Mankato, MN-- The MSHSL state alpine skiing tournament takes place Wednesday,  with plenty of athletes from our area ready to compete on the biggest stage.

The Mankato West girls squad qualified as a team for the seventh straight season while Mankato East/Loyola's Spencer Steinbach is making his second appearance at state.

We caught up with some our state skiers before the tourney.

"Last year I kind of just went there to ski, but this year I'm going to try to focus up a lot more, and see how it goes," said Spencer Steinbach, Mankato East/Loyola senior. 

"I think my favorite part about the state tournament is being on top of the course when you're inspecting. Giants Ridge is beautiful, it's amazing to look at the nature around you. The energy level is great, everyone is excited to be there, the support is incredible. That's my favorite part about state," said Kate Nelson, Mankato West senior. 

"It's pretty exciting, you make a lot of memories up there, and it's fun to be up there," said Steinbach. 

"Every time it's exciting, every time new people are going, every time it never changes, it just gets better," said Jon Andersen, head coach. 

"We get a lot of competition, there are a lot of really fast girls and boys that you don't get to see here. It's awesome just watching them race," said Hailey Kopischke, Mankato West senior. 

The Mankato West girls ski squad came close to winning the program's first ever state championship just a season ago when the Scarlets skied to a runner–up finish.

"Third the year before, second last year, I guess there is only one way to go but up. I just know that we're going to go up there, the pride these girls have, they're going to put it on the line, and this is going to be the most fun state tournament we've ever had, I guarantee that," said Andersen. 

"I honestly think that it's just going to take us having as much fun as we can, because this year, that was our goal at sections. It seemed to work just fine for us, so I think we're going to have a similar mindset going to state," said Nelson. 

"It's an accomplishment to go with the team this long, just to go year after year is a big deal for us," said Kopischke. 

First run is slated for 10 in the morning at Giants Ridge.

We'll have an update on how the skiers fare, Wednesday night on KEYC News 12.

--KEYC News 12