BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — The past two seasons, the Rochester Adams-Stoney Creek Unified girls ski team opted not to have practice the day before the regional competition. After all, it has become a bad omen for the program.
Especially for Lauren Henry.
The senior, who attends Stoney Creek, suffered injuries both her sophomore and junior years. Twice an injury happened the day before the regional competition.
“We decided not to practice the day before regionals this year. We didn’t want to have anyone get hurt. I didn’t want to get hurt again,” laughed Henry.
Getting injured is not a laughing matter. Henry’s sophomore campaign was cut short when she fractured a hand the day before regionals. Last season she suffered a knee injury early in the season and re-aggregated it — you guessed it — the day before the regionals.
The injury turned out be severe, a torn ACL, and Henry was off the slopes and could not even dry train for a few months.
“I did take myself off crutches after about two days,” she said. “I wanted to get back to walking right and then training again. “I couldn’t stand not being able (to compete in sports).”
She bounced back in a major way in 2013, helping Adams-Stoney Creek Unified qualify for the state finals for the first time since 2008 and finish sixth in the state in Division 1 with 176 points. The Highlanders were third at the Mt. Holly regional.
“We didn’t even expect to qualify,” admitted Henry. “But we stepped up at regionals and we were able to make it. At (the state finals), we skied well enough to finish sixth. We had a great year, better than what we anticipated.”
This season, Henry was 10th in the slalom and 24th in the giant slalom at the state finals, earning her a spot on the All-State Second Team. She was seventh in the GS at the regional and top-25 in both events at the Pine Knob Ski League meet.
“It was nice to see her bounce back and have a good season. After what she’s been through, she deserves it,” offered Adams-Stoney Creek coach Pete Driscoll. “Having Lauren make All-State Second Team is a great way for her to finish up her high school career.”
Henry, who has over a 3.5 GPA, will likely head to NCAA Division III Hope College next school year. She has already talked to some other current students at Hope, along with some incoming freshman, about forming a club ski team next winter.
“I would love to continue racing,” she said. “We’re already working on that. We have interested (athletes).”
Henry was glad to be back on the slopes — healthy this season.
“It was a great way to go out,” she said.
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