PSU Skiers fare well at Berkshire East in season debut

CHARLEMONT, Mass. - Plymouth State University began the alpine ski racing season Saturday with the slalom race at the UMass Winter Carnival at Berkshire East Mountain in western Massachusetts.

The PSU men started the season with a bang, winning the team title out for 10 schools, while the Panther women placed fourth out of 10 schools. The competition continues Sunday with the giant slalom.

The Panther men were paced by sophomore Topher Harlow (North Conway, N.H.) and junior Tyler Barlow (South Burlington, Vt.), who placed first and third overall in the men's race, which included 80 skiers. They got strong support from three teammates who finished in the top 16 - junior Chad Demetry (Francestown, N.H.) in 12th, senior Garrett Lashar (Kingfield, Maine) in 14th and freshman Andy Bischoff (Duluth, Minn.) in 16th.

As a team, PSU finished first, ahead of Colby-Sawyer, Boston College, Babson, UMass Amherst, UConn, Brown, MIT, Saint Anselm and New England College.

Senior Whitney Swaffield (Wolfeboro, N.H.) led the PSU contingent in the women's race, finishing eighth overall among the 65 skiers. Other top Panther placers included three sophomores -- Kristina Hoch (China, Maine) in 14th, Chantelle Heroux (Cooperstown, N.Y.) in 16th, and Kelsey Real (Lanesboro, Mass.) in 23rd.

The PSU women finished behind UMass Amherst, Colby-Sawyer, and Brown and ahead of Boston College, Smith, Babson, Saint Anselm, MIT and UConn.

-- 30 --