Titcomb Mountain will be hosting the Class A, B and C Nordic high school championships in February 2020. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)

Titcomb Mountain bills itself as “The Friendliest Mountain Around,” but it also will be of the busiest in February 2020, when the mountain hosts the Class A, B and C boys and girls Nordic ski championships.

Thanks to a dedicated staff, volunteers and a persistent Nordic committee, the Maine Principal’s Association agreed to hold all three classes at Titcomb.

Titcomb’s Nordic committee includes Deb and Ron Aseltine, Tony Ramsey, Buzz Davis, and Anne and Ken Charles, who worked to bring all the Nordic championships to the mountain.

Titcomb general manager Seth Noonkester wasn’t surprised when the Maine Principals’ Association decided to hold all three classes at the mountain after watching Titcomb’s crew in action during the past season’s Class B and C Nordic championships.

“We were definitely excited to get it. So last year, we hosted high school Class B and C, and with the amount of passionate members that we have, the amount of volunteerism that we can still produce, we can put on a really good event,” he said. “(Deb Aseltine) took the lead role and organized that event, as well as a small Nordic committee. The MPA was extremely grateful and the referee said we put on a really great event, and we had great weather, which really helped.”

Noonkester believes holding all three classes at one location is a first when it comes to high school skiing

“Typically they separate Class A and B and C is held somewhere else,” Noonkester said. “It is cool to have all three classes at one facility at one event. We can handle it.”

“Yes, this is a test case,” MPA associated director Michael Bisson said. “They made a proposal to host all three classes. If this works well, we will try to rotate to some of our outstanding Nordic sites in Maine that are willing to host us.

“We are excited to showcase all of our Nordic championships at one location to make this a celebration of all Maine Nordic skiing.”

Noonkester pointed out that businesses in Farmington will also benefit when approximately 300 high school skiers and their parents come to Titcomb. 

“To have any big event with a fair amount of people coming into Farmington, everybody is going to benefit with such a big crowd coming to the area,” Noonkester said.

Deb Aseltine, who spearheaded the Nordic committee, said Titcomb’s solid reputation, with its army of volunteers, was solidified after hosting the Class B and C Nordic championships. 

Titcomb Mountain was also picked to host another huge event in 2021.

“The New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) has just awarded Titcomb the bid for the Eastern High School Cross Country Championships,” Deb Aseltine said. “This is a wonderful premier event for high school racers in New England and New York. This will bring 200 athletes and their families to Farmington for a three-day event.”

Mt. Blue’s Tucker Barber powers up hill during the Class A boys Nordic skating race in 2017. Barber placed first. Sun Journal file photo

The Eastern championships will be held March 19-21, 2021.

But for the moment, Titcomb is focused on preparing for the high school Nordic championships next year.

“At Titcomb, we hosted the Class B and C championships this past season and it went pretty well, so we just thought Class A is in our back yard, because Mt. Blue is here and they train at Titcomb, we thought, you know, it would be really nice if we could approach the MPA and see if we could host all three,” Aseltine said. “It makes it really nice for the athletes to see what the competition is in the state of Maine.”

According to Aseltine, if the three classes races go off without a hitch at Titcomb, the MPA will rotate all three Nordic championships classes at another ski facility each year. She said Titcomb is up to the challenge.

“No, I don’t think it will be hard,” she said. “It is not going to be hard because we have enough volunteers. We have our timing crew all set up to do that and they are prepared for that. Our timing crew has been doing that for years.

“One thing about Titcomb that is really special is that we really have a depth of volunteers that have been there for a long time. Titcomb has a great venue for this.”

Aseltine said Titcomb possesses the infrastructure should the MPA request changes to accommodate the three classes.

“We are trying to work with the MPA because we know this is a change for them,” she said. “But they have a lot of faith in us. I think we are going to be good to go.

“I think it is huge for the community. It is going to be close to 300 athletes for Class A, B and C. It is a two-day event and it brings most of the schools, and if they are away, they fill the hotels. They are going to be eating at the restaurants.”


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