Curuta captures national individual alpine title

BOISE, Idaho - The star of the Plymouth State College women's ski team concluded her collegiate career in storybook fashion Friday, winning the overall individual alpine national title at the U.S. Collegiate Snowsport Association National Championships at Bogus Basin Ski Area.

Senior Anda Curuta (Sibiu, Romanis) captured the individual slalom title Friday, finishing her two runs with a combined time of 1:13.18, ahead of runner-up Maria Kvopkova of Sierra Nevada College (1:13.90). Curuta had edged Kvopkova for the giant slalom crown on Wednesday, so Curuta wins the combined alpine championship.

A four-time Eastern Regional champion, Curuta is the first woman in school history to win the overall national championship. Doug Karwoski did it as a freshman for the men's team in 1981.

Curuta's finish helped Plymouth State place fourth as a team in the slalom, and third overall in the combined alpine events. The third place matches the 1982 team as the highest women's finish at the nationals in school history.

The rest of the contributors to PSC's team finish in the slalom were sophomore Cher Murphy (East Northport, N.Y.), who placed 19th, freshman Whitney Swaffield (Wolfeboro, N.H.), 41st, senior Tara Eretzian (Turner, Maine), 45th, and sophomore Janine Iannillo (Monroe, N.Y.), 64th.

Sierrra Nevada finished 1-2 in both Friday's slalom and the combined alpine, while PSC, which was runner-up in the GS, edged out Boston College for third in the combined. There were 25 schools represented and 79 racers.

The championships conclude Saturday with the men's slalom. PSC's men finished third in the GS on Thursday.

Both PSC teams, which are coached by 14-year veteran Kim Bownes, qualified for the national championships by winning the Eastern Regional titles at Waterville Valley on Feb. 25-26.