Jessica McCurdy has a dilemma.
Should she linger for the awards ceremony at Black Mountain following the concluding freestyle race of the Class C Nordic state skiing championship meet and possibly see her son Forrest, a sophomore at Merriconeag in New Gloucester, defend its state title?
Or should she hop in the car and drive from Rumford to Sugarloaf to see her son Eli, a senior at Freeport High, push off in a classical race to kick off the Class B state meet?
Such are the challenges of a skiing mom with boys at two different schools.
The Maine Principals’ Association Skiing State Championships get under way this week. Under a split format put into place for this winter, the three Nordic titles will be contested Wednesday through Friday of this week, when schools are not in session. The three Alpine meets are scheduled for Thursday through Saturday of next week.
All three Nordic meets will follow the same format: Classical on Day 1 with girls at 1:30 p.m. and boys at 3, and Freestyle on Day 2 with girls at 10 a.m. and boys at 11:30.
Class A (in Rangeley) and C (at Black Mountain) will be held Wednesday and Thursday. Class B will ski Thursday and Friday at Sugarloaf, a new host for the state meet.
Falmouth in Class A, Yarmouth in Class B and Merriconeag in Class C are the defending Nordic champions, for both girls and boys.
Last year, both McCurdy brothers wore the maroon suits of Freeport, which has since moved up to Class B. Oddly enough, when both began skiing competitely in middle school, they attended the opposite schools. Eli was at Merriconeag and Forrest at Freeport.
“And now they’ve both switched,” said Jessica McCurdy, who introduced her sons to back-country skiing in a small town in northwestern Connecticut, where they lived before moving to Maine five years ago. “Eli left Merriconeag two years ago, in 10th grade. Forrest just switched over to Merriconeag this year.”
Both boys cited academic reasons for their transfers.
“We just decided the other (school) was the right place for us,” said Eli, who placed second in classic and fifth in freestyle in the recent Western Maine Conference championships.
“I just decided it was a better fit for me with academics and the people I wanted to be around,” said Forrest, who placed fifth in classic and sixth in skate in the WMC, despite fighting off a cold.
Skiing-wise, many of their meets were held at the same venue and even practices at Pineland Farms overlapped. They roller-ski together in the offseason and have a designated area in the basement for waxing.
They have an older brother Wyatt, a Merriconeag graduate now studying at the University of Maine in Farmington, who found basketball and ultimate frisbee more to his liking.
Until this winter, Eli was the clearly superior skier. Now they are fairly close in ability, with Eli having the edge in classical and Forrest in freestyle, but that hasn’t changed their relationship.
“Obviously there’s some competitiveness in who gets the better place,” Eli said, “but it’s still an individual sport.”
“They really want to beat everybody else,” said Jessica, who is sometimes asked if her sons (aged 15 and 17) are twins. “They do have a competitive spirit in them, but they’re happy to see the other do well.”
Eli is considering a gap year before enrolling at the University of Northwestern Ohio to study high-performance automotive motor sports.
“I’m hoping to be a mechanic or a race tech,” he said. “I love cars.”
This week, at two venues in Western Maine, each brother plans to stay in the fast lane.
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: