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Eyeing state

Grant Huber races down the slope. Photo by David McClaughry (click for larger version)
February 16, 2011 - Going into MHSAA Regionals this week, the Clarkston Varsity Boy's ski team is looking more prepared than ever as a result of winning every meet they have competed in this year.

"I'm almost one hundred percent sure the guys are going to take it home this year," said Senior Mark Zalobsky.

Not only is winning exciting for the guys of the ski team, but just being able to get away from everyday activities such as school work for a couple of hours is a relief as well.

"It's nice to go to Pine Knob after school for a couple of hours every day and not have to do school work," said Zalobsky, who is currently in the CSMTech program.

Though it seems many of the skiers would be affected by the cold weather winter provides, most of the team members actually enjoy it.

"I love the cold weather and everything about it," said Junior Brent Vanitallie.

However, not everybody on the team has the same point of view.

"Honestly, I hate the cold weather, I just love skiing," said Sophomore Alex McIntosh.

Despite their differences in views, all the guys agree they're like one big family when it comes down to skiing.

"We kind of have to look out for one another, and being a senior on the team I feel like the unofficial captain," said Zalobsky.

A good thing about the ski team feeling like a family is during the season they are with each other almost every day.

The varsity meets last two days. They are split up because of how many people that have to participate in it, so the extra day gives them a break.

On top of the extensive meets, the skiers practice everyday after school, whether they're in the weight room or at Pine Knob.

"Being a skier is a lot harder than it looks; we do tons of conditioning and extra workouts to get in shape for the meets," said McIntosh.

The boys ski team is more equipped than ever for this week's MHSAA Regionals meet at Mount Holly. With no losses for the season, their confidence should only help them bring home the State championship from Boyne Mountain, Feb. 28.

The boys finished first in their Divisional race scoring 16 points. Grant Huber led the boys, placing in first. McIntosh followed in third, Ryan Callahan in fifth, Lance Holsbeke in seventh and Brent Vanitallie in ninth. They qualified for the SEMSL race held on Tuesday.

The girls varsity team finished in sixth with 106 points. Olivia Dunn led the girls taking 17th place.

Nick Loomis, senior at Clarkston High School, is son of Sandy and Jeff Houle is a 17-year-old, pursuing a career as a sports journalist. After graduating this June, he plans on attending Central Michigan University where he hopes to get a degree in journalism.
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