BELLAIRE — The pressure was on.
But Marquette still managed to thrive at the Division 1 boys downhill ski state finals at Schuss Mountain.
Despite winning the state title last year, and even though it recorded a perfect score at the regional to enter the state meet as the prohibitive favorite, the Redmen didn’t have any type of letdown in winning the school’s second consecutive skiing crown.
“To win back-to-back, it’s really difficult to do,” said Marquette coach Marty Paulsen. “There was huge pressure. I preferred being the underdog. Coming in last year we were a little bit of an underdog. We were a little under ranked at the beginning of the year. We came down for Petoskey’s invitational and showed a little bit of the depth that the boys have. At our regionals (at Marquette Mountain) we had a little bit of a home hill advantage. They really shined there and then we come here and the pressure’s on. Our boys, it wasn’t spotless. We’ve been getting perfect scores, but they held together in slalom, skied like a team and they won as a team.”
The Redmen finished with 49 points, well ahead of second place Traverse City Central, which had 92.5. Clarkston was third with 134.
Marquette had three in the top 10 in giant slalom and three in the top four of slalom to run away from the field.
Marquette’s Luke Johnson was the top slalom finisher with a combined total of 1:00.02, while Nick Weber was brilliant in both disciplines, taking second in giant slalom (47.21) and third in slalom (1:01.89). Bradley Seaborg finished fourth in slalom (1:02.25) and was ninth in giant slalom (48.68), and Dylan Larson took 11th in giant slalom (48.85) and 12th in slalom (1:03.86). Matt Anderson captured a seventh-place finish in giant slalom (48.19) for the defending champs.