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Clare boys and girl skiers crowned conference champs

By Ben Murphy

The Clare Pioneer Ski Team has proved to be an unstoppable force this season within the Central Alpine Ski Conference.  The Conference Championship took place Tuesday, January 31 at Apple Mountain and both boys’ team and girls’ team finished first place at the meet to secure the title of Conference Champions.

In slalom, Zack Brockway lead the boys finishing in first place, followed by Charlie Bugbee in second place, Ryan Whiteman in fourth place, and Jay Poet in fourteenth place.  Bugbee lead the boys in giant slalom finishing in first place followed by Brockway in fourth place, Whiteman in sixth place, and Poet in seventeenth place.

Sierra Kwiatowski led the Pioneer Girls in slalom finishing in second place followed by Madi Cleary in fourth place, Molly Merillat in fifth place, Alise Cronin in ninth place, and Megan Blakely in tenth place.  Kwiatowski continued to lead the girls in giant slalom taking third place followed by Merillat in fourth, Cleary in fifth, Hannah Hofweber in sixth place, Cronin in twelfth, and Allen in sixteenth.

This is the second consecutive year that both teams were Conference Champions.

Clare skiers showed they are just as competitive outside their conference at the Benzie Invitational at Crystal Mountain Monday, February 3.  Both Clare Boys and Clare Girls came in second place out of the nine teams competing and first place overall.

In slalom, the boys came in second with Bugbee leading in first place followed by Whiteman in fourth place and Brockway in seventeenth place.  The boys took first place in giant slalom again led by Bugbee in first place, Brockway in third place, Whiteman in ninth place, Poet in twelfth place, and Sam Hershberger in twenty-first place.  Races combined, the boy’s came in second place overall behind Grayling Ski Team.

Clare Girl’s came in second place in slalom lead by Cleary in fifth place, Kwiatowski in eighth place, Hofweber in ninth place, Merillat in twelfth place, and Cronin in twenty-fourth place. Cleary led the girls  in giant slalom, as well, taking ninth place followed by Kwiatowski in thirteenth place, Merillat in fifteenth place, Hofweber in seventeenth place, and Blakely in twenty-fifth place.   The girl’s finished third in giant slalom, securing a second place finish overall behind Manistee Ski Team.

Coach Jann Cleary says she’s proud of the team’s successes thus far. “Winning Conference is a big accomplishment; it’s great to see the skiers’ hard work paying off.  Second place at the Benzie Invite was confirmation the team is strong on the steeper hills as well.  Now, we’re focused on preparing for Regionals.”

Clare Pioneers will compete at Regionals next Tuesday, February 11 at Caberfae Peaks.

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