TC Central Looks to Reclaim Ski Crown
TRAVERSE CITY – As the most storied ski program in MHSAA history, Traverse City Central is looking to reclaim its crown on the slopes in 2017.
With a combined 28 team state championships and 22 runner-up finishes between its boys and girls programs, no other school in the state has accomplished as much on the slopes as Central.
“I think that the kids are the same, you know you have high expectations with them all and they expect the same,” Central coach Sue Miller said.
On the boys side, the Trojans are a young group in 2017 but boast a strong junior class that looks to continue the momentum of three consecutive state runner-up finishes.
"We’re all in the same range in ability, so we usually come down with similar times, so it’s fun to see who wins today, or who wins tomorrow,” Central junior Teague Tompkins said.
Winners of 19 state championships dating back to when the MHSAA first sponsored the sport in 1975, the boys program has had to contend with Marquette in recent years, which has won four consecutive state titles.
"Yeah, we’re always there,” junior Max Fiegel said. “Marquette is always our biggest competition, and they seem to be pretty good this year."
After posting runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2015, the girls program took a step back last season, securing a third-place finish behind Marquette and Bloomfield Hills Marian, respectively. But for the nine-time state champion Trojans, experience is on their side, as Central graduated just one senior a year ago.
"It would be nice to win states, after four years on the team, especially after being so close last year,” Central senior Maddy Zimmerman said. "I think that we can definitely win regionals, and I would really like us to win states."
Thanks to the recent inclement weather, the two programs have only raced in one competition this season, with the boys and girls finishing second and third, respectively, at the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Invitational last Monday.
"With our performance, I know that we can definitely get first next time,” Zimmerman said. “It was good to see that we have a lot more in us, especially in the beginning of the season."
Both programs compete again Thursday in the inaugural Hans “Peppi” Teichner Town Slalom at Traverse City’s Hickory Hills. Held in honor of the man known as the “Father of Michigan Skiing,” the event features Central, West and the Traverse City St. Francis/Elk Rapids programs.