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Racers top state finals with second place

Clarkston High School’s Boys Varsity Ski team celebrates their season, Feb. 28. Photo provided (click for larger version)
March 09, 2011 - With a score of 81 points, the Clarkston Boys Varsity Ski team took the runner-up spot in the MHSAA State Finals on Feb. 28.

"It was fantastic," said Mike Foyteck, head coach. "It was a great way to end the year."

The boys finished 18 points behind Traverse City Central, who took first place with 63 points. Traverse City West took third with 100 points followed by Marquette, Grand Blanc, Brother Rice, Detroit Catholic Central, Lake Orion and Brighton.

Junior Brent Vanitallie led the team in the Slalom race, finishing in eighth and 10th in the Giant Slalom.

"He had a fantastic season," said Foyteck. "He ended up winning the slalom at regionals and ended double medals in the state meet which is fantastic."

Teammate junior Grant Huber also grabbed a medal for his sixth place finish in the Giant Slalom.

For the Slalom, Ryan Callahan finished 14th; Alex McIntosh, 16th; Lance Holsbeke, 26th; and Nathan Rodgers, 50th.

Finishers in the Giant Slalom were: Callahan, 12th; McIntosh, 14th; Holsbeke, 23rd; Huber, 34; and Evan Trout, 60th.

"They have a lot of experience," said Foyteck about the entire team. "The state race is a big race. They get a lot of pressure on them or put it on themselves to do well. They progressed each week further and further in the right direction."

The focus going into the finals in Marquette was to ski clean from the top to the bottom of the slope.

"I wanted everyone to finish because there is always going to be a problem," he added. "Like Grant had to go back and hike to make the gates. We race to finish."

The team's success comes from the amount of training they have.

"A lot of the kids train with Pinnacle Racing," said Foyteck. "They get a lot of gate time and that is the biggest difference right there."

All of the racers come back next year and Foyteck and the boys are already looking forward to the season.

"It should be pretty interesting," said Foyteck. "I think their focus is we know we have an opportunity to win a state meet. Our focus is going to be consistent racing and preparing for the last race of the year which will be the state meet."

He also looks forward to new team members who are just as fast.

"It is my job to keep them focused, keep them grounded and keep them moving forward," Foyteck added. "It is a relatively short season but it ends up to be a long one sometimes."

It is the first time since the program started in 1968 the team has placed so high, in previous years they have taken third and fourth.

"It is a huge accomplishment," said Foyteck.

The state runner up finalists for 2011 are: freshmen Ryan Callahan, Tyler Sajan, Benjamin Schuster, Nicholas Smart; sophomores Lance Holsbeke, Alex McIntosh, Jacob Streng; juniors Grant Huber, Jack Lorimer, Ian McClaughry, Dimitrie Nastasa, Nathaniel Rogers, Evan Trout and Brent Vanitallie with senior manager Mark Zalobsky.

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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