BOYNE FALLS — The Petoskey High School boys’ ski team has had a memorable season on the slopes this season.
The two-time defending Division II state champions have yet to drop a meet in 2013.
On Tuesday at Boyne Mountain, the Northmen made it a perfect 7-for-7 on the year and did so in nearly perfect fashion as they captured the Division II Region IV regional crown for a third straight season.
Petoskey finished first with 21 points, while regional newcomer Spring Lake was second with 111.5 points and Houghton was third with 121 points. All three teams advance to the Division II state finals on Feb. 25 at Marquette Mountain.
“Petoskey has had a lot of great teams and great kids,” Petoskey coach Travis Hill said. “This has to be one of the best boys teams we’ve ever had ranking back with the likes of Jacob Olsen, Eric Behan and the teams of the early 2000s.”
The Northmen finished with a perfect score in the morning giant slalom, then followed it up with an 11 point performance in slalom.
“I knew the boys were good and I knew they were going to be right there,” Hill said. “But I really didn’t think they’d turn it on like that. There were some great teams and some great individuals out here today.”
One of those great individuals was Petoskey junior Gunnar Lundteigen, who for a second straight year claimed both regional slalom and giant slalom titles.
Lundteigen won the giant slalom in 58.54 seconds, which was more than a second over runner-up and teammate Noah Honaker who finished in 59.56. Lundteigen then placed first in slalom in 1 minute, 12.08 seconds, while teammate Brian Erhart was runner-up finishing more than two seconds behind in 1:14.42.
“It feels great,” Lundteigen said. “We’re having a lot of fun this year and it feels great to get three (regionals) in a row. It’s really fun.
“We just wanted to come in and have fun with it,” Lundteigen said. “Everyone here wanted to have a good time and make it last.”
Also for Northmen in GS, who placed all six skiers within the top 10 and defeated Spring Lake by an impressive 55.5 points, Ben Loomis was third, Brian Erhart placed fourth, Garret Lundteigen was seventh and Matt Dankert was ninth.
“Our first runs of GS we were one, two, three and four and the other two guys were right in there,” Hill said. “Our second runs go down and we’re one, two, three, five and eight.
“That’s when Ben Loomis hammered it down from the start and takes fourth place and fills the gap. Wow, that just amazed me.”
In slalom for the Northmen — where they also topped Spring Lake by 35 points — Honaker was third, while Trevor Kingsbury was fifth, Matt Dankert, 11th and Garret Lundteigen, 14th.
“Nobody is going to debate Gunnar’s dual regional titles,” Hill said. “He did it last year as well. He’s got one more year, that’s awesome.”
Hill also lauded the efforts of Garret Lundteigen, Petoskey’s No. 4 seeded skier and a freshman.
“He made that fourth seed spot and showed today he can handle it,” Hill said. “He was 24th in his first run on slalom, then came back in his second run and was fourth fastest to place 14th. He did the same thing in GS where he came back. He’s skiing much like his brother when he was a freshman where he’s able to turn it on in the second run, but that comeback from Ben Loomis was a huge benefit to the team.”
For the Harbor Springs boys, who placed fourth overall with 147.5 points, Shea Fuhrman, Forrest Lundgren and John Bailey all qualified as individuals for the state meet.