TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City Central girls hope to end a string of five consecutive runner-up finishes at the Division 1 state ski finals today at Boyne Mountain.
“Our goal is to win,” Trojan coach Jerry Stanek said. “That’s what we’re here for. I think our girls are well aware of our record the last five years. They understand this is a team event, not an individual event. If they ski like that, they’ll be fine.”
The Trojans, led by Madison Ostergren and Shannon Weaver, have been unbeatable this winter. But they were last year, too, when Traverse City West beat them for the state championship.
West will be one of Central’s main competitors. The Trojans beat the Titans by 17 points at the regional.
“Obviously, the big challenge is Central,” West coach Ed Johnson said. “I have a lot of respect for them. They have a great program. We know all those kids really well. I wish them the best, too. But we saw it happen last year. They beat us every race we were in, then we took them at the state meet. You just never know.”
Ostergren and West’s Monica Hessler were regional champions. Ostergren and Weaver went one-two in the giant slalom. Hessler took the slalom and tied teammate Morgan Culp for fourth in the giant slalom. Culp has steadily improved to give the Titans a solid one-two punch at the top of the lineup.
“They’re both in good spots right now,” Johnson said. “They’re peaking.”
Clarkston won the boys state crown a year ago. The Wolves will be the team to beat again today.
“I watched them on the hill (Sunday),” Johnson said. “They’re a tough bunch.
“But if a mistake is made at the right time, hey, Clarkston’s not invincible. It could go to any one of four schools and we’re one of those.”