Prep skiing: Northmen capture dual Division II state titles again
Both the Petoskey boys and girls ski teams put together solid team finishes en route to capturing dual Division II state championships at Marquette Mountain.
Petoskey has also won dual state titles in 2008 as well as in 1984.
“It feels euphoric,” Petoskey coach Travis Hill said. “It’s surreal. I was telling (assistant coach) Tom Olson I came up here knowing we could do it and personally having the desire to do it, yet when in happens it still feels like it’s the first time.
“Every title feels like a first title,” added Hill, who in his four-year tenure with the Northmen has earned six regional titles and five state championships. “You work hard and sacrifice a lot of time and money, you want to win it and we did it.”
The state championship for the Northmen boys capped a perfect season, as they went 9-for-9 on the year en route to earning a third straight state crown.
The Northmen finished with 39 points, while Bloomfield Hills Andover was second with 119, and Houghton-Hancock was third, 129.
On the girls side, Petoskey was first with 65 points, while Harbor Springs — the defending Division II state champion — was second with 91.5 points and Bloomfield Hills Andover was third with 99 points.
Junior Gunnar Lundteigen paced the Northmen boys as he won both the individual slalom and giant slalom titles. Lundteigen finished first in slalom in one minute, 19.22 seconds to edge Maple City Glen Lake’s Thomas Waning, who was runner-up in 1:19.38.
In GS, Lundteigen was first overall in 59.76 seconds, while teammate Brian Erhart was runner-up in 1:00.13.
“In the past few years, Gunnar has skied well and has skied to the top of the pack,” Hill said. “He showed today he can handle the pressure and the inconsistency of the course conditions. The conditions were tough, the snow was different than what we’re used to skiing on and not like at home, but he still pulled through and was on his game.
“The great thing about Gunnar is he’s the ultimate team man,” Hill added. “Skiing can be looked at as an individual sport, but he’s all about the team and you couldn’t ask for a more humble and respective racer. I knew he’d ski well.”
Also for the Northmen boys in the morning GS, where they finished first with a near-perfect score of 13 points, Noah Honaker was fourth in 1:00.75, while Garret Lundteigen was sixth, 1:01.22; followed by Ben Loomis, 12th; and Matt Dankert, 31st.
In slalom for the Northmen, where they also finished first with 26 points, Honaker was sixth, 1:22.45; while Garret Lundteigen was ninth, 1:23.61; followed by Trevor Kingsbury, 13th; Erhart, 16th; and Dankert, DNF.
“The boys showed up and did their thing,” Hill said. “They wanted to do so much more than what they actually did. They were gunning for a perfect score, which was tough with nine good teams there but they did great.
“To finish the season a perfect nine-for-nine shows they are well driven,” added Hill. “The seniors are leaving a legacy behind and it’s a very strong team. There’s now excitement for the underclassmen and juniors and sophomores to move in and see where those seniors leave off.”
The Petoskey girls overcame a morning slalom deficit to Bloomfield Hills Andover, 34-35, to put together a solid GS performance en route to capturing the crown.
The Northmen won the GS with 30 points, while Harbor Springs was second with 51.5 points in GS.
“We were one point behind Andover and we were five points ahead of Harbor Springs after slalom,” Hill said. “We needed to stick to our guns and put in a good finish in GS, which hasn’t been our strong event, but they came out and hammered it down and were really focused.”
Elk Rapids-Traverse City St. Francis’ Carlee McCardel won the girls individual GS title as she finished in 1:02.24.
For the Northmen girls, Mia Cicorretti was a team-best sixth in GS in 1:04.19, while Reilly Philliben was 10th in 1:04.86. Also for the Northmen in GS, Lisa Dinon was 12th, followed by Jill Antonisen, 14th; Mikayla Nayback, 34th; and Claire Brummeler, DNF.
In slalom, Kingsford’s Mandy Haferkorn won the individual overall title as she finished in 1:24.20.
For the Northmen in slalom, Cicorretti was a team-best second in 1:25.39, while Philliben was seventh, 1:29.52, and Antonishen was 10th, 1:30.46. Also for the Northmen in slalom, Nayback was 29th; Dinon, 43rd; and Brummeler, 44th.
“Lisa and Claire both fell and had to hike in slalom, but the girls stayed focused and did well throughout the day,” Hill said. “It’s great for them. To overcome a runner-up finish last year to Harbor Springs and all the second-place finishes to T.C. Central this year, it’s a great way for those senior girls to go out on top.
“They wanted to come up here and go home with a state championship trophy.”
For the defending girls state champion Harbor Springs girls, senior Agibail Hackman earned a pair of top 10 finishes as she was runner-up to McCardel in GS in 1:03.67, and placed third in slalom in 1:26.17.
“For someone like her to come back from a year ago where she blew out her knee, tore every ligament and to be a double medalist after being on crutches at this meet a year ago is something,” Harbor Springs coach Jane Ramer said. “That was pretty impressive.”
Also for the Ram girls in slalom, where they placed third behind Petoskey and Bloomfield Hills Andover, Rose Pellegrom was sixth, 1:29.15; while Tia Esposito was 15th; followed by Meg Shepherd, 30th; Claire Cunningham, DNF; and Demi Trabucchi, DNF.
In GS for the Harbor girls, Esposito was 17th, followed by Cunningham, 19th; Sadie Cwikiel, 31st; Pellegrom, DNF; and Shepherd, DNF.
“In the morning slalom, we pretty much kept close with Petoskey and Andover, which we’ve done in the past, but in the afternoon we ended up taking third,” Ramer said. “Petoskey skied really solid in GS. We usually can keep up with them in GS, but credit Petoskey because they skied great. We gave it a good run and it was the seniors’ last race. We were state champs last year and to come from behind to take runner-up isn’t all that bad.”
Also for Harbor Springs, Shea Fuhrman — who qualified as an individual in both slalom and GS — finished 13th in GS and was 23rd in slalom, while John Bailey was 25th in slalom. Forrest Lundgren did not finish his run in GS.
Boyne City’s Corey Bohnet also qualified as an individual in GS and placed 32nd.
Charlevoix-East Jordan’s Casey Keane was 41st overall in girls GS.
At Boyne Mountain
BOYNE FALLS — The Traverse City Central girls captured the Division I skiing state title Monday at Boyne Mountain after finishing runner-up in the state finals for the past five season.
The Trojans finished first with 81 points, while Walled Lake was second, 92. Traverse City West, the defending state champion, placed fifth with 128 points.
T.C. West senior Monica Hessler edged Central’s Shannon Weaver for the individual slalom title as Hessler finished in 1:05.69; while Weaver finished in 1:05.77.
In giant slalom, Walled Lake Central’s Mallory Slicker won the individual girls’ giant slalom title as she finished in 1:02.81, while Weaver was second at 1:03.31.
In the boys race, Marquette captured the Division I state crown as they finished with 57 points. Clarkston, the defending state champion, was second with 74 points while Traverse City Central was third with 95 points. T.C. West was fourth with 127 points.
T.C. West senior Finley Clark won the individual slalom state title as he finished in 1:04.29 he beating Walled Lake Northern’s John Merchant who was runner up at 1:04.34. Lakeland’s Taylor Janssen won the boys giant slalom in 1:00.16.