THOMPSONVILLE — Skiers from both Traverse City Central and Traverse City West put on a show at the Division 1 regional finals Wednesday at Crystal Mountain.
The area’s only two D1 teams represented northern Michigan with team regional titles from both schools and an individual title sweep of both disciplines by TC West junior Aiden Lewandowski.
The Titans boys were led by Lewandowski’s slalom (48.40) and giant slalom (38.05) wins to the team regional title over the Trojans, who took second.
TC West’s boys won with 45 points, followed by TC Central with 85.5, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern with 113, Marquette 131 and Grand Haven 205.
The Trojans’ girls team took down five-time defending state champion Marquette by 33 points for its second straight regional crown. TC Central (51), Marquette (84) and Forest Hills Northern (107.5) all qualified as a team with TC West’s girls missing out by only eight points in fourth place (115.5).
The top three teams and top four individuals not from any of those teams earn a spot at the state finals at Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs Feb. 22. The Marquette boys team, which has won each of the last eight Division 1 team skiing titles, missed qualifying as a team. Clarkston was the last team besides Marquette to win a team title in 2012 and TC Central won the two prior to that in 2010-11.
TC Central had both its boys and girls teams qualify as a whole with top-three finishes. Both regional championship teams from Traverse City are looking at a great shot to win a state title with Marquette’s demise and the Trojan’s depth.
The Trojans were led by Sarah Beattie with a third-place finish in slalom (1:00) and fifth-place spot in GS (43.75). TCC’s top skier Elle Craven took second in GS (42.90), but a bad first run saw her fall to 37th in the slalom.
The Trojans’ girls had five more top-10 finishes with Maddy Cox (sixth, 44.20), Lily Kuberski (ninth, 44.59) and Pearl Hale (10th, 44.91) in the GS and Kuberski (fourth, 1:00.9) and Hale (eighth, 1:03.04) in the slalom.
While the Titans girls’ fell short, they did have multiple skiers qualify individually — each of whom will benefit from the new rule that any skier who qualifies in one discipline will be able to race in both at this year’s finals. Lila Warren took fifth in the slalom (1:01.28) and eighth in the GS (44.33), Charlie Schultz earned fourth in the GS (43.31) and Ellie Gruber was the final qualifier in the slalom (12th, 1:05.72) for the Titans.
Following Lewandowski in the slalom for the Titans’ boys was Andy Hill (second, 50.30), Luke Wiersma (third, 50.42), Caleb Lewandowski (eighth, 52.36) and Remy Schulz (11th, 53.72). TC West had three top-10 finishes in the GS with Lewandowski, Hill (ninth, 40.27) and Wiersma (10th, 40.34) and had Schulz (11th, 40.71) and Ben Schramski (13th, 40.97) place just outside the top-10.
The top-heavy Titans have a chance to win the school’s first state skiing title on Feb. 22 after a runner-up finish in 2019.
TC Central’s boys were 40 points behind the Titans with three top-10 finishes in the slalom and only one in the GS. Gus Dutmers took eighth in the GS (40.26) while the slalom saw Max Werner (sixth, 52.12), Will Russell (seventh, 52.31) and Michael Booher (10th, 53.33) for TCC.
Marquette only had three skiers qualify individually for the boys state finals and Okemos had two.