MARQUETTE — There is plenty of opportunity for high school skiers to sharpen their skills in Emmet County with such facilities as Nub’s Nob and Boyne Mountain nearby.
It appears the Petoskey and Harbor Springs girls are taking advantage as they occupied the top two spots for the third straight year in Monday’s MHSAA Division 2 Final.
Petoskey regained the title with 65 points, followed by defending champion Harbor Springs with 91.5 and Bloomfield Hills Andover with 99.
“We put on great programs in the Emmet County area,” Petoskey coach Travis Hill said. “Harbor has been our competition for years, which keeps us focused. They edged us for the title last year, but today it came out in our favor. This was a great way for us to end the year.”
Petoskey was led by junior Mia Cicorretti, who placed second in slalom in one minute, 25.39 seconds and took sixth in giant slalom (1:04.19) at Marquette Mountain.
“I think being able to take runner-up in slalom is really cool,” Cicorretti said. “Being second out of the gate also helped. I was able to get out on the course before it got chewed up. I think our team did real well. We’ve been skiing with the Harbor Springs girls since we’ve been little. It’s kind of cool to know your competition as well as we do.”
Senior Abigail Hackman paced Harbor Springs by taking second in giant slalom (1:03.67) and third in slalom (1:26.17).
“I’m excited about where I finished,” said Hackman, who plans to attend college in New Hampshire or Vermont where she hopes to ski and play soccer. “I thought my first run in slalom (42.03) was real good. Although I like giant slalom better because of the steeper terrain. We have a lot of hills in our area that are similar to this and real good coaches who take us to harder courses, both of which I think really helped us today.”
Hackman’s career appeared to be in jeopardy a year ago after she suffered a knee injury a week before the Finals.
“I thought it was over at that point,” she said. “I’m just glad to still have a chance to ski. I wish our team would have done a little better, although we still had fun. Just being with this team is fantastic.”
Kingsford junior Mandy Haferkorn became the Upper Peninsula’s lone champion Monday, taking slalom in 1:24.2. In giant slalom, she was 11th (1:04.87).
“I really went for it (in slalom),” said Haferkorn, who won eight races this season. “I told myself this was my last chance (this season) to show I could do it. I didn’t have a good Regional in giant slalom and started further back in the pack. During the first run there were a lot of holes in the snow. Plus, it was real soft snow.
“Race after race, it gets more ruts which makes it kind of hard to adjust. You just have to focus on the race ahead of you. Otherwise, this was a real good year. Winning slalom was a great way to top it off.”
Traverse City St. Francis freshman Carlee McCardel, part of the Elks Rapids/St. Francis co-op team, was crowned giant slalom champion in 1:02.24. She cruised through the first run in 30.33, followed by a 31.91.
“Our coach always tells us to have clean turns,” McCardel said. “You don’t really want to hit the flags. If you do, they can slow you down. Although, they don’t most of the time. The first run gave me a pretty strong lead, but I still had to go for it. Yet, you don’t want to push in to the point where you fall. You have to find a happy medium.”
McCardel says she enjoys the co-op arrangement with Elk Rapids.
“This has been a great season for our team,” she added. “This is also a great co-op. The girls and boys have meshed real well. I’ve had great support from my family and teammates. We also have great coaches who helped me a lot.”
Andover’s leader was Jean Klochko-Bull, who was third in giant slalom (1:03.79) and fifth in slalom (1:27.39).
PHOTO: The Petoskey girls ski team poses with its MHSAA championship trophy. (Photo courtesy of Petoskey skiing program.
The addition of two games to basketball regular-season schedules and a new series of wrestling weight classes are likely the most noticeable Winter 2022-23 changes as an estimated 65,000 athletes statewide take part in 13 sports for which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors postseason tournaments.
