The Clarkston boys team and the Walled Lake Central girls team each finished second at the Division 1 state ski finals at Boyne Mountain on Monday in a meet that featured plenty of high finishes by individual Oakland County skiers.
Seeking to repeat as state champions, Clarkston fell just short of Marquette, as the Redmen earned a meet-best 57 points. Clarkston was second at 74 points, Traverse City Central took third with a total of 95, Traverse City West was fourth at 127 while Lake Orion finished fifth with 143 points.
“It was disappointing,” Clarkston head coach Mike Foyteck said. “Marquette skied very well. They didn’t make any mistakes. We had some disappointing times in GS and we had some problems in slalom. We didn’t ski clean in slalom. But I’m proud of our kids. That’s a tough race. There’s a lot of pressure on those kids and a lot of great ski teams. I’m proud of the way they conducted themselves and persevered.”
Individually, Taylor Janssen of Lakeland had a huge day, winning the giant slalom in a time of 1:00.16 and taking fourth in the slalom with a time of 1:06.05.
Clarkston’s Derek VanItallie finished second in the giant slalom (1:00.49) and sixth in the slalom (1:06.81). Logan Stetsko of Lake Orion was third in the giant slalom (1:00.50), John Merchant of Walled Lake Northern was second in the slalom (1:04.32), Ryan Callahan of Clarkston was third in the slalom (1:05.34) and Robbie Cort of Birmingham Brother Rice was fifth in the slalom with a time of 1:06.58.
In the girls competition, Walled Lake Central finished second with 92 points, just 11 behind the 81 earned by state champion Traverse City Central.
Marquette was third with 113 points, Birmingham Marian was fourth at 116 while Traverse City Central was fifth at 128 points.
“It was all incredible,” Central head coach Tim McBride said. “The girls are all seniors and have really worked hard the past four years to get where they’ve gotten. They ended up pulling it together.”
Leading the way for the Vikings was senior Mallory Slicker, who just three weeks ago suffered a torn MCL in her knee. But she was cleared to ski by doctors and was the individual star of the meet, winning the giant slalom in a time of 1:02.81 and taking fourth in the slalom with a time of 1:09.03.
“It was very courageous,” McBride said. “She was in a lot of pain after the slalom run in the morning. She skied through it.”
Kelsey Griffin of Lakeland took third in the slalom with a time of 1:06.84.