PSC Men win slalom, Women 2nd at Regionals

WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - The Plymouth State College ski racing teams enjoyed a good day on the slopes Sunday in the slalom race at the Eastern Regional Championships at Waterville Valley.

The Panther men's squad, four-time defending champions, had the top two individual finishers and brought home first place in the team standings, while the women's team, four-time defending runner-up, had the individual winner and finished second in the team standings.

Plymouth State, the regular season champion in the men's divisional standings, placed first Sunday among the 16 regional teams, ahead of second-place Colby-Sawyer and third-place Green Mountain. The rest of the teams, in order of finish, included Boston College, New England College, Clarkson, UMass, WPI, Army, Colgate, Tufts, Marist, Boston University, Yale, RPI and Rhode Island.

The PSC women finished second behind Boston College. The rest of the 16-team field, in order of finish, included Brown, UMass, Colby-Sawyer, Green Mountain, Tufts, Clarkson, Colgate, Boston University, Albany, Brandeis, URI, U. of New England, RPI and Conn. College.

The Panther men were led by the duo of junior Tim Mitchell (Ashland, Mass.) and senior Fred DeBaets (St. Sauveur, QUE), who finished 1-2 in the race among 85 skiers, the third straight outing they have finished as the top two. Mitchell won the race, remaining undefeated in six slalom races this winter. In fact, he has won eight of the 11 races overall and finished lower than third only once. DeBaets has been consistent as well, with nine top five finishes in 11 starts.

The rest of the Panther men's contingent included senior Jake Manseau (Henniker, N.H.) in 13th place, sophomore Justin Parent (Sanbornville, N.H.) in 16th, and junior EJ Cheney (Bethel, Maine) in 32nd.

Senior Anda Curuta (Sibiu, Romania) continued to dominate the college skiing circuit, winning the regional slalom title for the third year in a row. She has captured all four of her slalom races this season, and has won a remarkable 27 times in 36 career starts overall. Freshman Whitney Swaffield (Wolfeboro, N.H.) provided strong support with an 11th place.

The other Panther women were solid finishers as well, with sophomore Cher Murphy (East Northport, N.Y.) recovering from a fall to finish 21st, senior Tara Eretzian (Turner, Maine) placing 23rd, and sophomore Janine Iannillo (Monroe, N.Y.) finishing 29th.

The Eastern Regionals conclude Monday (Feb. 26) at Waterville Valley with the giant slalom.