CARRABASSET VALLEY, Maine - With two skiers finishing in the top 20, the Plymouth State University men's alpine ski team placed fourth overall in the giant slalom race Thursday at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association's National Championships, held this week at Sugarloaf Mountain.
The Panthers were in third place after the first of two runs, and ended up fourth among the 19 schools. Perennial power Sierra Nevada College and the University of British Columbia took the top two spots, but next three teams came from the same league (the MacConnell Division of the Eastern Conference) - the University of Massachusetts, PSU and Boston College.
Leading the way for Plymouth State were freshman Topher Harlow (North Conway, N.H.) and sophomore Matt Prendergast (Westminster, Mass.), who both earned All-America honors with top 20 finishes. Harlow placed 15th among the 100-plus racers, and Prendergast was 18th. Junior Tyler Barlow (South Burlington, Vt.) recovered from a fall to finish 21st, just missing out on his attempt to repeat as All-America in the GS, as he finished 12th last year.
PSU's other racers were senior Garrett Lashar (Kingfield, Maine) and sophomore Rob Kiely (New London, N.H.), who placed 67th and 76th, respectively.
Rounding out the top 10 teams were Rocky Mountain College, Sierra College, Colorado Mountain College, Colby-Sawyer College and Albertson College. The rest of the field, in order of finish, included Cornell University, Syracuse University, Michigan Tech University, U.S. Naval Academy, Penn State University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of California Berkeley, Clarkson University, and St. Olaf College.
The USCSA National Championships continue this week with the women's slalom on Friday and the men's slalom on Saturday. The combined alpine scoring will be tallied after the slalom races. The PSU men were fifth and the Panther women tied for sixth in the combined at last year's nationals.
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