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Young ski team impressing on the slopes

by Justin Scott

contributing reporter

A young, but talented group of skiers is back at LHS for the second year of the re-organized Lowell ski program. 

The Lowell ski team participates in the Greater Grand Rapids High School Ski Conference (GGRHSSC) in Division Two with Spring Lake, East Grand Rapids, Northview, GR Catholic Central-GR West Catholic co-op, Forest Hills Central and Grand Rapids Christian. In Division One is Rockford, Forest Hills Northern-Forest Hills Eastern co-op and Grand Haven.

The team is coached by Karla Byrne and includes two teams this season. One team is an all-girls team and another is a co-ed team that competes in the boys division. Ski has been held at LHS for decades in the form of a club or organized sport, but after a brief absence in the mid-2010s has been brought back thanks to the efforts of Coach Byrne.

Freshman Colton Byrne will certainly be one student-athlete to keep an eye on over his next few years at LHS. “He is a freshman this year and has already shown great potential for our team.  He has consistently placed in the top 6 for the past two weeks in GS.  He also competes at the USSA level and competed at the Junior Olympics last year as well.” 

His sister, Kaylee Byrne is talented as well. In her freshman year last year, Kaylee competed at the Division Two state finals placing 13th in slalom and giant slalom. “This was a huge accomplishment for her in her first year of high school racing.  She is looking to be a top contender at states again this year as a sophomore.” She also competes at the USSA level has qualified the past two years to compete out in Colorado at the Junior Olympics.

Last week the team competed in Cannonsburg with the co-ed placing ninth in slalom and eighth in GS. Bringing in points for GS was Colton Byrne taking fourth, Preston Sobeck taking 26th, Hunter Stepanovich and Clara Eriksson also scored points for the Arrows.

Adding to the team points for slalom were Colton Byrne in 14th, Sobeck in 21st, Cole Lillie and Hunter Stepanovich skied well to add in more points for the co-ed team.

The Lady Arrows took eighth in the conference for GS and seventh in slalom. Kaylee Byrne placed first in the grand slalom with Olivia Torline, Emma Schmidt and Gina Redondo helping add on to the team score as well. 

In slalom Kaylee Byrne took fourth, Schmidt took 38th, Torline and Redondo brought in more points. 

“Our boys/co-ed team has placed seventh in the conference each week so far and our girls team has struggled to earn the points they need to get higher than ninth or tenth place.  We have eight team members that are brand new to the racing scene and the entire team continues to make improvements each week,” Coach Byrne told us last week.

This week the team competes Tuesday at 4:30 pm at Cannonsburg and Friday, Jan. 31st at Caberfae Peaks with a start time of 10:00 am. 

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