March 14, 2012 - Lake Orion's ski teams may not have won states, but High School Senior Marie Dohm managed to create school history by herself as the first girl skier to win an individual state title.
Coach Derek Delzer and Marie Dohm. (click for larger version)
"She's a hard working athlete and when she gets to that starting gate she gets really focused," said Head Coach Derek Delzer. "That's how she is every race. There's something special about Dohm's attitude. For her, its all about focusing on really winning and throwing down the best possible time. She has the confidence in herself that makes it so she can be the fastest down that course.
"It's been a lot of fun coaching her."
Dohm took first in the giant slalom and seventh in the slalom at Nub's Nob (in Harbour Springs) at the Feb. 27 state meet following a successful skiing season. She gave special thanks to her parents, her coach and her friends on the team, without whom, she said she would not have done as well.
"The people on this team have been skiiing with me longer than I've even been on the team, and by the afternoon my nerves had settled because of it," said Dohm. "I held it together and remembered how important being calm and focused was. When you get to that start gate you forget about everything else and just focus on having the fastest run.
"Up on the hill you also have to focus on not being blown over by the wind."
The meet marked an emotional moment for Dohm, who will attend Michigan State in the Fall. For her, it was her last competition with her high school team and at times emotions ran high. But throughout the races, Dohm managed to focus at the task at hand.
"I was going through all the emotions at the first run of the day and I just started crying," she said. "I tried to calm myself down and did right through to the bottom and just started again. It really started hit me me how much the team meant to me and how much these people meant to me. The relationships I've made are some of the closest I've had.
"You spend more time on the lift than you do actually skiing and I spend more time with my teammates than I do my parents. You're (on the hill) always every single day for hours and you have someone to spend it with. It means a lot."
Dohm will continue on the Michigan State Ski Team but added it wont' be the same for her.
She started skiing early in life and said before she could walk she was the "kid who was strapped to daddy's chest when he was cross country skiing." She added her parents even met at a ski club meeting and when she was four, they put her in her first pair of skis.
She finished 20th in the state her freshman year.
As for the rest of the skiers, Delzer said he was proud of their great season.
"Our boys finished sixth in the state out of nine at the state meet and 40 in the division," he said. "We had an opportunity to be runner up to Clarkston who took the state meet, but we ran into some difficulty in the slalom at Nub's Nob. A lot of our races consisted of one bad and one good run and we could have easily been runner up to first place. For a younger team like we have, it's impressive to have that in our reach."
Delzer said the boys will lose two students in the coming year, but added the JV team is "unbelievable."
The 2012 season will see three girls leave the varsity team, but Delzer said solid racers were coming up from JV.