On Thursday, Feb. 11, four area schools traveled more than six hours, along with five other Michigan teams to compete at Marquette Mountain in the Division I regional finals for downhill ski racing. With fresh snow and relatively mild conditions, the weather was perfect for the race. The steeper, longer slopes at Marquette also provided a new level of challenge for area teams. Rockford boys entered the competition with a first-place Grand Rapids conference title, having taken first place in 4/5 meets during the regular season and had their sights on a possible berth in the state finals. Unfortunately, one of Rockford’s top racers, Taylor Noakes, was injured in practice and was pulled from the regional competition. Team alternates Jake Lewis and Michael Kommer were called upon to fill the gap and turned in exceptional performances, but the team remained just short of qualifying for the state competition. In the end, the northern powerhouses of Traverse City and Marquette took the top three positions—Traverse City Central 50, Traverse City West 83, Marquette 121—but Rockford had an impressive fourth-place finish, just 37 points away from qualifying as a team for the state finals. Grand Haven boys finished in fifth place with 205 total points. The day started with giant slalom competition for the men. Rockford’s team leader in this event was Ben Avink with a 17th-place finish, followed by Michael Dix with 19th place, John Milewski 25th, and Tyler Manikowski in 29th. Kommer finished in 30th and Travis Fleming in 45th. In the afternoon, the team competed in the slalom event. In slalom, Dix had an impressive seventh-place finish, which earned him a spot on the podium and the chance to move onto the state competition as an individual. Milewski placed 14th in slalom, Fleming 18th, and Avink 27th. Lewis finished 28th and Casey Hefferan was disqualified after a fall. Rockford’s girls team also competed at regionals, finishing in seventh place. In slalom, individual results included Emily Macauley in 28th, Bethany Hicks 30th, Ashley Rister 30th, and Kaiti Bartholomy 35th. In giant slalom, Julie Daukss qualified for the state competition with a 16th-place finish. Bartholomy finished 33rd, Macauley 38th, and Hicks 39th. Emily Kommer and Carly Funk also competed. In addition to Daukss and Dix, […]
Rockford’s combined score of 67 was well ahead of third place Forest Hills Central (FHC) at 119, but just behind East Grand Rapids (EGR) with a total score of 40. Forest Hills Northern (FHN) placed fourth and Grand Haven finished in fifth place. Rockford girls placed fifth this week after finishing in second place on the first race of the season. The girls were once again led by junior Julie Daukss with a first-place finish (1:09.77) in the slalom event and a second-place finish in GS (56.09). Junior Carly Funk placed fifth in GS (57.70), freshman Ashley Rister placed 25th in slalom (1:35.59), freshman Emily MacCauley placed 27th in slalom (1:38.58) and 31st in GS (1:04.34), freshman Kaiti Bartholomy placed 34th in slalom (1:42.03), and junior Bethany Hicks finished 33rd in GS (1:05.67) to round out the girls’ scoring. Emily Kommer also raced, but did not have a qualifying finish. The Rockford girls’ total score was 158. Grand Haven won the event with a total score of 55, FHN was second with 116 points, FHC was third with 129 points, and EGR was fourth with 151 points. On Thursday, Jan. 21, the junior varsity team raced at Cannonsburg and the boys had another excellent night, once again demonstrating the depth of the team this year. In the GS event, Rockford boys placed four racers in the top five, with senior Casey Hefferan in first place (54.60), freshman Ryan Donley in third (55.97), sophomore Jake Lewis in fourth (57.28), and senior Dan O’Connor in fifth (57.30). Filipo Rosseti placed 10th. On the slalom course, Donley placed second, O’Connor placed fifth, Rosseti placed 11th, and Michael Kommer placed 15th. For the girls, Alysse Quinn finished 22nd in GS and 23rd in slalom, while Christina Cayetano placed 24th in GS. The next races are Tuesday, Jan. 26 and Thursday, Jan. 28 at Cannonsburg Ski Area. Then the team travels to the steeper slopes of Caberfae Peaks outside of Cadillac on Friday, Jan. 29.
The Michigan Division I skiing finals were held at Boyne Mountain on Feb. 23. The only team from the conference to compete at the state level was the Grand Haven boys. However, two individuals from Rockford were selected to compete at the state competition based on their individual finishes in the regional qualifiers, which were held at Cannonsburg on Feb. 13. Sophomore Julie Daukss competed in both slalom and giant slalom (GS), while junior Michael Dix’s time in the slalom event qualified him as a competitor. Conditions for the state competition were perfect, with brilliant sunshine, freshly fallen groomed snow, and no wind. Ten teams of six members plus 16 individual qualifiers competed in each category for both boys and girls. Daukss finished in the top 10 for slalom with a 10th-place finish, as well as a fine 16th-place finish in GS. Dix finished in 26th place in slalom on the men’s side. Both Daukss and Dix qualified for all-conference honors along with teammates, Carly Funk, John Milewski and Taylor Noakes. Daukss and Dix also qualified for the All Region ski team, awarded by the Michigan High School Ski Coaches Association. Rockford will return all but three graduating seniors to the team next year and is looking forward to a great season.
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 […]