WINTER PARK, Colo. - The Plymouth State University men's ski team put a stamp on its season Saturday, placing third in the slalom to finish runner-up in the combined alpine at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association's National Championships at Winter Park Resort.
The Panthers, who placed second the giant slalom on Thursday, finish second in the combined at the national championships for the fifth time in the last 10 years. PSU was also runner-up at the nationals in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2004.
Rocky Mountain College won the team title among the 19 schools in the slalom, while Sierra Nevada College took second, Plymouth State finished third, and Boston College ended up in fourth. Rocky Mountain also claimed the combined team championship, with PSU second, Sierra Nevada College third, and BC fourth.
Sophomore Josh Bedard (Laconia, N.H.) and senior Jason Hey (Northboro, Mass.) posted the top finishes for PSU in the slalom, Bedard taking fifth place and Hey seventh out of 110 racers. Hey finished an impressive ninth or better in 13 out of 14 races this season. The next Panther finishers in the slalom were senior Matt Prendergast (Westminster, Mass.) in 24th and sophomore Seth Bartlett (Silver Lake, N.H.) in 39th. Junior Vinnie DiNapoli (Ludlow, Vt.) had the fastest time in the slalom's first run but missed the second to last gate in the second run and after recovering, finished 42nd.
Hey (right) earned is third All-America honor of the week with a fifth place in the individual combined alpine. Bedard did the same, finishing eighth in the combined scoring, while Prendergast was a solid 14th.
"Our men skied really well this week," said PSU head coach Kim Bownes. "Obviously we're very happy with the second place finish. We were so close to winning the national championship, you can't help but wonder, but we're happy with the way we skied."
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