BY CATHERINE OSBORN
Special to The Clarkston News
Racers are heading to the state finals after both the Clarkston Boys and Girls Varsity Ski teams qualified during their regional race at Pine Knob Ski & Snowboard Resort, Feb. 14.
“Both the girls and boys teams had a great day,” said Mike Foyteck, head coach. “I couldn’t be happier for them seeing their hard work pay off.”
During the Michigan High School Ski Division 1, Region 2 race, the regional scoring uses the top four racers scores per team. The goal is to achieve the lowest overall score.The girls team stormed back from a deficit in the morning Giant Slalom race to finish third overall and advance to the state finals for the first time in six years.
Senior Captain Katie Bayley led the girls team with medals for Top 10 finishes in both GS and Slalom races. Bayley had qualified for the state finals individually in her last three years.
“This is a really special end to my senior year,” she shared. ” It is so exciting to make it to the state finals and even better to have my entire team with me. The girls team performed well at regionals, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The girls were led by Bayley in the Giant Slalom race as she earned the Bronze medal for third place followed by Annika Karlstrom in 21st, Allison Osborn in 24th, Olivia Foyteck in 26th, Chloe Swanson in 27th and Megan Ford in 39th.
In the afternoon Slalom race, Bayley skied to seventh, followed by Osborn in 13th, Swanson in 20th, Karlstrom in 22nd, Foyteck in 31st and Ford in 33rd.
“We couldn’t be happier or prouder for the Clarkston High School Varsity Girls accomplishment at this year’s regional race,” said John Sych, girls coach. “They were the classic underdog going into this event. Through their hard work over this entire season, their focus on the day’s task and commitment to a team effort, this young team of four sophomores, two juniors and one senior found success in a close, competitive contest. It truly was a team effort of ‘together we are strong.'”
The boys team finished second overall, with three Wolves medaling in the morning Giant Slalom race. Senior Captain Max Wiedemann earned the Silver medal for second place. Cameron Brown was fourth and Hunter Hambrick was ninth. Other Wolves results were Ryan Nicosia in 19th and Evan Raddatz in 25th. Senior Assistant Captain Justin Osborn also raced, despite a knee injury.
At the afternoon Slalom race, the same three Wolves medaled, with Wiedemann earning the Bronze medal for third place, Hambrick in seventh place and Brown in ninth place.
The boys finished strong, with Nicosia in 13th as freshmen Gunnar Karlstrom and Andrew Roeser participated in their first regional event.
“The boys team has not raced to their potential this season but have been working hard,” said Foyteck. “Things seem to be coming together at the right time. Losing senior Justin due to injury put a lot of pressure on the team. They stepped up to the challenge and took care of business.”
MHSAA State Finals is at Boyne Mountain on Feb. 26.
The girls compete against Traverse City West, Marquette, Traverse City Central, Adams/Stoney Creek, Birmingham Unified, Milford/Highland, White Lake/Lakeland and Walled Lake Central.
The boys compete against Marquette, Traverse City Central, Forest Hills Northern, Adams/Stoney Creek, Bloomfield Hills, White Lake/Lakeland and Hartland.
“The weather forecast looks grim for ski racing or training prior to our MHSAA finals. Our Athletic Boosters have jumped in and helped the team,” said Foyteck. “We will get some much-needed training up nor