TRAVERSE CITY —
Last week's heavy snowfall was a start.
But Jack McKaig is taking nothing for granted.
McKaig is the race director for the White Pine Stampede, a cross country ski race that starts in Mancelona and ends at Shanty Creek near Bellaire.
In February, after unseasonably warm weather moved in and wiped out the snow pack, McKaig had to cancel the event for the first time since starting it in 1977.
A month later, summer-like temperatures in the 70s and 80s spread across the region for several days, causing havoc for the downhill ski resorts. Most closed down weeks earlier than normal. The snowmobile season also had an abrupt ending.
The weather, and its impact, is our No. 8 story of the year.
McKaig waited as long as he could, finally pulling the plug on the White Pine the Tuesday before the Saturday race date.
He had hoped to keep the 20K and 10K and scrap the 40K. But that Tuesday turned into a sunny 51-degree day and what snow there was about vanished.
"We had a glimmer of hope," McKaig said. "But when it went up to 50-something, whatever (snow) was there left."
Those skiers who had already registered will receive a $10 refund for the 2013 race.
McKaig said not many skiers registered in advance for last February's race given the weather.
"Cross country skiers are notoriously intelligent," he said. "They saw (weather) what was coming."
Given how the weather can change — and change quickly — McKaig is not getting too excited about last week's snowfall.
"It's something to work with," he said. "But we have to hope that in the next five weeks we can build on this and have a nice trail."
The Vasa, held a week later, was able to go off as planned in 2012, although the longer 50K race was shortened to 48K. Unlike the White Pine, a lot of the Vasa trail system is in the woods, which offers some protection from the elements.
Even at that, Vasa officials waited until four days prior to the race before making a final call.
In making the announcement last February, Vasa president Pete LaPlaca said, "I was checking the Record-Eagle and we've had 33.4 inches of snow all winter — and we're skiing on it. That's phenomenal. It's really a miracle."
McKaig, meanwhile, was in Arizona last March when the temperatures here soared into the 70s and 80s.
And in Tucson?
"We had snow," he said. "Then we come back home and we get the blizzard."
TRAVERSE CITY —
Last week's heavy snowfall was a start.
High School Sports Scoreboard: 12/12/2013
A roundup of prep sports results from across northern Michigan:Continued ...
Central, Cadillac battle to 6-6 Big North standoff
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Prep Sports Roundup: Elks hold off Norsemen
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Sports in Brief: 12/12/2013
Bear Lake’s Ferguson to Hope; AAU basketball tryouts Sunday; ‘We Ski’ program set for January. (Plus more)Continued ...
TC West falls in opener
The season didn’t start off the way Greg Immink had hoped. He aims to correct that soon.Continued ...
Girls Basketball Roundup: Cadillac slides by TC Central
Traverse City Central played with more energy in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as the Trojans fell to Cadillac 45-41 in a Big North Conference opener Tuesday. (Plus more)Continued ...
Boys Basketball Roundup: Big Rapids beats Trojans
Big Rapids held Traverse City Central to six points in the fourth quarter Tuesday night to pull away to a 59-45 season-opening basketball win. (Plus more)Continued ...
Hounds' Krejcik, Rogowski snag awards
The Hounds keep sniffing out awards, adding two more to their season haul.Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 12/11/2013
- Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Video: 2013-14 TC Central Girls Basketball Team
The athletes on the 2013-14 Traverse City Central Girls Basketball Team introduce themselves to northern Michigan sports fans in this video roster:Continued ...
Dennis Chase: Gordon sensed win by swagger
When Jeremy Langford busted a 26-yard touchdown run with 2:16 remaining Saturday night, effectively sealing the Big Ten Conference football championship for Michigan State, former Spartan Eric Gordon celebrated by sending his boss an email.Continued ...
Kalkaska athlete raising funds for trip Down Under
The furthest Eric Tracey has traveled in his life is Florida. That’s about to change. In a big way.Continued ...
Prep Basketball Roundup: Leland beats St. Mary's
Libby Munoz and Caitlin McKee led Leland to a 24-12 halftime lead en route to a 45-33 win over Lake Leelanau St. Mary’s. (Plus more)Continued ...
Northwest Conference All-Conference Football Team
Northwest Conference All-Conference Football Team for the 2013 season:Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 12/10/2013
- Monday, December 9, 2013
Local MSU fans revel in Big 10 title
Rob DeLonge lost his voice on Saturday and by Sunday night it still hadn’t returned. A fair trade off for a Big 10 football championship, as far as he was concerned.Continued ...
Hounds complete sweep of Firehawks
Five different players scored goals as the Traverse City Hounds defeated the Soo Firehawks 5-2 on Saturday night.Continued ...
Local Bowling Scores: 12/09/2013
Local bowling scores from Lucky Jack's:Continued ...
Midwest Junior Hockey League Standings: 12/09/2013
Midwest Junior Hockey League Standings as of Sunday, Dec. 8:Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 12/09/2013
- Sunday, December 8, 2013
Prep Sports Roundup: Early goals do in Trojans
Traverse City Central scored three of its four goals on the power play, but an explosive Houghton offense scored eight times in an 8-4 victory over the Trojans on Saturday at the Rick Miller Invitational. (Plus more)Continued ...
No. 10 Michigan St. shocks No. 2 Ohio St. 34-24
Connor Cook was determined to shake things up in the Big Ten title game. By the end of the night, the sophomore quarterback's teammates were bouncing up and down right along with him.Continued ...
- Saturday, December 7, 2013
West prevails, Central falls
Traverse City West scored two unanswered goals in the third period Friday to win at Calumet 3-1. Meanwhile at Hancock, the host Bulldogs bolted out to a 3-0 lead and then held off Traverse City Central 6-4.Continued ...
Girls Basketball Roundup: Frankfort tops TCSF in Challenge
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- Today in Sports: 12/07/2013
- High School Sports Scoreboard: 12/12/2013