich Maynard, Garrett Dempsey and Alex Teichert.
Traveling to Wachusett as individuals are Cody Latimer of Taconic, Ryan Kuhn of Mount Greylock, Connor McNinch and Devon Atwell of Lenox along with Matt Geyer and Brecken Burke of Wahconah.
Pfeiffer starts seventh, Kuhn starts 13th and Maynard 19th.
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