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Marquette Senior High School skiers try to defend state titles today

HARBOR SPRINGS — The Marquette Senior High School ski teams will put some pretty amazing streaks on the line today at the MHSAA Division 1 state finals at Nub’s Nob near Harbor Springs.

The Redettes are looking for their fifth straight girls state championship, while the Redmen have an even longer boys streak on the line as they look to make it eight in a row.

This morning was to see giant slalom runs for the boys and slalom runs for the girls, with the genders reversing in the afternoon.

While there were three Division 1 regionals, the northernmost one has generally been the strongest, led by Marquette and the two Traverse City schools.

At regionals held Feb. 11 at Cannonsburg Ski Area in the Grand Rapids suburb of Belmont, the Redmen easily won the boys meet with 40 points to 74 for runner-up Traverse City West. Grand Haven-Black River was a distant third with 122.

The Redettes may have more trouble today as they placed a close second in the girls regional with 61 1/2 points as TC Central won with 54 1/2. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern-Eastern was well back in third with 112.

Marquette had both individual boys winners at Cannonsburg.

Aaron Grzelak took GS in a two-run time of 50.23 seconds, using his second run to catch and pass runner-up Aiden Lewandowski of TC West by 0.23 of a second.

Grzelak timed 24.81 seconds in his first run to Lewandowski’s 24.69, but Grzelak used a 25.42 second run as conditions slowed and Lewandowski could only make it down in 25.77 his second time.

Teammate Hayden Kauppila was fifth, Truman Durand sixth and Logan Audette eighth.

In slalom, Kauppila and Durand finished 1-2 with Kauppila winning by nearly three-quarters of a second with two runs totaling 1:01.61 as Durand clocked 1:02.42.

Kauppila powered his way to a more than one full second advantage over the field in his first run, except for Lewandowski. The TC West skier was fastest on the first run, but blew up with the 46th-place time on his second time down.

Grzelak was seventh, Audette 10th and Drake Scheidt 11th in slalom.

The Marquette girls dominated slalom with Jacey Johnson and Ainsley Kirk not only finishing 1-2, but outpacing the rest of the field by more than 2 1/2 seconds.

Johnson just edged Kirk on both her runs for a combined time of 1:00.69 as Kirk came in at 1:00.85.

Teammate Anna Grzelak was 10th and Adrianna Bernard 12th.

GS was a bit more problematic for the Marquette girls as Johnson was third, Kirk sixth and Grzelak 12th.

But Johnson’s 50.23 time only missed winner Holly Grzelak of Forest Hills Northern-Eastern by 0.28 of a second.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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