- Freshman Josh Bedard (Laconia, N.H.) and sophomore Melissa Caflisch (Clymer, N.Y.) were the individual winners in the slalom races Saturday, leading the Plymouth State University ski teams to strong finishes in the regular season finale at Pat's Peak.
Bedard captured his first career race in a field of 82 skiers, helping the Panthers dominate the finish line with the first four finishers and winning the team title by a whopping 20 seconds. Sophomore Vincent DiNapoli (Ludlow, Vt.) and seniors Chad Demetry (Francestown, N.H.) and Skip Bartlett (Silver Lake, N.H.) came in 2-3-4 behind Bedard, and senior Billy Halberstadt (Concord, N.H.) and sophomore Travis Larson (Franconia, N.H.) were a solid 13th and 16th as well.
Saturday's outcome gave the Panther men the 2006 MacConnell Division title, which includes 10 regular season races. PSU won five of the 10 races, four slalom and one GS. Colby-Sawyer finished second, followed by UMass Amherst, Boston College, Babson, MIT, Brown, UConn, and Saint Anselm.
Demetry also captured the individual regular season title in the MacConnell Division with his seventh straight finish in the top six. He was a model on consistency this winter, finishing no worse than 12th among 80-plus skiers in all 10 races.
Caflisch posted her second victory of the season as the fastest finisher of the 64 racers, marking the seventh first-place finish of her career. She was one of the top skiers on the circuit all season, placing in the top four in eight out of 10 races and finishing runner-up in the regular season individual standings.
PSU had five finishers among the top 20 in Saturday women's slalom race. Sophomore Kara Marvelli (Franconia, N.H.) placed 11th for the second straight day, finishing in the top 15 for the sixth straight race. Freshman Paige Frohock (Boise, Idaho) was next for the Panthers in 18th, followed by freshman Katie Van Riper (Carrabasset Valley, Maine) in 19th and senior Kristina Hoch (China, Maine) in 20th.
The Panther women brought home a fourth place in Saturday's slalom, behind Colby-Sawyer, Boston College and UMass. PSU also finished fourth among 10 schools in the MacConnell Division season standings behind those same three teams, moving ahead of Brown on the final weekend.
The top five men's and women's teams have qualified for the Eastern Regional Championships at Waterville Valley on Feb. 25-26. The Panther teams are hoping to duplicate last year's performances, when the men's team tied for second and the women's team finished fourth.
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