LEAD — Terry Peak Ski Area will host a USSA Northern Division YSL Qualifier beginning today and running through Sunday.

Male and female skiers from under-8 to under-16 will compete in giant slalom on Friday and slalom races on Saturday and Sunday. 

Action begins at 10 a.m. each day on the Empress trail.

This is a U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association non-scored event. 

Almost 140 skiers from ages 7 to 16 had registered as of Tuesday noon, with 36 representing the Black Hills Ski Team. 

Forty-nine are from Bozeman, Mont., with 11 from Missoula and nine from Whitefish, Mont., said secretary and board member Ben Sayler.

The Northern Division also spans North Dakota and Montana. 

Black Hills Ski Team coach Chad Sebade said snow and course conditions are expected to be very good for the weekend. 

“Terry Peak did a very good job of setting up the course as of last week,” he said. “We had a home race last night (Jan. 13) to see how things were going to run, and they ran very well.”

Man-made snow usually creates the best race conditions, Sebade said. 

He added the desired base must be at least 14 inches, and Terry Peak’s current base measures 16 to 18 inches of man-made snow.

This season’s Black Hills Ski Team consists of 48 members between the ages of 5 and 18 years. They carry different skill levels.

Sebade is one of eight coaches for the team. Three coaches are interns, and the others are volunteers. 

“Every one is a USSA Level 100 or above level coach,” Sebade said when asked about the coaches’ certifications.

Black Hills Ski Team numbers continue to grow.

“I think they see the interest as well with the other athletes on the hill,” Sebade said in describing those increased numbers. “They want to get involved as well.”

The Black Hills travel team has competed in two events so far this season. Members entered a U-19 race at Big Sky, Mont., along with a U-14 event at Bridger Bowl in Bozeman, Mont.

“There have been a lot of great highlights,” Sebade said. “The athletes are competing very well this year within the Northern Division.”

Black Hills Ski Team members Grace Schad and Lauren Strand competed in Ladies’ Giant Slalom at Big Sky. They, along with Mairen McGrath, competed in Ladies’ Slalom at that event.

Will Sayler, Logan Strand, Jay Sayler, and Paul Hourigan competed in Men’s Giant Slalom and Men’s Slalom for the Black Hills team at Big Sky.

Black Hills Ski Team members Lily Schad, Molly Cowling, Torah Rose, and Elsa Fromm competed in Ladies’ Giant Slalom at the Bridger Bowl event. Men’s Giant Slalom competitors featured Preston Cornella, Taylor Cowling, Hunter Larson, Bode Fromm, Grant Schad, and Osten Fromm.

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