BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves punched their tickets to compete in the MHSAA Division 1 Skiing State Finals in Harbor Springs.
The Clarkston Girls Varsity Ski team finished as champions at the MHSAA Division 1 Regional 2 competition at Mt. Holly with 30 points, Feb. 10.
“It was awesome,” said Brian Popelier, head coach. “They did a really good job just based on the points they scored. Both Courtney Bayley and Phoebe Savoie won one discipline each which is awesome to see. Then, the girls behind them definitely supported and helped the team score 30 points – that’s a really low number.”
All six girls finished in the top ten in the Slalom race, earning 13 points.
Bayley finished in first place with a combined time of 61.50. Savoie was next in second place, 62.33; Sydney Thomas, fourth place, 63.65; Lyndsey Nicosia, sixth place, 65.56; Trisha Verbeke, seventh place, 66.20; and Cameron Brosky, eighth place, 67.35.
The girls finished with 17 points in the Giant Slalom and had five skiers finish in the top ten.
Savoie finished in first place in the time of 45.63; Bayley, third place, 46.25; Brosky, sixth place, 46.53; Thomas, seventh place, 46.61; Nicosia, ninth place, 46.90; and Maddie Leithauser, 14th place, 48.39.
The boys finished in third place at regionals to qualify for the state finals with a total of 130.5 points.
“They skied their race and did very well,” said Popelier. “Our goal was to get to state finals as a team – they did it. Not being at a home hill is challenging for anyone to ski when they don’t ski at on a regular basis. For the boys to get third and send the team to states is a really good result for them.”
He added Andrew Roeser had a fantastic day placing in the top ten in the Slalom and just outside the top ten in the Giant Slalom.
“His leadership definitely helped the team get the result of third so they could get to states,” Popelier said.
The boys earned 57 points in the Slalom race. Roeser finished in seventh place in the combined time of 57.76. Gunnar Karlstrom finished in 15th place, 59.42; Noah Ostheimer, 17th place, 60.26; Andrew Foyteck, 18th place, 60.51; Luke Farella, 19th place, 60.57; and Austin Bushroe, 30th place, 63.40.
They earned 73.5 points in the Giant Slalom race. Roeser tied for 11th place, 44.62; Ostheimer, 17th place, 45.33; Karlstrom, 22nd place, 45.79; Farella, 23rd place, 45.88; Foyteck, 24th place, 45.97 and Bushroe, 34th place, 46.73.
“The girls really dominated the entire day which is great to see,” said Popelier. “The boys did a great job to get the results they needed to get in order to move on. I was really pleased with both teams throughout the day.”
The Wolves competed in the Southeastern Michigan Ski League (SEMSL) on Tuesday before heading north for the state finals.
“It’s the best teams from all four resorts – Pine Knob, Mt. Holly, Brighton and Alpine Valley,” said Popelier. “The three best teams from each one of those go to the SEMSL championship. It’s a good way to gauge where we stand for state finals.”
The teams head to Harbor Springs on Wednesday and will prep for state finals which is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 22.
Popelier added the girls are in a good position for the race and just need to ski like they have throughout the season.
“They don’t need to do anything more than ski like they have skied this year,” he said. “They are going to have a really good day.”
He added he is looking forward to the boys going to states.
“There’s a handful of seniors this will be their final race in high school,” he said. “To be able to take their team up there and show the team and show themselves over the last four years – it’s going to be a fun day for them. Anything can happen up there. Our team is really strong. They are all really good skiers. I know they are ready.”
BY WENDI REARDON PRICE