Girls ski team aims for first regional title in 12 years
Glen Lake girls ski team has a shot at its first regional title in more than a dozen years when they travel today to Caberfae near Cadillac.
“I think the girls have a really good chance. The boys have a chance too, but they’ll have to have all cylinders firing,” coach Mark Fisher said. “We’ll have to have a good day.”
The girls team captured a second straight Lake Michigan Ski Conference title after sweeping the top spots in the slalom and giant slalom consistently all season. Christina Rennie, defending Division II state champion in slalom, has led the team all season with times rivaling those of her male counterparts. Backing her is a mixed cast of characters from the cooperative team which includes athletes from Glen Lake, Leland, St. Mary and Suttons Bay.
The Laker girls swept places one through eight in GS at the conference finale Feb. 1. Madison Fink was second, followed by Katie Pershinske, Kaitlin Gaudard, Amanda Lodge, Flanny Johnson, Emma Velis and Oliver Pierce- Bluhm.
The Leelanau girls also dominated the slalom, which was won by Rennie but supported by Laker skiers who placed fourth through ninth.
“The depth helps. We don’t get hurt as badly as we would if someone were hurt or when seniors graduate,” Fisher said.
If there is strength in numbers, there have been a couple years that the program was weak.
“During the years of 2006 and 2007, we had some of the lowest team numbers,” Fisher said. “This was a direct result of Sugar Loaf closing.”
However, even when a team didn’t qualify, Fisher said he believes the program has always had athletes qualify as individuals.
The Manistee/St. Francis cooperative team is believed to present the biggest challenge to the Lakers at today’s event. Nathalie Kenny and Andrea Paine, members of the new cooperative, were first and third in slalom in a meet against Petoskey last week.
Fisher will look to sophomore Thomas Waning and junior Pete Kerby-Miller to lead his team.
“The boys biggest competition will be from Cadillac, Mount Pleasant and Manistee/St. Francis,” Fisher said.
Stephen Siddall, an Empire resident attending Traverse City St. Francis, is also one to watch having taken the slalom in the meet with Petoskey and placing second in the GS.
Also competing will be Benzie, Cadillac, Clare, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Grand Rapids Northview, Grand Rapids West Catholic, Greenville, Harrison and Onekama.
The top three teams and top four individuals in each race will advance to the state competition Monday, Feb. 27 at Boyne Highlands.