Prep skiing: Petoskey girls claim Division II regional title
That all changed Tuesday at Boyne Mountain when it mattered most.
The Northmen finished first with 57 points, while defending regional and state champion Harbor Springs was second with 72 and Elk Rapids/Traverse City St. Francis was third, 126 points.
All three teams advance to the Division II state finals on Feb. 25 at Marquette Mountain.
“It was great to pull out a result of a first place after finishing second pretty much all season long,” Petoskey coach Travis Hill said. “At the Marquette Invitational, Traverse City Central was there and we finished second. At every Big North Conference meet, they’re been second to Central and they’ve been doing great in slalom, but Central comes back in GS.
“To have this for the girls at this venue and going into the Big North Conference championship on Tuesday, which is on the same hill and at the same venue, and keeping that momentum going is going to be key. I think they’ll do it, they’re excited.”
Junior Mia Cicorretti paced the Northmen as she won just her second career high school ski race as she won the slalom in 1 minute, 17.69 seconds, then placed runner-up in giant slalom behind Carlee McCardel. McCardel won the GS in 1:02.44, while Cicorretti was second, 1:02.60.
“My freshman year we won regionals too so it’s kind of bringing back memories,” Cicorretti said. “For me to win it’s pretty amazing because I’ve never done it before.”
Cicorretti said having an extra day to think about the race didn’t effect her either. The meet was originally scheduled for Monday, but was postponed because of deteriorating hill conditions and travel concerns.
“I was just really calm,” Cicorretti said. “I didn’t even let my mom talk to me about it yesterday, so I was really calm and wasn’t nervous at all.”
Nor was Cicorretti’s teammates in the morning slalom session, as Lisa Dinon finished fifth, Reilly Philliben was sixth, Jill Antonishen, seventh; Claire Brummeler, 19th; and Makayla Nayback, 20th.
The Northmen won slalom with 19 points, while Harbor Springs was second with 43 points and Houghton was third in slalom with 64 points.
“Last year the girls event was GS, but this year it’s slalom,” Hill said. “They worked to get ahead in slalom, jumped out ahead of Harbor Springs and scored 19 points. That was sweet, it was awesome.
“We were confident going into GS we had the ability to maintain,” Hill added.
In GS for the Northmen, who finished runner-up to Harbor Springs, 38-29, Antonishen was ninth, followed by Philliben, 10th; Brummler, 17th; Nayback, 21st; and Dinon, 25th.
“We just wanted to ski our race, maintain our runs and see where the chips fell,” Hill said. “Claire Brummeler really stepped up in GS and hammered it out. (Assistant coach) Bess Bleyaert was telling me and I agree that was her best GS run of the season and that was key after Lisa Dinon had a little bit of a bobble.
She (Brummeler) scored some points for us and that was great.”
Cicorretti said she was glad to see her team rebound after having some setbacks in last season’s regional and state meet.