Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 7, 2013

Ostergren leads Trojans to win

From staff reports

TRAVERSE CITY — Different site, same script.

The Traverse City Central girls and Petoskey boys continued their winning ways Wednesday, capturing a Big North Conference ski meet at Crystal Mountain.

The Central girls finished with 37 points. Petoskey was second (61) and Traverse City West third (70).

The Petoskey boys won with 54 points. Central placed second (72.5) and West third (85).

Central’s Madison Ostergren and Shannon Weaver went one-two in slalom and giant slalom to power the Trojan girls.

“Those two are our rocks right now,” Central coach Jerry Stanek said.

Ostergren, a sophomore, claimed the slalom in 49.83 and the giant slalom in 37.10.

“She’s really starting to figure it out,” Stanek said. “She’s actually skiing out of the fourth position for us. She’s one of these girls that likes to go fast. She’s figuring out technique-wise how to race. She’s coming on strong.”

Weaver posted times of 50.72 in slalom and 37.66 in giant slalom. The Trojans led Petoskey by just two points after the morning’s slalom, but put it away in the afternoon.

Central’s Cassidy Klein hurt her knee in the slalom after hooking a tip on a gate. She did not race in the giant slalom.

The Trojans had depth, though. Paige Pfannenstiel, skiing out of the sixth position, finished fourth in giant slalom (39.02). Molly Whiting was seventh (39.65). Whiting took ninth in slalom (55.35) and Devon Dotterrer 11th (56.30).

“Our girls really ski a good giant slalom,” Stanek said. “That seems to be our best (discipline).”

West’s Monica Hessler came in third in slalom (51.20) and giant slalom (38.47).

“Monica had a good day,” Titans coach Ed Johnson said. “She was pretty consistent. That’s nice to see. I anticipate she’ll keep that consistency through the remainder of the season. I think she’s going to be a contender (at regional and state meets).”

Claire Podges placed seventh (54.79), Morgan Culp eighth (55.34) and Devan Gorton 14th (59.64) in slalom. Culp came back to place sixth in giant slalom (39.54).

“Morgan has had a lot less time on snow than quite a few of the kids,” Johnson said. “She had an injury early in the season and didn’t start racing until the 10th of January. She’s a bit behind the curve, but she’s building up. She’s not at 100 percent yet, but she’s moving in the right direction.”

Podges and Kit Hornbogen tied for 11th in the giant slalom (40.56).

Central — minus Kalvis Hornburg, its top skier — had others to pick up the slack in the boys meet. In the slalom, Lars Hornburg took seventh (55.57), Dirk Phelps eighth (55.75), Jacob Gerstner 11th (57.15) and John Whiting 12th (57.55). Phelps came in seventh (38.16), Kurt Frick 10th (38.58), Lars Hornburg 11th (38.70) and Tyler Sepanik 12th (39.02) in giant slalom.

“We’ve got eight or nine boys really vying for six positions,” Stanek said. “We’ve got a nice mix. We don’t have a guy, other than Kalvis, that can really dominate and win races. So it’s important for us to ski consistently and ski as a team. If we do that, we’ll be okay. That’s what we did (Wednesday). We didn’t have any mistakes. That’s why we finished second.”

West’s Finley Clark had a strong day, finishing second in slalom (53.50) and fifth in giant slalom (37.89).

“Finley has really been consistent and solid,” Johnson said. “He’s going to be right there with the top guys as we move into the regional meet next week. I’m excited to see how he’ll do.”

Matt Lowe was 10th in slalom (55.94) and eighth in giant slalom (38.29).

“Other than one race we had in Cadillac, I don’t think Matt’s really shown what he can do yet,” Johnson said. “He’s going to be one of those that if it’s the right day he can step up and win. He’s done it in training.”

Austin Skibowski placed 12th (39.02) and Ben Friar 15th (39.18) in the giant slalom. Alex Podges took 15th (57.75) and Skibowski 16th (57.85) in slalom.