Ishpeming’s Al Quaal to host state high school club Nordic ski championships starting Friday

ISHPEMING – The Superiorland Ski Club and its affiliated Marquette Senior High School Nordic Ski Team will play host to the state’s Nordic ski championships on Friday and Saturday.

The event will take place on Ishpeming’s Al Quaal trails. Approximately 100 youths will be vying for state titles in Nordic ski sprints, as well as the 5-kilometer freestyle and classic events.

Teams will be vying for overall crowns.

The Marquette Senior High School boys team took the 2011-12 state title. The team and the MSHS girls squad also joined forces to win the state combined title.

They will be looking to defend their titles against teams from Traverse City and the Copper Country.

The event schedule calls for a 2 p.m. 1K freestyle qualifying round on Friday, followed by six competitor heats beginning at 3:30 p.m..

At 10 a.m. Saturday, the 5K classic pursuit begins with an interval start, followed by the 5K freestyle pursuit at 2 p.m.

The competition is open to the public.

For the Marquette boys squad, Blake Murray, Andrew Twohey, Mike Wiitala, Ben Wright and Logan Zueger are all expected to challenge for the top three spots, according to spokeswoman Carol Fulsher.

For the Marquette girls, Fulsher said Bethany Wright and Abby Potts will look to place in the top three.