Girls gymnastics and boys ice hockey teams were able to begin practice Oct. 31, with the rest of those sports beginning in November – including also girls and boys basketball, girls and boys bowling, girls competitive cheer, girls and boys skiing, Upper Peninsula girls and boys and Lower Peninsula boys swimming & diving, and girls and boys wrestling.
A variety of changes are in effect for winter sports this season, including a several that will be noteworthy and noticeable to teams and spectators alike.
Basketball remains the most-participated winter sport for MHSAA member schools with 33,000 athletes taking part last season, and for the first time, basketball teams may play up to 22 regular-season games. This increase from the previous 20-game schedule allows more games for teams at every high school level – varsity, junior varsity and freshman.
Another significant change has been made in wrestling, as the majority of boys wrestling weight classes have been adjusted for this season in anticipation of a national change coming in 2023-24. The updated boys weight classes are 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 144, 150, 157, 165, 175, 190, 215 and 285 pounds. Only 215 and 285 remain from the previous lineup. There is also one change to girls weight classes, with the 255 class replaced by 235 to also align with national high school standards.
A series of notable changes will affect how competition takes place at the MHSAA Tournament levels. In hockey, in addition to a new classification process that spread cooperative and single-school programs evenly throughout the three playoff divisions, the MHSAA Tournament will employ two changes. The Michigan Power Ratings (MPR) will be used to seed the entire Regional round, not just the top two teams, and prior to the start of Semifinals, a seeding committee will reseed the remaining four teams in each division with the top seed in each then facing the No. 4 seed, and the No. 2 seed facing No. 3.
Bowling also will see an MHSAA Tournament change, as the Team Regional format will mirror the long-standing Team Final with teams playing eight Baker games and two regular games at both levels. And as also applied during the fall girls season, there is a new qualification process for divers seeking to advance to Lower Peninsula Boys Swimming & Diving Finals. In each of the three divisions, each Regional will be guaranteed 10 qualifiers for the Finals, with six more “floating” qualifier entries to be distributed to the Regionals that have one of the previous year’s top six returning Finals divers in their fields. If a team changes division from the previous season, any floating top-six spots are added to the six already allowed in the school’s new division.
A gymnastics rules change provides an opportunity for additional scoring during the floor exercise. A dance passage requirement was added in place of the former dance series requirement to encourage creativity and a more artistic use of dance. The dance passage requires gymnasts to include two Group 1 elements – one a leap with legs in cross or side split position, the other a superior element.
In competitive cheer, the penalty for going over the time limit in each round was adjusted to one penalty point for every second over the time limit, not to exceed 15 points. The new time limit rule is more lenient than the past penalty, which subtracted points based on ranges of time over the limit.
The 2022-23 Winter campaign culminates with postseason tournaments, as the championship schedule begins with the Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Swimming & Diving Finals on Feb. 18 and wraps up with the Boys Basketball Finals on March 25. Here is a complete list of winter tournament dates:
Districts – March 6, 8, 10
Regionals – March 13, 15
Quarterfinals – March 21
Semifinals – March 23-24
Finals – March 25
Districts – Feb. 27, March 1, 3
Regionals – March 7, 9
Quarterfinals – March 14
Semifinals – March 16-17
Finals – March 18
Regionals – Feb. 24-25
Finals – March 3-4
District – Feb. 17-18
Regionals – Feb. 25
Finals – March 2-3
Regionals – March 4
Finals – March 10-11
Regionals – Feb. 20-March 1
Quarterfinals – March 4
Semifinals – March 9-10
Finals – March 11
Regionals – Feb. 13-17
Finals – Feb. 27
Swimming & Diving
Upper Peninsula Girls/Boys Finals – Feb. 18
Lower Peninsula Boys Diving Regionals – March 2
Lower Peninsula Boys Finals – March 10-11
Wrestling – Team
Districts – Feb. 8-9
Regionals – Feb. 15
Finals – Feb. 24-25
Wrestling – Individual
Districts – Feb. 11
Regionals – Feb. 18
Finals – March 3-4
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.