Marquette holds slim lead at state nordic finals at Al Quaal

ISHPEMING – Perfect trail conditions turned into a pair of exciting finishes at the Michigan nordic skiing state meet held at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming on Friday.

The freestyle sprint races were held for boys and girls Friday, with freestyle and classic races set for today.

In the boys sprint A final, senior Blake Murray of Marquette edged runner-up Andrew Bruning of Traverse City Central by what was reported as a photo finish. Times were not available.

For the girls, Evelyn Delong of the Copper Country Ski Tigers captured her first state title after TC Central’s Erin Lapp crashed during the final 50 meters leading to the finish line.

MSHS holds a slim overall advantage over the Ski Tigers, 194-189, heading into today’s action after taking the team lead on the boys side, and coming in second for the girls. The CC team flip-flopped places with Marquette.

A pair of thirds has TC Central firmly in the No. 3 position with 166 points, while the Lake Michigan team is far behind in fourth with 58.

Marquette placed six boys in the top 15 Friday – senior Andrew Twohey was third, senior Marty Gray fifth, sophomore Ben Wright sixth, sophomore Mike Wiitala 12th and freshman Logan Zueger 15th.

Four MSHS girls made the top 15 – junior Abby Potts was second, freshman Bethany Wright sixth, freshman Erica Cousineau 11th and sophomore Ingrid Lindquist 15th.