MSHS boys win MHSAA state alpine ski championship

BOYNE FALLS – The Marquette Senior High School boys alpine ski team captured the MHSAA Division 1 state championship on Monday at downstate Boyne Mountain while the MSHS girls finished third in their meet.

The Redmen scored 57 points, 17 fewer than runner-up Clarkston with 74. Traverse City Central was third with 95 and TC West fourth with 127 in the nine-team meet.

The Redettes had 113 points as TC Central won with 81 and runner-up Walled Lake Central scored 92. Bloomfield Hills Marian was fourth with 116 and TC West fifth with 128.

There were also a number of top individual racers whose teams didn’t qualify for the finals.

The MSHS boys used their depth to overwhelm the field in both slalom and giant slalom. While the Redmen tied Clarkston in slalom for the best score with 34 points apiece, Marquette accumulated just 23 points in GS to 40 for Clarkston. That was despite Clarkston having a better individual finisher in GS and two better finishers in slalom compared to Marquette.

In GS, Marquette junior Luke Johnson, sophomore Nick Weber and junior Matt Anderson were separated by just 0.06 of a second in their two-run times. Johnson came in fourth overall, and third among racers from schools competing for the team title, clocking 1 minute, 0.55 seconds. Weber was next in 1:00.60 and Anderson right after in 1:00.61.

Each missed first place by less than half a second.

Critical in the four-person scoring was junior teammate Dylan Larson, who came in 11th (14th overall), less than a second behind his teammates. Also finishing for Marquette was senior Kyle King in 44th and freshman Joe Weber in 49th.

Taylor Janssen of White Lake Lakeland, whose school was not competing for the team title, won in 1:00.16, while Clarkston’s Derek VanItallie was second in 1:00.49.

The story was similar in slalom, where Marquette had four of the top 12 finishers among racers vying for the team title. Nick Weber was fifth (eighth overall) in 1:07.59, Joe Weber seventh, Johnson 10th and Larson 12th.

Anderson finished 20th and King was 31st.

Traverse City West’s Finley Clark won slalom by 0.03 of a second over Walled Lake Northern’s John Merchant.

The Redettes were a strong third in GS but only managed fifth place in slalom.

In GS, Marquette senior Whitney Stilwell was third (fourth overall) in 1:04.04, while freshman Hanna Johnson was fifth, senior Angela Brown 13th and freshman Sam Ziegler 23rd for team scoring purposes.

Sophomore teammate Maggie Guter was 34th and sophomore Nikki Touchinski didn’t complete both runs.

Walled Lake Central’s victory in this event was led by individual winner Mallory Slicker’s time of 1:02.81.

In slalom, Johnson was fourth (fifth overall) in 1:09.89, while Ziegler came in 13th, Brown 20th, Stilwell 32nd and sophomore Hannah Lahti in 45th. Guter didn’t complete both runs.

TC West’s Monica Hessler won individually in 1:05.69 as TC Central had four of the top 14 scorers to win this event.