PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State College skiing teams got the 2000 season off to a flying start last weekend at the UMass Winter Carnival at Berkshire East Mountain in Western Massachusetts.
The Panthers captured first place in the men's and women's individual races in both Saturday's slalom and Sunday's giant slalom. In the team scoring, the PSC men were the overall winners among 10 schools both days, while the PSC women finished runner-up in the slalom and victorious in the GS.
Plymouth State juniors Fred DeBaets (St. Sauveur, QUE) and Anda Curuta (Sibiu, Romania) dominated the weekend racing, each skier winning the individual title both Saturday and Sunday. DeBaets finished in the top five in all 10 races last season, winning four times, while Curuta finished first five times in eight outings.
The Panther men began the season on the right note, taking first place among 10 teams in Saturday's slalom race. PSC finished second among 10 teams in the women's slalom behind Boston College. PSC outraced UMass and Boston College to win the men's GS, and the Panthers finished ahead of second-place Colby-Sawyer and third-place UMass Boston in the women's GS.
Joining DeBaets as top finishers for the PSC men was sophomore Tim Mitchell (Ashland, Mass.), who placed fourth in the slalom and second in the GS. The rest of the top PSC men in the slalom included junior Jacob Manseau (Henniker, NH) in 10th, Mike LeBlanc (Plymouth, NH) in 15th, Jason McKenzie (Lincoln, NH) in 19th, Dave Chandler (Holden, Mass.) in 21st, and Justin Parent (Sanbornville, NH) in 24th. The depth for PSC came through in the GS, with Parent finishing seventh, EJ Cheney (Bethel, Maine) 10th, Ryan Cornish (Carmel, NY) 11th, Dan Gelvin (Clifton Park, NY) 17th, and LeBlanc 18th.
In addition to Curuta, the top Panther women's finisher was freshman Cherylanne Murphy (East Northport, NY). She placed sixth in the slalom in her collegiate debut, and came back Sunday to finish runner-up in the GS. Freshman Heidi Mann (Merrimack, NH) also had a strong debut, placing 12th in the GS.
Rounding out the top PSC women were sophomore Tara Eretzian (Turner, Maine), who was 25th in the slalom and 32nd in the GS, junior Leesa Driscoll (Gray, Maine), who was in 32nd in the slalom and 36th in the GS, and Tara Dickson (Sussex, NJ), who was in 43rd in the slalom and 27th in the GS.
The Panthers return to New Hampshire the next two weeks, skiing at Waterville Valley next weekend (Jan. 29-30) and at Loon Mountain in two weeks (Feb. 5-6).
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