By Ben Murphy
On Thursday, the Pioneer skiers arrived to Crystal Mountain for the MHSAA Division II Regional meet with their eyes set on qualifying for States. To some skiers, the Regional meet is the second most important meet of the year, behind only the State competition. Regionals determines who can compete to be named among Michigan’s finest skiers. Only a small percentage of high school skiers reach this high level, but for this season, a high percentage of the Clare High School Ski Team will be there competing.
The boys started the morning with giant slalom. Jordan Hales lad the team in fifth place followed by Jeffrey State in sixth place, Brett Acton in seventh place, Zack Brockway in twelfth place, and Timmy Badour in twenty-third place. Going into slalom, the Clare boys were leading the meet by six points. In slalom, Staten led taking fourth place followed by Brockway in seventh, Charlie Bugbee in ninth, Ryan Whiteman in twelfth place. After all results were tallied, the boys were tied with Cadillac for first place. The tie breaker left the Pioneer Boys in second place. While a disappointing outcome, a second place team finish is outstanding, and the Clare Boy’s Ski Team will be competing at the MHSAA State Competition in Marquette.
The Pioneer Ladies started the morning with slalom. Maggie Merillat led the girls taking seventh place overall, followed by Madi Cleary in tenth place. Freshmen Hannah Hofweber came in twenty-fifth place with fellow freshman Sierra Kwiatowski and Molly Merillat following close behind. In the afternoon, Cleary led the team in giant slalom coming in twelfth place, followed by Maggie Merillat in seventeenth and Molly Merillat in twenty-fourth place. The Clare Girl’s Team finished in fifth place overall. While not high enough to go to State as a team, both Madi Cleary and Maggie Merillat qualified individually for the state competition.
With the entire boys’ team as well as two girls, this will be the largest group of skiers to head to the state meet in several years. After regionals, Coach Jann Cleary said, “Both teams have really had an outstanding season. Marquette will be the final test, and I’m confident Clare is going to be a very strong competitor.”
Monday, February 25, Clare will compete in the MHSAA Division II State Meet at Marquette Mountian. Good luck, skiers!