TRAVERSE CITY - The Copper Country Ski Tigers extended their reign over Michigan prep Nordic skiing, winning their fifth consecutive state championship last weekend.
The Ski Tigers, composed of students from several local locations, scored 376 points to finish ahead of Marquette (291) and Traverse City Central (290) in the 11-team field.
"Our girls were dominant this year and our boys' team, while young, came through with some strong showings," coach Mike Young said in a press release.
The Ski Tigers were particularly tough to beat on the girls' side, where they won eight of the top 10 places in the two-race pursuit competition and six of the top eight spots in the Saturday sprints.
Ski Tiger senior Ruth Oppliger (Hancock) fell just short in the final kilometer of the pursuit, which combines the classic and freestyle disciplines into one race, finishing second behind defending champion Ellen Wiitala of Marquette. Evelyn DeLong (Calumet) and Anna Meese (Hancock) finished third and fourth, with Houghton students Ida Herud, Isabel Sharp and Emily Humes finishing seventh, eighth and ninth.
Wiitala also won the sprint, with Meese and Oppliger taking second and fourth, respectively. All four 'B' final participants were Ski Tigers, with DeLong finishing ahead of Herud, Emily Oppliger and Sharp in fifth through eighth place.
On the boys' side, Hancock senior Al Toczydloski was fourth in the pursuit and third in the sprint, while Pete Karinen of Painesdale was fourth in the sprint.