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Skiing into first



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Nathan Rogers slips around one of the gates at the state finals. Photo by David McClaughry (click for larger version)
March 07, 2012 - Skiers rewrote the Wolves' history book by claiming the MHSAA Division 1 Boys Ski State Championship, Feb. 27.

Freshman Derek VanItallie led the team taking fourth place in the Giant Slalom and Slalom races, as the boys scored a total of 81 points. Marquette finished in second with 119 points.

"We thought it was a lot closer than it really was," said junior Lance Holsbeke. "We were nervous. We thought we lost."

He admitted their first race for the giant slalom didn't go as planned.

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"It was not a clean day," added Mike Foyteck, head coach. "But everyone else had problems, too. It was a rough day that turned into a great day."

Finishing in the top twenty for the morning giant slalom were VanItallie, fourth place; Grant Huber, fifth; Alex McIntosh, 12th; and Holsbeke, 17th.

Four finished in the top twenty in the slalom, VanItallie in fourth place; Ryan Callahan, sixth; and Huber, 13th.

"For a freshman, Derek did outstanding," Foyteck added. "I can't wait to see how he progresses over the next few years. It should be fun to watch and coach."

The girls finished in fifth place with 193 points, as Traverse City West, Traverse City Central, Marian and Walled Lake Central took the top four spots.

"They finished strong," Foyteck added. "They had a great year. I couldn't be happier with how they finished. John Sych, the girls coach, did a great job.

For the giant slalom four of the Lady Wolves finished in the top 50: Madeline DeClercq finished in 27th place; Karoline Holsbeke, 30th; Caroline Spytman, 32nd; Lauren Martin, 45th and Amy Wozniak, 49th.

Four also finished in the top 50 for the slalom. Spytman led the team, finishing in 25th place; Holsbeke, 27th; Olivia Dunn, 32; and DeClercq, 39th.

Foyteck added both teams finished the season great especially since it was an odd winter especially for skiing.

"The snow conditions from the warm temperatures weren't the best," he added. "Overall Pine Knob Ski Resort did a great job keeping up the hill. The difference was the snow wasn't as hard as you like to race on. You want the hard snow to race on. It was good for the weather we had."

"You had to do a lot differently than you usually did," Lance added. "Like change the way you ski or change your wax a lot."

The teams are hoping for a better winter next season as the aim is on state championships again.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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