HENNIKER, N.H. - The Plymouth State University ski teams wrapped up the regular season Saturday with strong finishes in the slalom race at the Saint Anselm Winter Carnival held at Pat's Peak.
The Panther men concluded an outstanding regular season, winning Saturday's slalom and completing the campaign as the top team in the MacConnell Division of the Eastern Collegiate Ski Conference. PSU won four out of five slalom and all five giant slalom races this season.
The PSU women placed fifth among 10 schools in Saturday's slalom, and ended up fifth overall for the season in the MacConnell Division. The Panthers were between third and sixth among the 10 schools during the regular season.
Both Panther teams advance to the Eastern Regional Championships next Sunday and Monday, Feb. 22-23, at Waterville Valley (N.H.). The PSU men placed fourth and the women fifth at last year's Eastern Regionals.
PSU continued to use strong depth to win the men's slalom on Saturday, with five of the top 17 finishers among the 75 racers. Freshman Topher Harlow (North Conway, N.H.) finished runner-up, as he finished either first or second in four of the five slalom races this season. Junior Chad Demetry (Francestown, N.H.) finished a solid seventh, followed by senior Garrett Lashar (Kingfield, Maine) in 10th, sophomore Bill Halberstadt (Concord, N.H.) in 15th, and sophomore Skip Bartlett (Silver Lake, N.H.) in 17th.
Senior Whitney Swaffield (Wolfeboro, N.H.) wrapped up an excellent regular season with a seventh place finish in Saturday's slalom. She finished in the top eight places in nine of 10 races this winter, and is ranked fourth in the MacConnell Division. PSU's next finishers on Saturday were sophomore Chantelle Heroux (Cooperstown, N.Y.) in 14th and sophomore Kristina Hoch (China, Maine) in 23rd.
Harlow and junior Tyler Barlow (South Burlington, Vt.) finished 3-4 in the regular season MacConnell Division rankings. All 10 PSU starters are ranked in the top 26 - Lashar in 10th, Demetry in 11th, Bartlett in 13th, sophomore Rob Kiely (New London, N.H.) in 14th, sophomore Matt Prendergast (Westminster, Mass.) in 15th, sophomore Bill Halberstadt (Concord, N.H.) in 19th, freshman Andy Bischoff (Duluth, Minn.) in 25th, and senior Brent Grygiel (Windham, Maine) in 26th.
Four other Panthers joined Swaffield in the MacConnell Division women's season rankings - Heroux in 16th, Hoch in 26th, sophomore Kelsey Real (Lanesboro, Mass.) in 37th, and freshman Amelia Hough (Gloucester, Mass.) in 39th.
Plymouth State finished first in the men's season standings, ahead of (in order of finish) Boston College, Babson, Colby-Sawyer, UMass, MIT, Brown, UConn, Saint Anselm and New England College. UMass ended up first in the women's standings, followed by (in order of finish) Brown, Boston College, Colby-Sawyer, PSU, Smith, Saint Anselm, Babson, MIT and UConn. The top five men's and women's teams advance to the Eastern Regional Championships.
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