Skiing Finals: Downhill Champions Rise

February 29, 2012

The MHSAA Skiing Finals frequently are dominated by teams that have built stacks of championships over the years.

But occasionally, a new contender enters the mix -- and dominates like the Clarkston boys did Monday at the Division 1 Final at Nub's Nob.

The Wolves moved up one spot from their 2011 runner-up finish to claim their first MHSAA team skiing championship with 81 points, 38 ahead of runner-up Marquette.

Clarkston placed three among the top 13 in the slalom and four among the top 17 in the giant slalom. Derek Vanitallie finished fourth in both the slalom (1:14.91) and giant slalom (49.47), while teammate Grant Huber was 13th in the slalom (1:18.79) and fifth in the giant (49.54).

The Wolves were the only first-time team champion at the four boys and girls Finals this season. But all four meets had their share of storylines:

  • The Harbor Springs girls also moved up from a 2011 runner-up finish to claim the Division 2 team championship at Boyne Highlands, their first MHSAA title since 2004. The Rams finished 20 points ahead of reigning champion Petoskey, led by Rose Pellegrom's sixth place in the giant slalom and 10th in the slalom.
  • Manistee/Traverse City St. Francis' Nathalie Kenny, Maple City Glen Lake's Christina Rennie and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood's Mandy Haferkorn made their ways to the top of both Division 2 race results. Kenny became the ninth girl to win multiple MHSAA giant slalom championships by finishing first with a two-run 59.79, while Rennie became the fifth girl to win multiple MHSAA slalom titles by taking first in that race with a 1:12.16. Kenny was second in the slalom, Rennie was fourth in the giant, and Haferkorn was second in the giant and third in the slalom.
  • The Traverse City West girls edged Big North Conference rival Traverse City Central by three points to win the Division 1 Final with 70 total. The win was West's first since 2007, while Central finished Division 1 runner-up for the fifth straight season. Lili Lockwood led West with a fifth place in the giant slalom (53.46) and a fourth in the slalom (1:15.59).
  • Five others joined Lockwood among contenders in both Division 1 races, including a trio of individual qualifiers. Lake Orion individual qualifier Marie Dohm took first in the giant slalom (52.75) and seventh in the slalom. Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills/Lowell/Comstock Park's Abi Ellis was second in the slalom and seventh in the giant, while Marquette's Whitney Stilwell was second in the giant and fifth in the slalom -- Ellis and Stilwell also were individual Finals qualifiers. White Lake Lakeland's Kelsey Griffin was the individual champion in the slalom (1:12.95) and was eighth in the giant. Bloomfield Hills Marian's Kelly Lunghamer finished her stellar high school career by taking third in the slalom and sixth in the giant as her team finished third overall.
  • Saginaw Heritage's Bobby Leddy had qualified for the Finals all four years of high school, with a high finish of seventh. But this time, the Hawks' individual qualifier swept the Division 1 individual races, finishing in 1:11.67 to win the slalom and 48.72 to win the giant. Traverse City West's Ryan Ness took second in the slalom and third in the giant.
  • The Petoskey boys repeated as Division 2 team champions with 66 points, 20 fewer than Cranbrook-Kingswood. Gunner Lundteigen took fourth in the slalom and teammate Noah Honaker was fifth in the giant for the Northmen.
  • Four individuals dominated the individual standings in Division 2. Maple City Glen Lake's Thomas Waning won the giant slalom (58.86) and finished second in the slalom, while Manistee/St. Francis' Stephen Siddall was first in the slalom (1:13.09) and fourth in the giant. Manistee/St. Francis' Cole McCardel finished third in both races, and Cranbrook-Kingswood's John Briggs was runner-up in the giant and eighth in the slalom. 

Click for full Division 1 boys and girls results, Division 2 boys and Division 2 girls.

PHOTOS: (Top) Clarkston's Grant Huber and (middle) Traverse City West's Lili Lockwood. See more photos at High School Sports Scene.

MHSAA Winter Sports Start with Extended Basketball Schedules, New Wrestling Weights

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

December 13, 2022

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:

Boys Basketball
Districts – March 6, 8, 10
Regionals – March 13, 15
Quarterfinals – March 21
Semifinals – March 23-24
Finals – March 25

Girls Basketball
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

Competitive Cheer
District – Feb. 17-18
Regionals – Feb. 25
Finals – March 2-3

Regionals – March 4
Finals – March 10-11

Ice Hockey
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.