Panther Men's Skiers 3rd in GS at Nationals

LINCOLN, N.H. - The men's skiing team from Plymouth State College did one step better than PSC's women's squad did in the giant slalom event at the U.S. Collegiate Skiing Championships, held at Loon Mountain.

The Panther men, who watched the PSC women's squad take fourth in the national in the GS on Wednesday, brought home third place among 17 schools in the men's GS on Thursday. Defending champion Sierra Nevada College placed first, followed by Green Mountain College, PSC, Whitman College, UMass and Colby-Sawyer.

Each team races five skiers on two runs apiece, with the combined times of the top three from each team used to determine the team standings. The PSC men finished seventh in the GS at last year's nationals.

Like the PSC women, the Panther men finished Thursday with two skiers earning All-America status by finishing in the top 15 among the 110 individuals. Junior Fred DeBaets (St. Sauveur, Quebec) and sophomore Tim Mitchell (Ashland, MA) were one one-hundredth of a second (.01) apart, DeBaets placing 10th and Mitchell 11th. DeBaets, who was an All-American in the slalom (12th) at last year's national championships, redeemed himself after falling in the GS last year. Mitchell earns All-America skiing honors for the first time in his career.

Sophomore EJ Cheney (Bethel, Maine) and freshman Justin Parent (Sanbornville, NH) also turned in strong finishes for PSC. Cheney took 17th place in the GS, while Parent had a strong second run and moved up to 20th. Junior Ryan Cornish (Carmel, NY) rounded out the PSC contingent, finishing in a tie for 37th.

The women's slalom is scheduled for Friday at Loon, while the men's slalom wraps things up on Saturday.

The Panther women have finished fourth in the combined team standings at the nationals the past two years, while the men were fifth last season and national runner-up in 1998. Both PSC squads are led by veteran coach Kim Bownes.

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