Prep skiing: Northmen eye double-regional repeat
Mia Ciccoretti and her Petoskey High School girls ski teammates will look to defend their Division II regional championship Thurdsay at Nub¿s Nob. (News-Review file photo)
The Petoskey High School ski teams will partake in the Division II regional on Thursday, Feb. 16, on their home course at Nub’s Nob, looking to once again qualify for the state finals, which are scheduled for Monday, Feb. 27, at Boyne Highlands.
Also competing in Thursday’s 12-team regional is the Lake Michigan Conference champion Harbor Springs girls team, along with the Harbor boys, Charlevoix-East Jordan, and Boyne City.
The top two teams along with some individual qualifiers advance to the state finals. The Northmen boys and girls are the defending regional and state champions.
Petoskey, which is coming off a pair of solid performances at Crystal Mountain last week in the Traverse City Central Invitational — which the Northmen girls won — and a Big North Conference meet in which the boys took first, will look to keep the momentum going Thursday on the familiar terrain at Nub’s.
“We’ll carry a lot of momentum going into the regional coming off a pair of good performances,” third-year Petoskey coach Travis Hill said following the BNC meet last week.
For the Petoskey boys, sophomore Gunnar Lundteigen leads the way after a team-best second place finish in slalom at Crystal Mountain, while other members include Matt Dankert, Noah Honaker, Ben Loomis, Andrew Hamlin and Trevor Kingsbury.
Mia Ciccoretti, Lisa Dinon, Reilly Philliben, Jill Antonishen, Claire Brummler and Makayla Naybeck comprise Petoskey’s girls lineup.
“As a team, the girls are very close and they’ve overcome a lot the past couple of years,” Hill said. “They’ve showed some real personal strength and mental fortitude to get the job done.”
For the Harbor girls, who last week clinched won their third straight Lake Michigan Conference championship, junior Abigail Hackman leads the way, while senior Morgan Mooradian and junior Rose Pellegrom are among the other keys.
“Our girls have been skiing really strong and they’ve been solid all year,” Harbor coach Jane Ramer said. “We also have some freshmen who have stepped up. Our goal is to qualify for the state meet. Last year both teams qualified and hopefully both will make an appearance this year.”
For the Harbor boys, who finished runner-up in the Lake Michigan to Manistee-Traverse City St. Francis, senior Jac Talcott leads the way, while other key skiers include freshman John Bailey and junior Forrest Lundgren. Seniors Dan Davis and Greg Gallagher also bring plenty of experience to the table.
“The boys biggest competition will be the Petoskey boys,” Ramer said. “They’ve (Petoskey) been strong all year, but I feel our boys are up to the challenge.”
The duo of Norm Berge and Dean Hague will look to carry the Bone City boys, while the Ramblers girls are led by Lexie Harding, Lauren Richard and Meredith Hague.
Casey Keane will look to lead the Charlevoix-East Jordan girls team along with Cora Taylor, while the Charlevoix-East Jordan boys are led by Brandon Cardwell.