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PSU Skiers perform well at Eastern Regionals, qualify for Nationals

            WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - The Plymouth State University alpine ski teams had another good day Sunday at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association's Eastern Regional Championships at Waterville Valley.

            The Panther men's team captured the team title in the giant slalom Sunday while the women's squad took fifth, and both teams qualified for the USCSA National Championships the first week of March at Sunday River Ski Resort in Maine.

            The PSU men returned to the form they showed all season, as Panther skiers finished 2-3-4 among the 68 racers in Sunday's GS.  Senior Jason Hey (Northboro, Mass.) (near right) finished runner-up, classmate Vinnie DiNapoli (Ludlow, Vt.) (middle right) was third, and freshmen Peter Ostroski (Intervale, N.H./Kennett) (far right) was fourth.  DiNapoli, who won Saturday's slalom race, finished second in the combined alpine, while Hey, who was third in the slalom, also took third in the combined.  Ostroski's fourth place in the GS gave him ninth in the combined.  PSU's other two racers were freshmen Travis Nevins (Henniker, N.H.) and Chris Roche (Hingham, Mass.); Nevins was a solid 14th in the GS and 17th in the combined, while Roche was 17th in the GS and 26th in the combined.

            The Panther men, who were undefeated during the regular season, finished tied for first in the combined alpine team standings, but the University of Massachusetts won the tiebreaker to capture the team title and leave PSU second.  Colby-Sawyer College, Babson College, Castleton State College and Brown University rounded out the top six men's teams in the combined.

            Senior Melissa Caflisch (Clymer, N.Y.) (far left) posted another strong finish for PSU in the women's GS, placing fifth among the 69 racers.  She was sixth in Saturday's slalom and placed seventh in the combined alpine.  Sophomore Alyssa Deane (Casper, Wyo.) (near left) was PSU's next best finisher as she placed 11th in both the GS and the combined. Rounding out the Panthers racers were sophomore Shelley Bowen (Gilford, N.H.), who was 21st in the GS and 29th in the combined; freshman Alex Albrecht (Canterbury, N.H.), 23rd in the GS and 30th in the combined; and senior Kara Marvelli (Franconia, N.H.), 54th in the GS and 25th in the combined. Junior Katie Van Riper (Temple, Maine), who was 30th in Saturday's slalom, placed 33rd in the combined.

            The Panther women followed their fourth place in Saturday's slalom with a fifth place in Sunday's GS.  PSU finished in a tie for fourth place in the combined alpine with Brown University.  Colby-Sawyer swept the two women's races to claim the combined alpine title, with UMass second and Boston College third.

            PSU is led by 21st-year head coach Kim Bownes and 13th year assistant Dave Gyger.

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