From Staff Reports
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — BOYNE FALLS — Shannon Weaver led the Traverse City Central girls to a Big North Conference ski championship Thursday at Boyne Mountain.
The Trojans swept a pair of league meets — one hosted by Gaylord, the other by Central. The Central meet was originally scheduled for Jan. 28, but was wiped out by inclement weather. The Gaylord meet was on the docket for Tuesday, but Mother Nature played havoc with that, too.
So officials decided to run two meets Thursday on the hard-packed slopes at Boyne.
Central won the Gaylord meet with 40 points. Petoskey edged West for second 66-68. In Central’s meet, the Trojans finished with 36.5 points, West 59 and Petoskey 78.5. West took second overall in the final team standings.
Weaver went undefeated in the four races. She won the slalom in 1:16.44 and giant slalom in 54.61 in the Gaylord meet. She posted times of 1:15.97 in the slalom and 54.19 in the giant slalom in Central’s meet.
The Trojans — who were without Madison Ostergren, who was racing in a USSA Central Division qualifier for the Junior Championships — placed four in the top seven in the Central meet. In slalom, Cassidy Klein was fourth, Molly Whiting sixth and Paige Pfannenstiel seventh. In giant slalom, Klein took fourth, Pfannenstiel sixth and Whiting seventh.
For West, Monica Hessler came in second and Morgan Culp third in the slalom and giant slalom.
In the Gaylord meet, Klein placed fourth, Devon Dotterrer seventh and Whiting eighth in giant slalom. Klein took fourth, Whiting ninth an Dotterrer 10th in slalom.
Hessler and Culp were second and third in the two disciplines.
The Central girls finished their league season unbeaten. The regional champs will be a favorite Monday in the Division 1 state meet at Boyne Mountain,.
A year ago, the Trojans were in a similar situation, but lost to West at the state meet.
“We’re looking forward to it, but we’re not taking anything for granted,” Central coach Jerry Stanek said. “We might look like the best team on paper, but you still have to go out and perform.”
Hessler, meanwhile, edged out Weaver as the overall conference champion.
“She battled it out with Shannon and beat her out by one point,” West coach Ed Johnson said. “They’ve both worked hard. It was a good battle and exciting to see her take it.”
As for taking second in the league to Central, Johnson was not disappointed.
“I think that was good,” he said. “Second against the TC Central girls is what we saw coming into the season. I’m pleased with how they progressed throughout the season. I think it’s going to be a battle (at the state finals) between three schools — us, TC Central and Marquette. It’s one meet, which is kind of fun.”
Petoskey captured the boys championship. West was second and Central fourth.
The Northmen won Central’s meet with 29 points. The Titans had 69.5, Cadillac 103.5 and Central 106.5 In Gaylord’s meet, Petoskey finished with 29.5, West 90, Central 91 and Cadillac 101.
West’s Finley Clark won the slalom in 1:13.69 in the Gaylord meet. Petoskey’s Brian Eckhart took the giant slalom (53.78). Petoskey took five of the top seven spots in both events. Clark finished fifth in giant slalom. Teammate Matt Lowe was 11th in both races. Central’s Tyler Sepanik placed eighth in slalom while Brandon Wells was eighth, Kurt Frick ninth and Sepanik 10th in giant slalom.
In Central’s meet, Clark claimed the slalom again in 1:13.06. Ben Friar was fifth. Clark came in seventh and Lowe ninth in slalom.
For Central, Sepanik placed ninth and Frick 11th in giant slalom and Ben Saunders ninth in slalom. The Trojans were without three of their top six skiers.