Redettes Repeat, Set Stage for More

February 27, 2017

By James Cook
Special for Second Half


How many more to go?

Marquette went back-to-back with Division 1 girls skiing titles Monday at Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs, and the Redettes’ young roster could add to that total in the near future.

“We won’t be losing anybody, so I really hope we will,” said junior Sadah Scheidt, who won the slalom crown for the second straight season. “We didn’t know if we were going to win this year or last year. (When they announce it), your heart jumps out of your chest.”

Marquette won the championship with a roster devoid of a single senior.

“They’ll be back next year, looking to repeat for sure,” first-year coach Dan Menze said.

The Redettes have two juniors, and the rest of the squad is freshmen and sophomores.

Menze said there was some pressure to keep the Marquette boys championship streak going – which he did – but the stress was just as heavy on the girls side, if not more.

“There was definitely more pressure on the girls team,” Menze said. “We weren’t quite as deep. They really came out and skied awesome. We had some bobbles, but most teams did today. We just had less.”

Menze took over for Marty Paulsen after guiding the Great Lakes Ski Academy.

“The main things were administrative on my behalf,” Menze said. “The coaching aspect, I feel I’ve done well throughout. I’ve had a great mentor (in Wendy Maas) to help me all along the way.”

Scheidt led a Marquette effort that witnessed the Redettes emerge with four first-team all-staters.

But when all was said and done, the girls didn’t copy Marquette’s boys team by showing up for the outdoors awards ceremony in shorts.

“We have a little bit more dignity than that,” Scheidt joked. “We face-palmed. We were like, ‘Oh, no.’ Typical senior boys.”

Scheidt claimed her second slalom title by more than 2.5 seconds over the two combined runs. She had the best time in each run, and her second shaved three hundredths of second off the first.

“I definitely prefer slalom over GS,” said Scheidt, who was 23rd in GS.

Ainsley Kirk earned all-state honors with a fourth-place slalom and third in GS. Jacey Johnson was ninth in slalom and 16th in GS, while Natalie Robinia was 17th in GS.

Marquette claimed the Division 1 girls championship with 73 points to Traverse City Central’s 95. Traverse City West was not far behind in third with 98, moving up a place from last season’s finish.

"A strong third," West head coach Ed Johnson said. "It was close. They won the slalom and went into the GS feeling pretty strong, but Central ended up edging us. It was fun to see the two Traverse City teams battling it out that close. That was exciting."

“We were hoping to finish in the top 3,” Traverse City Central senior Maggie Dutmers said. “We didn’t really know, because the top three teams have been very close in past competitions. We were hoping for a trophy. We were hoping for the first, but very, very happy with second.”

The Trojans finished runner-up for the seventh time in the last nine years.

Dutmers finish fourth in GS and sixth in slalom to earn first-team all-state honors in both disciplines.

Fenton’s Zoe Weinberg, skiing as an individual qualifier, won the giant slalom championship to end her prep career with a championship effort.

Weinberg trailed Bloomfield Hills Marian sophomore Olivia Weymouth after the first GS run by nearly a tenth of a second, but trimmed 1.36 seconds off her second run to pass Weymouth, who ended up second.

“Winning was something I just wanted to do,” Weinberg said. “My second run was one of my best runs of the season. It was intense, waiting to see.”

Weinberg had hoped to do better in the morning’s slalom session, but made up for it in the afternoon.

“I was excited GS came through,” Weinberg said. “It’s a good way to go out.”

Weinberg finishes her high school skiing career with seven first-team all-state finishes.

She earned all-state all four years in giant slalom and three more times in slalom, capturing a championship in each.

Weinberg won the slalom title as a sophomore and was runner-up last year. She had a runner-up GS finish as a sophomore and third last season, adding a sixth-place GS medal as a freshman.

“It’s a good number,” Weinberg said. “It was really exciting to go out that way.”

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PHOTOS: (Top) Marquette's Ainsley Kirk juts past a gate during the Division 1 Finals on Monday at Nub's Nob. (Middle) Fenton's Zoe Weinberg caps an impressive career with another strong set of races. (Photos by James Cook.)

