This season's MHSAA Skiing Finals will be raced Monday at Nub's Nob and Boyne Highlands just outside of Harbor Springs.
These are some of the short stories behind the team contenders in both divisions for both boys and girls, plus a few individuals whose names should appear near the top of the results.
No more Marian?: Not so fast – Marian is still a major contender after winning the last two Division 1 girls championships. But Traverse City Central is hoping to break through after four straight runner-up finishes, and comes in as a Big North Conference and Regional champion. And Walled Lake Central beat Marian at their Regional at Alpine Valley.
More of the same: For the past four seasons, some combination of Petoskey, Harbor Springs and Manistee has finished first and second at the Division 2 girls final. It’s possible they could make it five straight – but with a different champion after Harbor Springs was first, Houghton second and reigning Finals champion Petoskey third at the Regional at Nub’s Nob.
Battle of Traverse City: Traverse City Central’s boys have won the last two Division 1 championships. But Traverse City West edged the Trojans to claim the Regional title at Schuss Mountain.
Petoskey repeat: The Northmen are the reigning Division 2 boys champions and shared the Big North Conference title with Cadillac this season, ahead of both Traverse City West and Central. Petoskey won its regional -- but so did reigning Division 2 Finals runner-up Manistee.
Detroit Catholic Central’s Damon Rottermond: He might’ve gotten a look at his top competition at the Regional at Alpine Valley. The reigning Division 1 giant slalom champion, he finished second in both that race and the slalom at the Regional. White Lake Lakeland’s Taylor Janssen won the giant slalom and finished third in the slalom at that Regional, while Walled Lake Northern’s John Merchant won the slalom and was third in the giant.
Petoskey’s Gunner Lundteigen: He finished 32nd in the Division 2 slalom and fourth in the giant slalom last season, but won both races at his Regional at Nub’s Nob.
Walled Lake Central’s Mallory Slicker: She won both races at the Alpine Valley Regional; White Lake Lakeland’s Kelsey Griffin finished second in both. Slicker was sixth in the giant slalom and fifth in the slalom at last season’s Final. Also watch for Marian’s Kelly Lunghamer, who posted top-four finishes in both races at that same Regional after finishing eighth in the slalom and fourth in the giant at the 2011 Final.
Houghton’s Abby Fenton: She won the girls Division 2 slalom Regional title at Nub’s Nob after finishing ninth in that race and 10th in the giant slalom at last season’s Division 2 Final. Houghton’s Abigail Hackman was the giant winner at that Regional this month and finished 10th in the slalom and 12th in the giant at the 2011 Final.
PHOTO, from last season's Division 1 Final, courtesy of Mid-Michigan Sports Scene.
Braydon Sorenson ♦ Manistee
Junior ♦ Skiing
Sorenson – who skis for Onekama as part of a cooperative program with his school – won both the giant slalom (39.56 seconds over two runs) and slalom (1:00.83) individual championships to lead Onekama to the team championship at the Jan. 23 Bryan Groenevelt Memorial Invitational at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville. He also most recently won both races at Wednesday’s Lake Michigan Ski Conference event.
A skier since age 4, Sorenson finished 22nd in slalom and 15th in giant slalom at last season’s Division 2 Final at Schuss Mountain as Onekama finished seventh as a team; he made the all-state second team in the GS. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior also plays linebacker and offensive guard on the football team and golfs during the spring, helping that team to a sixth-place Regional finish last season.
@mhsaasports 🎿POW: Braydon Sorenson #performanceoftheweek #skier #alpineskiing #giantslalom #slalom #congrats #invitechamp #firstplace #manistee #onekama #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok #mistudentaid #fyp @braydons034 ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat
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Jan. 26: Shayne Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19: Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20: Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16: Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9: Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2: Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24: Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17: Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10: Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27: Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20: Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13: Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6: Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30: Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22: Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15: Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1: Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25: Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report
(Photo by Rob DeForge/RD Sports Photo.)