Ski Tigers take state team title

ISHPEMING – The Copper Country Ski Tigers used a dominating performance in the girls’ pursuit races on Saturday to capture the overall title from Marquette at the Michigan High School Cross Country Ski Championships held at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming.

The Marquette Senior High School team is affiliated with the Superiorland Ski Club.

The Ski Tigers scored 608 points when boys and girls totals were added together, while Marquette had 552.

Traverse City Central was third with 488, while the Lake Michigan team from the Petoskey-Boyne City area was a distant fourth with 170.

Other participating teams were from the Traverse City area – West TC Central, Vasa and TC St. Francis.

Marquette held narrow leads over the Ski Tigers after the boys and girls sprint races held Friday.

Thanks to Saturday’s individual victory turned in by the Redmen’s Blake Murray, who defended his state pursuit title, the Marquette boys held on for that victory despite being outscored in both the freestyle and classic disciplines Saturday.

In the boys’ standings, Marquette led 107-86 after the first day only to have the CC team win the freestyle 102-98 and classic 99-96, cutting the Redmen’s final advantage to 301-287.

On the girls side, however, the Redettes’ 103-87 advantage evaporated after the Ski Tigers won freestyle 105-81 and classic 113-83, giving the Keweenaw-area team a 321-251 win.

The Ski Tigers’ Isaac Stone was third in Saturday’s boys’ pursuit (24:16.4) and Hendrick Haataja fourth (24:18.8).

For the girls, Abby Potts was Marquette’s best finisher on Saturday in fifth place with 29:28.8, about 1:20 behind winner Evelyn Delong of the Ski Tigers.

The Ski Tigers not only had the girls top finisher, but runner-up Sarah Lyle, fourth-place Isabel Sharp and seventh-place Carly Bulleit.