LINCOLN, N.H. - The skiing is complete, and the results are good for Plymouth State College at the U.S. Collegiate Skiing Association Championships at Loon Mountain.
The Panther men wrapped things up Saturday with a second-place finish in the slalom, which coupled with the runner-up finish in the giant slalom Thursday gives PSC second place in the combined standings. The Panther women raced to a ninth place in Friday's slalom, but finished as high as fourth in the combined standings because of a strong third place in giant slalom.
The second place national finish is the best for the PSC men's team since the 1985 team won the national title. The fourth place for the women is the highest in the 12 years under head coach Kim Bownes. Sierra Nevada College won both the men's and women's team titles.
"The men skied absolutely as well as I could've asked," said Bownes. "Sierra Nevada has some of the best skiers in the world, and we were right up there with them. I'm so proud of these guys. They're a bunch of seniors who've worked hard. I was hoping for a top five finish, and they said they could make it into the top three. Then they went and finished second."
There were three PSC men in the top ten of Saturday's slalom, a race with nearly 100 skiers. Senior Ben Moody (New Boston, NH) finished in fourth place while classmates Jeff Cuff (North York, Ontario) finished seventh and M.C. Malboeuf (Andover, NH) finished ninth. The top 15 finishers make up the All-America Team. Senior Ryan Welch (Rutland, VT) placed 79th, and freshman Carter Davidson (Madison, NH) did not finish his second run. Malboeuf and freshman Fred DeBaets (Plymouth, NH) had earned All-America honors in the GS, while in the combined alpine, Malboeuf finished fifth and Moody placed eighth.
In Friday's women's slalom, freshman Anda Curuta (Sibiu, Romania) just missed All-America honors with a 16th place finish. She and senior Kyle Dunfee (Gilford, NH) had made the All-America team in the giant slalom, but Dunfee finished back in 43rd in the slalom. Curuta did place ninth in the combined alpine. Also in the middle of the pack in the slalom were junior Sarah Thompson (Northboro, MA) in 36th, senior Heidi Hawkenson (Plymouth, NH) in 46th, and junior Amanda Dileo (Ridgewood, NJ) in 62nd.
"The women skied great on Wednesday to finish third, but the mental part of doing so well Wednesday hurt them on Friday," said Bownes. "They were trying so hard they didn't ski like they can, or like they have all year."
The Panther men had qualified for the national championships by winning the Eastern Regionals last month, while the women advanced to the nationals after finishing runner-up at the regionals.
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