Strong season for Ski Tigers

HOUGHTON – The 2013-14 season for the Copper Country Ski Tigers Nordic ski racing team, was one of its most successful, including individual and team championships at the state meet.

The Ski Tigers rolled to the championship of the state meet in February in Traverse City, finishing with 374 points, well ahead of second-place Marquette and five downstate squads.

The Ski Tiger boys were 65 points ahead of the rest, won all three individual races and had the top four finishers in the two-race pursuit.

Houghton High School juniors David Jaszczak and Isaac Stone had two wins apiece.

Jaszczak took the sprint title after emerging unscratched from a five-man pile-up. He also led the pursuit at the halfway mark (after the 5-kilometer freestyle race), but Stone caught him in the last kilometer of the second leg, a 5-K classic, winning both the classic and pursuit title.

Mitch DeLong of Calumet and Dan Wood of Houghton came in third and fourth.

The Ski Tiger girls were third in a close race with TC Central and Marquette, with Houghton’s Isabel Sharp and Sarah Lyle finishing top-six in each event.

Seven Ski Tigers qualified to represent the Great Lakes District team at the USSA Junior Nationals in Stowe, Vt., in early March.

Wood, Stone, Jaszczak, Zeb Featherly (Houghton), Sharp, Sarah Lyle and Becca Lyle competed in three individual races and a relay.

Four others, DeLong, Wood, Tim Stone (Houghton) and Matt Chard (Houghton) participated in the Eastern Championships, a three-race event in Middlebury, Vt., for some of the best skiers 16 and under in the eastern half of the nation.