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PSU Skiers finish third and fourth in giant slalom at Cranmore

NORTH CONWAY, N.H. - The racing season got off to a good start for Plymouth State University's alpine ski team Friday as the Panthers posted top finishes in giant slalom races held at Cranmore Mountain.

The Panther men's team finished in third place among nine schools, while the women's squad placed fourth out of 10 teams. Each team had 10 racers, with the top five finishers in the two runs counting towards the team totals. Colby-Sawyer College finished first in the men's standings, followed by the University of Massachusetts, Plymouth State and Boston College. Brown University captured the women's race, with Boston College, UMass, PSU, Colby-Sawyer and Smith College rounding out the top six.

The same schools were scheduled to compete in slalom races Saturday at Cranmore, but the races were postponed due to rain and rescheduled for Sunday, Feb. 5.

Sophomore Melissa Caflisch (Clymer, N.Y./Northwood School) and senior Topher Harlow (North Conway, N.H.) recorded the top finishes for Plymouth State. Caflisch placed third overall among the 65 skiers in the women's race, while Harlow finished fifth among the 85 in the men's race. Caflisch and Harlow are expected to be two of the top skiers on the circuit all season.

PSU had four of the top 20 finishers in the women's race; in addition to Caflisch, freshman Kate Van Riper (Carabasset Valley, Maine) took 14th, classmate Paige Frohock (Boise, Idaho) was 17th, and sophomore Kara Marvelli (Franconia, N.H.) was 19th.

There were five Panthers in the top 20 in the men's standings. Joining Harlow were freshman Josh Bedard (Laconia, N.H.) in 11th, seniors Chad Demetry (Francestown, N.H.) and Skip Bartlett (Silver Lake, N.H.) in 12th and 14th, respectively, and sophomore Jason Hey (Northboro, Mass.) in 16th.

PSU will the host the Plymouth State Winter Carnival next weekend (Jan. 21-22) at Waterville Valley (N.H.) with the slalom on Saturday and the GS on Sunday.

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