Area ski teams have been braving the exceptionally cold weather with the Cannonsburg Slalom Championship on Friday, Jan. 16, and GGRHS varsity race number two on Tuesday night, Jan. 20. Teams and fans from around the Grand Rapids region braved the single digit temperatures for these exciting competitions.
In the Cannonsburg Slalom Championship race, racers competed against others in their age or ability class for the opportunity to earn one of the top three spots and permanent recognition on the perpetual trophy at the ski area. The top finishers for Rockford were Michael Dix in seventh place overall and second place in the Open Men’s Division, Taylor Noakes for eighth place overall and second place in the Sophomore Men’s Division, Julie Daukss with ninth place overall and first place in the Open Women’s Division, John Milewski with 10th place overall and third place in the Junior Men’s Division, and Carly Funk in 29th place overall and third place in the Sophomore Women’s Division. Casey Hefferan also had an outstanding race and placed 15th overall.
For the varsity race on Tuesday night, Grand Haven once again dominated the competition, winning the women’s slalom with 23 points, followed by Forest Hills Central with 46 points, and Forest Hills Northern and Rockford each with 76 points. Grand Haven women also won in the giant slalom (GS) event with 35 points, followed by Forest Hills Central and Rockford, each with 55 points.
Grand Haven’s men also won the GS event with 26 points, followed by East Grand Rapids with 34 points and Rockford with 54. In a tighter competition, the slalom event, East Grand Rapids won with 24 points, followed by Grand Haven with 30 and Rockford with 38.
On an individual level, Rockford sophomore Daukss led the region in both events with a first-place finish in both slalom and giant slalom, skiing a full two seconds ahead of her closest competitor. Daukss was backed by Kristyn Macqueen, who placed 14th in slalom and 18th in GS, Funk with sixth in GS, Bethany Hicks with 28th in slalom, and Meredith Buelken with 33rd in slalom and 30th in GS. Ally Schneiter was just outside of scoring range in GS with 33rd place.
Other area skiers finishing in top positions in GS were Lauren Wilberdeen from Forest Hills Northern in second, Christine DeVries from the Coop team in fourth place, Rebecca Stoddard from West Catholic in fifth, Elizabeth Sabin from Forest Hills Central in seventh, and Samantha Hagerman (Coop) in ninth.
In the slalom event, the boys were led by junior Milewski in sixth place, followed by Dix in ninth, Travis Fleming in 11th, and Noakes in 12th. Dix led the team in GS with a 10th-place finish, followed by Milewski in 12th, Noakes in 15th, and Fleming in 17th. Tyler Manikowski also had a strong finish with 18th place in GS and slalom. Dan O’Connor rounded out the team with 38th in slalom and 39th in GS.
The competition for the boys is quite tight this season, as evidenced by the three top teams all having their top four finishers in the top 20 positions. The region can look forward to continued tight competitions leading up to the regional race at Cannonsburg on February 12.