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Marquette boys, girls skiers dominate All-Upper Peninsula selections

Hayden Kauppila of Marquette competes during a high school ski meet held at Big Powderhorn Mountain in Bessemer on Feb. 2. (Ironwood Daily Globe photo by Jason Juno)

MARQUETTE — Ten Marquette Senior High School skiers were named All-Upper Peninsula by a vote of U.P. ski coaches on Thursday.

That included five skiers who were named to the First Team.

Just 20 skiers in all were honored, meaning half of them Redmen and Redettes.

Downhill skiing was probably the least-affected winter sport due to the coronavirus pandemic, since it’s held outdoors and is considered a “non-contact” sport by state health officials and the Michigan High School Athletic Association. While the sport began competition in late December, participants did wear masks and practiced social distancing while not in competition like nearly almost every other sport and activity still held.

Two MSHS girls were named All-U.P. First Team after the Redettes qualified as a team for the MHSAA Division 1 state finals to be held at Nub’s Nob near Harbor Springs on Monday. Marquette finished second at the D-1 regional at Crystal Mountain Resort on Feb. 10, giving them a chance at a sixth straight state championship.

The Marquette girls on the First Team are Anna Grzelak and Ella Jones, and are joined by Brooke Bittinger and Gabby Carey of Norway along with Ashley Lemann of Houghton.

The Redmen just missed getting a shot at making it nine straight D-1 state boys titles after they finished fourth in their meet at Crystal Mountain, as only the top three teams qualify.

However, three members of the MSHS boys team qualified as individuals for the state finals, and each was named All-U.P. First Team — Logan Audette, Hayden Kauppila and Cole Johnson.

They were joined on the First Team by Reed Heathman of Houghton.

Five more Marquette skiers made the All-U.P. Second Team — for the girls, it was Ada Bernard, Zoey Brian and Maddy Stern; and for the boys, Benjamin Kirk and Lloyd O’Connor.

The three MSHS skiers were the entire All-U.P. Second Team for girls, while the pair of Redmen were joined on the boys Second Team by Jake Munn of Norway and Mikko Salmi of Houghton.

Four more skiers were named All-U.P. Honorable Mention — girls Megan Bittinger of Norway and Lydia Salmi of Houghton and boys John Holm and Bo Mattson of Ironwood.

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

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