The course is set, the organizers and racers are ready and the Michigan championships are about to begin on a forecasted warm weekend in Traverse City on February 17 and 18. The racing format will again include both a two-day pursuit race (classic individual start on Friday and freestyle pursuit Saturday) and a freestyle sprint competition that is sure to please the spectators on Saturday afternoon
The field looks strong with all of last years individual champions returning to defend their titles. Last years dual pursuit and sprint champ Mitchell Delong of Calumet (Copper Country Ski Tigers and Michigan Tech commit for next year) is having an exceptionally strong season with excellent racing results at US Nationals, a Mesabi East freestyle crown, and a well-qualified JNQ season behind him, looks like the boys favorite. Petoskey skier (Lake Michigan team) Reid Goble might have something to say about an easy path to a repeat as he also is having an excellent racing season in his senior year and will give Delong a great weekend of competition. Traverse City's Jacob Dean and Isaac Coulter will be on their home course and are also expected to contend for the podium along with Marquette's trio of Ethan Hall, Nate Garwood and Julien Malherbe. Marquette and Copper Country boys are also coming down with a strong group of underclassmen this year so their will be exciting racing for the coveted top ten medalist positions
Mary Lyon of Traverse City is skiing well after an early season injury and will seek to defend her pursuit crown at home and Marquette's Beth Wright is back to defend the girls sprint title. Youngsters Annabel Needham (Copper Country) and Ericka Asmus (Marquette) are looking strong in recent JNQ racing and they will give the upper class-girls reason to race hard all weekend.
The Copper Country Boys team looks like the team favorite and Traverse City and Marquette Girls are heading for a showdown and as a result the overall team trophy is up for grabs this year so more than likely the B- and C- seed skiers will be determining the overall team results. It's going to be a great weekend of racing in Traverse City so if you are near the VASA trailhead this weekend come out and watch the action!
Start lists and Results are here: