Girls' skiing: Rams win regional crown; Northmen qualify for state finals
Harbor Springs¿ Hadley Cunningham (left) and Morgan Mooradian celebrate moments after the Rams won the Division II regional championship Thursday at Nub¿s Nob. (Steve Foley/News-Review)
On Thursday, the Rams once again simply did what they had to do as they claimed the Division II regional championship at Nub’s Nob, knocking off perennial powers Houghton-Hancock and Petoskey.
The Rams finished with 60 points, while Houghton-Hancock was second with 83 and Petoskey placed third with 111. Boyne City was fifth, 208.
The top three teams in the regional — along with certain individual qualifiers — advance to the state meet Monday, Feb. 27, at Boyne Highlands.
“Our girls have been working really hard since day one,” Harbor coach Jane Ramer said. “They’ve been strong all year and they really wanted this. They really wanted to qualify (for state), they knew what they had to do and they did it.”
Junior Abigail Hackman led the Rams as she won the afternoon giant slalom — which was run under a dense fog along Valley and Smokey — in 58.17 seconds. Hackman was runner-up in slalom in 1 minute, 12.07 seconds. Abby Fenton of Houghton-Hancock won the slalom in 1:11.17.
Hackman was among four Harbor skiers who posted a top-10 finish in slalom. Three Rams finished in the top 10 in GS.
“It feels really good,” Hackman said. “Everybody skied really strong today and we skied really well as a team. Our team goal is to win states. I know we’re going to work really hard the next week to accomplish that.
“Hopefully, we can do that.”
Harbor’s Rose Pellegrom and Morgan Mooradian also recorded a pair of top-10 finishes. Pellegrom was sixth in GS, eighth in slalom. Mooradian was ninth in slalom, 10th in GS.
Also for Harbor in the slalom, Alexa Wespiser was 10th, Meg Shepherd, 13th; and Tia Esposito, 14th. In GS, Esposito was 14th, Hadley Cunningham placed 15th, and Claire Cunningham was 18th.
“I knew Houghton would be tough and the defending state champion Petoskey girls were pretty tough as well,” Ramer said. “I’m just really proud of the girls. They were totally focused, they didn’t have any flaws and we had nice solid runs from everyone.
“We have a lot of momentum going into the state meet. As long as they stay healthy and continue to focus, I think we’ll have some nice outcomes as well in the future.”
The Petoskey girls were skiing without sophomore Reilly Philliben, who suffered a knee injury in a meet last week at Crystal Mountain.
Lisa Dinon led the Northmen with fourth-place finishes in both race, while Jill Antonishen (seventh in slalom) and Mia Ciccoretti (seventh, GS) also posted top-10 finishes.
Also for the Northmen, Antonishen was 17th in GS, Ciccoretti was 31st in slalom, Clare Brummeler finished 13th GS, 32nd slalom; Mikayla Naybeck, 28th slalom, 28th GS; and Elise Brady, 29th GS.
“I thought the girls really pulled through today,” Petoskey coach Travis Hill said. “The biggest thing is we qualified (for state). We weren’t looking for a win, we were just looking for a good solid team score which was enough to qualify and this allows us another week to train and ski and to continue on.”
Hill said he was proud of his team’s effort, especially on an extremely difficult slalom course on Scarface.
“For them to start off on Scarface, which is probably the toughest hill in the state for slalom, we had some hikes and some bobbles, but we were able to pull it together enough in GS and the girls just hammered it out. That was great.”
For the Boyne City girls, Lexie Harding qualified for state as an individual in both slalom (sixth) and GS (11th).
Also for Boyne, Meredith Hague was 20th in slalom, 23rd GS; Lauren Richards finished 23rd GS, 45th slalom; and Claire Wellman was 37th slalom, 42nd GS.
Casey Keane (15th slalom, 19th GS) was the top finisher for Charlevoix-East Jordan.
Other Charlevoix-East Jordan finishers: Cora Taylor, 26th slalom; Christina Russell, 32nd GS, 41st slalom; Paige Podskalny, 38th GS, 44th slalom; Ryleigh Knoop, 39th GS, 42nd slalom; Ashlee Mumich, 44th GS.