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Panther men 1st again at Berkshire East

CHARLEMONT, Mass. - The final giant slalom race of the regular season was held Friday at the Smith College Winter Carnival at Berkshire East Mountain in western Massachusetts, and the Plymouth State College skiers finished similar to how they have all season.

The Panther men captured first among 10 schools in Friday's giant slalom, while the women's team finished seventh among 11 teams. In five GS races this winter, the PSC men have finished first twice and second twice, while the Panther women have consistently been between fifth and seventh in all five races.

PSC won the men's division by having four of the top eight finishers, and five of the top 13. Senior Tim Mitchell (Ashland, Mass.) continued his strong campaign, finishing in second place for PSC. In the five GS races this winter, which usually includes about 80 skiers, Mitchell won the event twice and finished second the other three times.

Joining Mitchell as top finishers for PSC in Friday's GS were senior EJ Cheney (Bethel, Maine) in fourth, his best finish of the year, senior Jake Manseau (Henniker, N.H.) in sixth, sophomore Garrett Lashar (Kingfield, Maine) in eighth, his top performance of the season, and freshman Tyler Barlow (South Burlington, Vt.) in 13th.

Sophomore Whitney Swaffield (Wolfeboro, N.H.) finished fifth in the women's GS to lead the Panthers. She has been PSC's top placer in all nine races this season. Swaffield has been among the top five finishers in all five GS events this winter, including a pair of firsts. The next finisher for PSC on Friday was freshman Carol McCarthy (East Rochester, N.H.) in 39th.

The skiing continues Saturday with the slalom event, the final race of the regular season. The Eastern Regional Championships are next week, Sunday and Monday (Feb. 24-25) at Waterville Valley.