MHSAA Div. 1 Ski Championships: Marquette boys, Redettes’ Gencheff capture state ski titles

BELLAIRE – All the schools in the state couldn’t slow the Marquette Senior High School boys team or Redettes senior Gabby Gencheff at the MHSAA Division 1 downhill skiing finals on Monday.

Coach Marty Paulsen’s MSHS boys had all their top-four skiers finish in the first 12 of each event to easily take the title with 49 points at Schuss Mountain in downstate Bellaire. Runner-up Traverse City Central was far back with 92 points, while Clarkston was third with 160 in the nine-team meet.

This was the Redmen’s second straight state championship and ninth overall in the sport, according to the MHSAA website,, with every title coming since 1997.

On the girls side, Gencheff won both slalom and giant slalom individual crowns to lead MSHS to a fourth-place finish.

She blew away the competition in the slalom, winning by exactly four seconds over runner-up Morgan Culp of Traverse City West. Gencheff’s dominance was illustrated by the fact that Culp had a margin of less than four seconds even on the 14th-place finisher.

Gencheff was the Redettes’ first slalom state champ since Piper Mlsna achieved the feat in 2011, and first GS winner since Sophie Rutowski did so in 2006.

Marquette senior Luke Johnson also earned a state title in the slalom, the first time a Redmen skier has achieved that feat since Sam West did it in 2009.

Johnson clocked 1 minute, 0.02 of a second in his two runs, more than a second in front of runner-up Bastien Dupessey of Novi. MSHS junior Nick Weber was third in 1:01.89 and freshman teammate Brad Seaborg fourth in 1:02.25.

Senior Dylan Larson rounded out Marquette scorers in 12th place, while senior Matt Anderson came in 18th.

Weber nearly made it a boys sweep, taking second place in the GS in 47.21 seconds, 0.52 of a second behind winner Derek Vanitallie of Clarkston.

Anderson was seventh in 48.19 seconds, less than a second behind Weber, while Seaborg was ninth in 48.68 and Larson 11th in 48.85.

Johnson was 47th in 58.66 and sophomore Joe Weber 57th in 1:13.71.

For the girls, Marquette scored 202 points as Brighton won with 92, TC Central was second with 101 and TC West third with 103.

Gencheff overcame a bad slalom run from the regionals two weeks ago at Marquette Mountain to post the fastest Run 1 time of 3.02 seconds and second-fastest Run 2 time of 30.49 to come in at 1:00.51 at Schuss Mountain.

Sophomore teammate Hanna Johnson was fourth in 1:05.76, junior Maggie Guter 32nd in 1:14.04 and Patricia Wirries 55th in 1:38.65.

In GS, Gencheff had a much closer win, clocking 47.52 seconds to beat out runner-up Lili Lockwood of TC Central by 0.40 of a second. Johnson was again fourth in 50.35, Guter 44th in 57.60 and Wirries 61st in 1:09.74.