Prep skiing: Northmen boys win Big North meet at Crystal Mountain
Senior Andrew Hamlin recorded a top-10 finish Tuesday in the slalom, helping Petoskey to a victory in a Big North Conference ski meet at Crystal Mountain. (News-Review file photo)
Such was the case Tuesday for the Petoskey High School boys ski team at a Big North Conference meet at Crystal Mountain.
Skiing less than 24 hours after winning the seven-team Grayling Invitational on the same hill, the Northmen boys took first place for a second straight day.
The Northmen finished with 50.5 points, while Traverse City West was second with 65. Cadillac was third with 74.5, and T.C. Central was fourth with 97.
“It was really good to see that level of consistency after what we had (Monday),” Petoskey coach Travis Hill said. “The snow hardened up quite a bit and the conditions were not as sloppy and slushy, things were more consistent than they were throughout the day (Monday) and it was a fairly consistent course through the varsity and JV races.”
T.C. West won the girls event with 38 points, followed by T.C. Central, 53; and Petoskey, 67.
Heading into the Big North Conference championships on Feb. 21 at the Otsego Club in Gaylord, Petoskey and Cadillac are tied for first place in the boys standings, while the Northmen girls are in second place behind T.C. West.
Five Northmen boys placed in the top 10 in the slalom on Tuesday, and three recorded top-10 finishes in the giant slalom.
T.C. West’s Ryan Ness won both the slalom, 52.81 seconds; and the GS, 36.46.
For the Petoskey boys in slalom, Gunnar Lundteigen was a team-best second, 54.29; followed by Matt Dankert, sixth; Noah Honaker, seventh; Ben Loomis, eighth; Andrew Hamlin, 10th; and Trevor Kingsbury, 21st.
“We really cleaned up in slalom,” Hill said. “We had a good stretch across the board and Andrew Hamlin came up nicely and blocked some points from T.C. Central and Cadillac.”
In the GS, Dankert was fourth, Honaker, fifth; Lundteigen, sixth; Hamlin, 12th; Loomis, 13th; and Kingsbury, 17th.
Hill again lauded the effort of Hamlin, who is the lone senior on either Petoskey squad.
“It’s been a long season for him being the only senior, but he really pulled through for the team,” Hill said. “We had four good scores in the hole and he blocked points in slalom, then he turned around and pulled through when we needed him in the clutch.
“He battled a summer injury after he was hit by a vehicle on his bike, which kind of slowed him down. But he’s shown great progress and he’s stuck with it.”
T.C. West’s Lili Lockwood won the girls’ GS in 37.33, while teammate Monica Hessler won the slalom in 1:02.06.
Mia Ciccoretti led the Petoskey girls in the slalom, placing fourth in 1:04.38. Petoskey’s Lisa Dinon was fifth, followed by Reilly Philliben, sixth; Jill Antonishen, 11th; Claire Brummler, 13th; and Makayla Naybeck, 16th.
In GS for the Petoskey girls, Dinon was a team-best sixth, 38.61; followed by Ciccoretti, 10th; Antonishen, 12th; Brummler, 13th; Naybeck, 17th; and Philliben, 31st.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more out of the girls in slalom and they were excited about going into the afternoon (GS),” Hill said. “(Philliben) was first out of the gate and with her fall, the rest of the girls stayed consistent in their first runs and they didn’t let it slow them down. As a coach, that’s all you can ask for in a situation like that.
“As a team, we’re very close and we had the option to fall apart or to stride on. Just like they did last year in several cases, they carried on and they showed some real personal strength and mental fortitude to get the job done.”
Petoskey will take part in the Division II regional meet Thursday, Feb. 16, at Nub’s Nob.