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Panther Men place 8th at Nationals in GS

WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - Plymouth State College had one All-American and three finishers among the top 22 ski racers Thursday in the men's giant slalom at the U.S. Collegiate Ski Association's National Championships at Waterville Valley.

The Panthers placed eighth as a team in Thursday's GS among the 19 competing schools. Sierra Nevada College was the top team, followed by St. Olaf (Minn.) and Whitman (Wash.). PSC's regular season rivals, UMass Amherst, Colby-Sawyer and Boston College, placed 4-5-6, and Lees-McRae (N.C.) finished seventh, just ahead of PSC.

Plymouth State's eighth-place time (411.99 seconds), which includes two runs by its top three skiers, was less than a second behind fourth-place UMass (411.03). PSC had placed third in the GS the last two years.

Senior Tim Mitchell (Ashland, Mass.) led the Panthers by earning All-America honors in the GS for the third straight year (the top 15 receive All-America recognition). Mitchell placed 14th on Thursday after finishing 10th and sixth in the event the last two seasons.

Senior Jake Manseau (Henniker, N.H.) and sophomore Garrett Lashar (Kingfield, Maine) were PSC's next two finishers Thursday, placing 21st and 22nd, respectively. Freshman Tyler Barlow (South Burlington, Vt.) took 37th place, while senior EJ Cheney (Bethel, Maine) was a DNF after falling on his first run.

The competition continues Friday with the women's slalom, followed by the men's slalom on Saturday. PSC's only representative in the women's race is sophomore Whitney Swaffield (Wolfeboro, N.H.), who was third in the slalom at the Eastern Regional Championships last month.