2-Sport Champ Fodale Charting Future As Adams Career Nears Finish

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

February 13, 2024

Instead of “to be or not to be” or channeling The Clash and its hit song, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” there’s another question that Rochester Adams senior Katie Fodale is pondering at the moment as it relates to her college athletic future.

Greater DetroitShould I golf or ski? 

Fodale said if it was simply about what sport she wanted to do in college, it would be skiing. 

“Skiing is my passion. I love it so much,” she said. “I love playing golf. But I love the adrenaline rush and how fast skiing is. I love the feeling of going fast on the snow. You can feel the wind on your cheeks, and when you get to the end of the run, you think back on your run and it feels like it didn’t happen because it’s so fast. But it’s really fun that way. I like that adrenaline boost.”

A few more factors add to the dilemma.

There are not many college ski programs, and they tend to load up with skiers from European countries. 

Fodale also wants to study biology, and finding school with a golf or ski program that can help with that ambition is important also. 

“Golf is much more attainable,” said Fodale, adding that Kalamazoo College has given her an offer to play golf.

While uncertain about the future, Fodale can at least focus on the present as the best female skier in the Detroit area, which is following up a recent past that saw her part of a Division 1 championship golf team at Adams in the fall. 

Fodale, third from left, celebrates her team’s Division 1 golf championship in the fall. Fodale finished the Lower Peninsula Division 1 Final tied for eighth individually with a two-day score of 158 (82-76) to help Adams repeat as champion. 

On the slopes, Fodale is the two-time reigning Division 1 champion in the slalom, topping even the best skiers from Northern Michigan schools.

Fodale said despite their contrasts, golf and skiing have complemented her as an athlete from a mental standpoint. 

“At golf, I have gotten a lot better at perfecting the mindset of one hole at a time,” she said. “For skiing, you can take it on one run and one turn at a time. Not focus on the end result.” 

In addition to winning the slalom for a third straight year at this season’s Finals on Feb. 26, Fodale also is motivated to win her first title in the giant slalom after three top-five finishes. Adams will compete in Division 2 this time, at Nubs Nob and is racing in its Regional today at Pine Knob in Clarkston.

“I do want to win the GS this year,” Fodale said. “I really feel like this year my GS has improved too. I think I have what it takes, and hopefully the results work in my favor.”

When she is not at high school practices or meets, Fodale spends her weekends competing in races conducted by the International Ski and Snowboard Federation, otherwise known as FIS. 

Adams head coach Jaime Jackson said that during a recent meet in Canada, Fodale held her own against skiers in their mid-20s, ranking as the top U.S. racer at the event. 

“It’s hard to improve on what she did last year,” Jackson said. “She has so much experience and so much skill, whenever she’s not having a great run, she still is having a great run.”

Given that, there certainly isn’t much “coaching” Jackson has to do with Fodale, although there still is one important function he performs.

“Somebody has to put her name in the lineup, right,” Jackson quipped.

It’s been a frustrating winter for Fodale and other ski teams that have seen their season impacted by warm weather that has melted snow and created slushy conditions. 

Ironically, the weather lately has been warmer than Fodale played in on the second day of Golf Finals weekend in October when it was windy, chilly and rainy at Forest Akers West. 

But with a colder forecast for the latter half of February, Fodale should be nicely set up to win a third Finals title in the slalom and her first in the giant slalom. 

Once the finals are over, the big question will intensify.

Should she golf or should she ski? 

“I’m still figuring that out,” Fodale said. 

If her high school athletic career is an indication, it won’t really matter. Whatever Fodale decides to do, she’ll thrive. 

Keith DunlapKeith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties

PHOTOS (Top) Rochester Adams’ Katie Fodale finishes a run during last season’s Division 1 Ski Finals. (Middle) Fodale, third from left, celebrates her team’s Division 1 golf championship in the fall. (Top photo by Sports in Motion, middle photo by High School Sports Scene.)