David MacLean and Daniela Gebhart went down to the wire winning the final Michigan Cup race, the Boyne Highlands Freestyle, to clinch their Overall Michigan Cup Championships. Canadian Daniela competed in a full season on the Michigan Cup. The Straits Strider skier copped a win at the Garland Gripper, and then won the final three races of the season to win a close battle with Team NordicSkiRacer Julia Houle, 995 to 990. Last year’s winner Tracy Hardin (Straits Striders), finished in third at 980.
David MacLean started strong this season, winning the Garland Glide. The GRNST skier took the mid season off to participate in the World Masters in Torino, Italy, where he teamed with Milan Baic to win the bronze in the relay. He came back to win the last to races at Boyne Highlands to clinch the Michigan Cup Championship with 998 points, besting the UK’s Hugh Pritchard (Team NordicSkiRacer) by 2 points and GRNST teammate Christian Byar by 7.
Age Group Winners
In the Age Group competition, Ski Headquarters veteran, Katerina Gulledge made her senior year one to remember, winning six of her nine races to take the Junior Women title with a perfect 1,000 points. Traverse Nordic’s Hannah Ciesla edged out Jessie Hemming for second 965 to 960. In Junior Men, Traverse City Junior Jessie Smith was the class of the division taking first in seven of his eight races. Kyle Endicott was second and William Ward third.
There was resurgence in the Men’s 20-29 Age bracket with a hotly contested race between some real quality skiers. NSR’s Steve Kuhl and Andy Stevens took first and second with 990 and 972 points respectively. GRNST’s Melzar Coulter finished third with 949. This division was loaded with ex-collegiate racers. In the Women’s 20-29 ranks, MSU grad student Emily Flynn won over New Mexico State grad student, Natalie Dawson, with Mackenzie Kuhl in third. All three race on Team NordicSkiRacer.
Men’s 30-39 was also hotly contested with GRNST’s Christian Byar in first most of the season, only to be edged out by former UK Olympic Biathlon team member Hugh Pritchard, now of Team NSR. NSR’s Dave Fanslow came in third. These three were 2, 3 and 6 overall in the Michigan Cup. In the Women’s division it was NSR’s Julia Houle winning, GRNST’s Amy Todd in second and Meegan Madion in third. These three were 2, 5 and 6 in the overall women’s ranking.
David MacLean, GRNST, claimed honors in the 40-49 division as well as the overall championship. The Michigan Cup champ from 2004, Denny Paull of the Straits Striders took second and GRNST’s Randy Bladel came in third. Among the ladies it was Daniela Gebhart, Straits Striders, winning the age group and the Michigan Cup Overall also, in a hotly contested race with team mate Tracy Hardin. NSR’s Joann Cavaletto was third.
The stalwarts rose to the top in the 50-59 age group. Headquarters, Gussie Peterson finished in first with Karen Dawson, NSR, second and the Striders Amy Wilks in third. On the men’s side, Michigan Cup founder, Chris Weingartz (Straits Striders), finished first, besting GRNST’s Don Camp and Traverse Nordic’s Bill Brundage.
Straits Strider Marv Mendyk, bested the field in all but one race to win the 60-69 Men’s group. GRNST veterans Peter Johnson and Steve Smigiel finished second and third. Jean Murray, Headquarters, won the Women’s 60 and over group with teammate Beth Caldwell in second and Janet Stuhlmann in third.
John Caldwell of the Cross Country Ski Headquarters won the Mens 70 and over group, with teammate Marvin Stevenson in second and Arne Borgnes in third.
The last but by far not least category is Most Points. Skiers not only have to ski a lot of races they have to place well. The skiers that amassed the Most Points are real marathoners. Daniela Gebhart made seven trips across the International Bridge at Sault Ste Marie, skiing in ten races, garnering 1,925 Michigan Cup points to win this division. Straits Striders team mate Tracy Hardin was second and Julia Houle of NSR was third. On the men’s side GRNST’s Micheal Seaman skied in all thirteen Michigan Cup races earning 2,332 points to narrowly edge, Chris Weingartz who had 2,263. GRNST’s Don Camp was third with 2,257.