Rockford’s regular ski season concluded on Tuesday, Feb. 3 with the final conference race at Cannonsburg Ski Area, followed by the regional competition on Friday, Feb. 13. In the end, Rockford girls and boys teams each finished in third place in the Greater Grand Rapids High School Ski Conference (GGRHSSC), behind Grand Haven and Forest Hills Central on the girls side and East Grand Rapids and Grand Haven on the boys side.
Rockford’s girls and the conference were led all season by Julie Daukss who earned an All Conference spot and consistently placed in the top ten finishers, usually in first or second place. Carly Funk also achieved the conference giant slalom (GS) list for the girls. Team leaders for the boys were Michael Dix, John Milewski and Taylor Noakes, who all achieved All Conference status due to consistently strong top finishes in both GS and slalom events.
Eleven Division I teams gathered at Cannonsburg on Friday, Feb. 13 for regional competition, following a postponement due to rain and warm conditions. Race day arrived with meticulously groomed slopes and temperatures right at freezing. After perfect conditions all season long, the snow conditions were disappointing, but there was plenty of snow to complete the event. Each racer took two runs in slalom and in GS, with their combined times determining their finish places in each event. Marquette, Traverse City and Grand Haven were the top three teams, earning the right to compete as teams at the state competition. Rockford’s boys team placed fifth.
Although Rockford’s teams did not finish in the top three positions, two individual racers earned the right to compete at the state level due to top finishes. Daukss placed third in slalom and 12th in GS, and will compete in both events. Dix placed 14th in slalom and will also compete at the state competition.
Rockford’s other team members’ finish places were Kristyn Macqueen (27th slalom, 40th GS), Bethany Hicks (39th slalom, 57th GS), Aly Schneiter (44th GS), Merry Buelken (45th slalom), Funk (54th slalom, 50th GS), Ashley Richter (56th GS), Tyler Manikowski (27th GS), Milewski (26th slalom, 31st GS), Noakes (24th slalom, 37th GS), Travis Fleming (39th GS, 24th slalom), and Dan O’Connor (41st GS, 49th slalom).
Rockford’s varsity team loses two senior girls at the end of the season. Macqueen was a consistently strong finisher for the team and provided much-needed depth to their performance. Schneiter, who joined the team this year, demonstrated consistently improving performances at each event. The boys team will return five juniors and a sophomore. Both teams are looking forward to a strong 2009-2010 season.