By Andrew Rosenthal
Special for Second Half
HARBOR SPRINGS – Petoskey is back on top of Division 2.
Coach Erik Lundteigen and the Northmen earned their 12th MHSAA Finals title scoring 56 points to win Monday’s Final at Nub’s Nob after finishing second last season to Great North Alpine. Harbor Springs was runner-up this time with a score of 64, and Great North Alpine placed third with a score of 84.5.
Petoskey had won eight straight Division 2 titles before last season's second-place finish.
“It’s great to be back on top,” Lundteigen said. “It's nice being on the home hill. We certainly had an advantage racing on our home turf.”
Harbor Springs was feeling the same way, earning the runner-up trophy seven miles away from its school.
“The boys team especially has been challenged every week,” Harbor Springs coach Jane Ramer said. “They've been working so hard, and it's really great to see all their hard work being paid off.”
Jimmy Flom led the Northmen on Monday with the individual title in the slalom and a sixth-place finish in the giant slalom. Flom raced for a time of 1:15.54 in the slalom with the second-best runs each side of the mountain.
Starting off the day with three Northmen on the podium, Petoskey scored 27 points off the giant slalom. Andrew “Tripp” Thomas took fourth place, joining teammates Anders McCarthy and Flom on the podium.
“We kind of locked it down a little bit,” Flom said. “We walked into slalom with a nice lead. Unfortunately our first seed skier tripped, he had a little bobble which kind of hurt us a little bit, but everyone else just skied calm and controlled.”
Andrew Truman of Harbor Springs took the title in the morning race, later turning around for a second-place finish in the slalom. In the GS race, Truman posted the best times in both runs.
It was Truman’s first Finals title after finishing second in both the slalom and GS in 2019.
“I was really hoping I could win at least one,” Truman said. “When I won it this morning, I was so relieved that I won.”
Flom beat Truman’s time by 22 hundredths of a second in the slalom. Flom, McCarthy and Will Goelz all finished within the top 12 of that event, and the Northmen were again the top boys team with a score of 29.
Truman joined Cole Huffman each with two medals. Huffman placed fifth in GS with a time of 51.60 and seventh in slalom with a time of 1:20.19.
“(Truman) is a great racer, and he is a great athlete,” Ramer said. “He's really focused, he's really dedicated to the sport. He practices like he's racing, he's got a great attitude and he’s a joy to coach.”
GNA’s Cooper Kerkhof was right in the fight for first in both events, taking second in the giant slalom and third in the slalom. Andrew Bliss won a pair of medals as well, taking eighth in slalom and ninth in giant slalom.
PHOTOS: (Top) Petoskey’s Jimmy Flom navigates the hill in leading his team to the Division 2 championship Monday at Nub’s Nob. (Middle) Harbor Springs’ Andrew Truman earned first and second-place finishes. (Click to see more from Sports in Motion.)
HARBOR SPRINGS — The Petoskey boys ski team remains in a class of its own.
Petoskey crushed the slopes at Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs on Monday by collecting its fifth-straight Division 2 championship with a combined score of 68 points. Monday’s title run marks the program’s 12th D2 title in 13 years, and the Northmen show no signs of slowing down.
Coach Ben Crockett credited his entire coaching staff and parents for the team’s success since he began guiding the Northmen in 2019.
“The boys came together after a Regional event where we had some strong competition,” Crockett said. “When they realized it was a foregone conclusion they were going to win another state championship, they rallied and came together to execute a plan.”
With Petoskey coming in first place, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s finished runner-up (102), and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (134) finished third. Great North Alpine placed fourth (134), and Harbor Springs finished fifth with a team score of 155.
Northmen junior Gavin Galbraith finished with an individual title in the slalom and third-place finish in giant slalom.
Galbraith finished the slalom with a combined time of 1:08.53 and the giant slalom with a combined time of 50.85. Teammates Taylor Keiswetter and McClure Galbraith placed in the top 10 in the giant slalom.
Keiswetter finished fifth with a combined time of 50.98, and McClure placed eighth with a combined time of 52.21.
"It's great that all of my hard work has paid off this season. Thanks to all my coaches and the Nub's Nob staff," Gavin said.
Gavin’s journey to get to where he is today started freshman year when he was named the 16th skier on the varsity roster. After waiting for his turn, he didn't shy away from the moment.
Last season, Galbraith watched the Northmen capture the team title, and the junior sensation was motivated to continue that streak Monday.
"All my coaches and family have been pushing me to keep this streak going," he said. "If we didn't win today, it would've been a bummer. But we tried our best, and that's all that matters."
Houghton’s Eli Heathman won the giant slalom with a combined time of 50.09, followed by Cadillac’s Brady Koenig in 50.74 and Galbraith in third. Gaylord’s Keaton Abraham was fourth (50.96) and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s CJ Studt was fifth (50.98).
Onekama’s Braydon Sorenson finished runner-up in the slalom with a combined time of 1:09.07, East Grand Rapids' Quinn Irwin finished third (1:09.42), Harbor Springs’ Jackson Deegan finished fourth with a combined time of 1:10.10, and St. Mary’s Pierson Kuhn finished fifth with a combined time of 1:10.93.
PHOTOS (Top) Petoskey’s Gavin Galbraith races to the Division 2 slalom championship Monday. (Middle) Houghton’s Eli Heathman speeds down the hill on the way to winning the giant slalom. (Photos by Sarah Shepherd.)