Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

January 28, 2014

'Very Cold, Very Brutal'

MANCELONA — One run was better than none.

That was the upshot Monday as the Traverse City Central girls and Petoskey boys won the abbreviated Traverse City Central Invitational at Schuss Mountain.

Officials shortened the race to one run in slalom and giant slalom — instead of the traditional two — because of “brutal” weather conditions.

“It was the wise thing to do,” Traverse City West coach Ed Johnson said. “We were still able to get a race in, yet not have those kids out in that ridiculous weather for too long. It was 25 to 30 degrees below zero with the wind chill at the top of the hill. It was very cold, very brutal.”

The courses were groomed and set Sunday, but then eight inches of snow fell overnight. Volunteers, coaches and athletes had to push that snow off the two courses in the morning.

“We had a lot of snow to move,” Central coach Jerry Stanek said. “They got a lot more snow up there than we did (in Traverse City).”

Snow continued to fall and swirl throughout the morning.

“There were times I couldn’t see the top of the hill,” Stanek said. “Everyone skied in really tough conditions. They did exceptional given the conditions we had.”

Despite the conditions, Stanek said no injuries were reported.

“That was a major concern of ours,” he said.

Ten teams were expected to compete, but only six were able to go.

In the girls race, Central edged West 55.5-57. Clarkston was a distant third with 108.

The Trojans and Titans have traded victories this season.

“It’s going to go down to the last race of the year,” Stanek said.

Central led West 25-37 after the slalom, then held on.

Lili Lockwood paced the Trojans, winning the slalom (30.42) and giant slalom (25.50). Devon Dotterrer finished fourth (33.46), Molly Whiting ninth (34.81) and Maggie Dutmers 11th (35.39) in slalom for Central. In giant slalom, Dotterrer tied for sixth (27.70), Whiting took 10th (28.08) and Bailey Versluis 13th (28.40).

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