Nate Schneider

Sports Scene

Okemos girls skiing enjoyed a banner year last season, qualifying for the Division 1 state finals a first time in school history and finishing eighth.

Now the Chieftains are hoping to build on that success.

But getting a gauge on how Okemos will fare on the slopes has not been easy in the early going, with a pair of meets already called due to a lack of weather and not much in the way of results against opponents.

There is plenty of reason to be optimistic, however, as head coach Jeff David has a team brimming with potential.

“I like this team a lot and am really looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish this season,” David said. “We just haven’t had any consistency with our meets yet. Being a ski team in the southern part of Michigan, we don’t always get the necessary snowfall down here and it’s been an issue this winter. So we’re just hoping to get some competitive meets in over the next few weeks.”

Okemos is led by sophomore Mattie Hartle, who placed ninth in the giant slalom (58.11) and 21st in the slalom (1:18.49) at last last year’s state finals. She’ll be joined by a promising newcomer that David expects “big things from” in freshman Sarra Guggemos.

Both Hartle and Guggemos are both United States Ski & Snowboard Association club skiers, which has provided them more exposure to top-notch competition and prepares them well for the high school season.

“Last year was a really great year for us,” David added. “We gave up three seniors, but I’m equally excited for this year. Especially having Mattie back and adding Sarra, I think we’ll be just as competitive.”