Curuta wins National Championship in GS

BOISE, Idaho - A Plymouth State College skier has captured an individual national championship while leading her team to a national runner-up finish.

Senior Anda Curuta (Sibiu, Romania) won the women's giant slalom title Wednesday at the U.S. Collegiate Snowsport Association National Championships at Bogus Basin Ski Area. She finished with a two-run time of 90.12 seconds, ahead of a pair of Sierra Nevada College skiers who finished second and third, Maria Kvopkova (90.81) and Alexandra Morallet (91.97).

It is the first national title for Curuta, who has had a wonderful collegiate skiing career at PSC. She had finished in the top five in three previous national championship races, placing third in the slalom last year and taking fifth in the GS last year and slalom in 1999. Curuta, who has finished first 29 times in 44 career races, including national championship events, will be out to capture the combined individual national crown in the slalom races on Friday.

Curuta's strong performance helped PSC finish second among the 25 teams in Wednesday's race, but she couldn't do it alone. Sophomore Cher Murphy (East Northport, N.Y.) earned All-America honors by placing eighth overall (the top 15 finishers comprise the All-American Team). Freshman Erin Reilly (Marion, Conn.) was the third PSC finisher, placing 28th, and sophomore Janine Iannillo (Monroe, N.Y.) took 48th.

Sierra Nevada won the team title with a combined time of 276.26 seconds, followed by PSC (281.54) and third-place Whitman College of Wash. (285.79).

The championships continue the rest of the week, with the men's GS scheduled for Thursday, and the women's and men's slalom slated for Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both PSC teams qualified for the national championships by winning the Eastern Regional titles at Waterville Valley on Feb. 25-26.