February 19, 2014 - Skiers are heading north as both girls and boys teams qualified for the MHSAA State Finals at Schuss Mountain.
Derek VanItallie picks up speed as he races for the Wolves. Photo Diana Casetti (click for larger version)
The boys finished in first place at regionals last week as the girls finished in second place.
"It was a good day," said Coach Mike Foyteck.
Derek VanItallie led the boys as they finished in first place in the giant slalom race. He placed in second at 36.99. Finishing in the top 15 spots were Ryan Callahan, sixth; Ben Schuster, 12th; Reis Weidemann, 14th; and Jacon McIntosh, 15.
The boys finished second in the slalom race. VanItallie finished in second place at 41.68 closely following in third place was Callahan at 41.93. Weidemann finished in tenth place as McIntosh finished in 19th.
"The boys had problems," Foyteck added.
"We didn't ski clean. We haven't had a clean race all year long. They have some work to do there. I don't think we have seen the best out of them yet. Hopefully we see that in the states."
The girls finished in third place in the giant slalom. Madeline DeClercq led the team with her second place finish at 39.21. Amanda Casetti closely followed finishing in third place at 39.40. Caroline Spytman finished in 17th place.
They finished in second place in the slalom. Spytman led with a second place finish at 47.88 as DeClercq finished in third. Casetti finished in 12th place.
Foyteck added Karoline Holsbeke was hurt and wasn't able to ski for the race.
"It was a big hit for the girls team but they made it on their own," he said. "She will be able to race in the state meet."
The state meet is Monday beginning at 8 a.m. and Clarkston is hosting at Schuss Mountain. Foyteck is expecting fast competition.
" This is probably one of the toughest state meets I can remember as far as the competition goes," he said, adding it is the caliber of the teams. "It seems like a lot of good teams have a lot of good racers all at the same time. There are four teams on the boys side who could probably win just depending on who has a good day and who has a bad day."
He added a strength for the boys is they have been there before - in the last three years they have finished as state champion and two runner-up spots.
"They are used to the pressure," he said. "If they ski a clean day they should have a good day. The girls are skiing strong. Traverse City West and Traverse City Central are both really good as far as the girls go. They will have their hands full there. "
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. Follow Clarkston sports on Twitter @CNewsWRSports.