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PSC Ski teams qualify for Nationals with strong Regional performance

WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - The very successful season for the Plymouth State College skiing teams continued Sunday and Monday as the Panthers put in a strong showing at the U.S. Collegiate Ski Association Eastern Regional Championships held at Waterville Valley.

The Panther men followed Sunday's second place finish in the slalom with a first-place finish in Monday's giant slalom. The team finished first overall, winning a tiebreaker with Colby-Sawyer College. With the victory the PSC men have become the Eastern Regional champions for the third year in a row.

The Plymouth State women put in as strong a performance as expected. The Panthers finished third behind Boston College and Colby-Sawyer in Sunday's slalom competition, and then rebounded to take second in Monday's giant slalom behind BC. The women finished second in the combined competition, the second straight year they have finished runner-up in the Eastern Region.

The strong finishes for both Panther teams qualifies them for the U.S. Collegiate Ski Association National Championships on Mar. 10-13 at Mammoth Lakes, CA. The Panthers are guided by head coach Kim Bownes, who is in her 13th season.

Exceptional performances were made by the teams' top skiers, sophomores Fred DeBaets (Plymouth, NH) and Anda Curuta (Sibiu, Romania). DeBaets finished third in the slalom, followed by a second place finish in the giant slalom to finish second place overall in the combined competition. Curuta earned her second straight Eastern Regional Championship, finishing first in both events and first overall.

Two other PSC men and one other Panther woman were Top 10 finishers in the combined standings. Freshman Tim Mitchell (Ashland, MA) finished seventh on Sunday, then took fifth in the giant slalom to finish sixth in the combined rankings. Freshman EJ Cheney (Bethel, ME) finished seventh in Monday's giant slalom, leaving him 10th in the combined standings.

Senior Amanda DiLeo (Ridgewood, NJ) placed eighth in both events and took sixth in the overall standings.

Also performing well for the Panthers were junior Mike LeBlanc (Plymouth, NH) and Jennifer Ketchell (Wilmington, NY). Leblanc placed 21st in the slalom and eighth in the giant slalom to finish 11th in the combined standings. Ketchell placed 22nd and 15th respectively.

The field for the regionals included teams from PSC, Boston College, Colby-Sawyer, Green Mountain College, Brown, Union, Colgate, U. of Massachusetts, Tufts, U. of Rhode Island, Connecticut College, Amherst, Clarkson, Albany, RPI, WPI, Marist, Brandeis and Springfield.

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