ASCUTNEY, Vt. - Plymouth State University seniors Melissa Caflisch (Clymer, N.Y.) and Vinnie DiNapoli (Ludlow, Vt.) recorded individual victories in the slalom races Sunday, leading the Panther ski racing teams to strong finishes in the regular season finale at the Boston College Winter Carnival, held at Ascutney Mountain.
Caflisch posted her first individual victory of the season and the 10th of her career, outracing the field of 81 skiers over two runs. She led the Panther women to a fourth-place finish among the 10 competing schools. DiNapoli registered his second individual win of the season and sixth of his career, defeating 83 other men's racers as the PSU men completed their domination of the MacConnell Division this winter with a first-place finish.
Plymouth State won all 10 men's races this season (five slalom, five giant slalom) and heads into the Eastern Regional Championships as the favorite. Sunday's results were similar to most other races this season, as PSU had four of the top six finishers. Senior Jason Hey (Northboro, Mass.) followed Saturday's individual victory with a fourth place finish Sunday, while freshman Peter Ostroski (Intervale, N.H./Kennett) finished third overall on both days. Freshman Travis Nevins (Henniker, N.H.) was close behind, finishing sixth on Sunday.
The Panther women ended up fourth out of 10 teams in Sunday's racing, and finished fifth in the season standings to qualify for the Eastern Regionals. Freshman Alex Albrecht (Canterbury, N.H.) was the next Panther to cross the line after Caflisch on Sunday, placing 16th, and senior Kara Marvelli (Franconia, N.H.) was 23rd.
The final regular season individual standings are similar to the weekly results, with four Panther men among the top six and five in the top 10. Ostroski captured the regular season crown, with Hey, last year's winner, finishing second, DiNapoli fourth, Nevins sixth, and freshman Chris Roche (Hingham, Mass.) 10th. Caflisch finished second for PSU in the women's regular season standings, with freshman Erin Fletcher (Franconia, N.H.) the next Panther woman in 15th and sophomore Alyssa Deane (Casper, Wyo.) in 18th.
The Eastern Regional Championships are slated for Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 23-24, at Waterville Valley (N.H.). The five men's teams to qualify from the MacConnell Division include PSU, Boston College, the University of Massachusetts, Colby-Sawyer College, and Babson College. The five women's teams to advance include Colby-Sawyer, BC, UMass, Brown University, and PSU.
The top teams at the Eastern Regionals will advance to the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboarding National Championships on Mar. 5-8 at Sunday River in Newry, Maine. PSU finished second (men's) and tied for fourth (women's) at last year's regionals, and went on to place second (men's) and fifth (women's) at the national championships.
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