NEWRY, Maine - It was a good day on the mountain Thursday for the Plymouth State University alpine ski teams in the giant slalom races at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association's National Championships at Sunday River Resort.
The Panther men's team overcame a fall by its top skier and placed second overall among the 19 teams, while the women's team turned in one of the top performances of the season and ended up third among 19 schools. The women's race was held Thursday after being postponed on Wednesday.
The Panther men had two skiers earn All-America honors with finishes in the top 10, and four of the five Panthers placed in the top 20 among the 113 racers. Senior Vinnie DiNapoli (Ludlow, Vt.) (near right) placed third overall, moving up from his 11th place a year ago, and freshman Peter Ostroski (Intervale, N.H./Kennett) (far right) came in sixth. Freshmen Travis Nevins (Henniker, N.H.) and Chris Roche (Hingham, Mass.) also posted strong finishes for PSU, Nevins placing 12th and Roche 17th. Senior Jason Hey (Northboro, Mass.), who placed third in the GS at last year's nationals, fell on his first run and did not finish.
PSU had three skiers finish in the top 11 in the women's event, which included 106 racers. Sophomore Alyssa Deane (Casper, Wyo.) (far left) posted the top finish of any race in her collegiate career, bringing home All-America honors with a fourth place. Senior Melissa Caflisch (Clymer, N.Y.) (middle left) and freshman Erin Fletcher (Franconia, N.H.) (near left) were strong finishers, placing 10th and 11th, respectively, and helping the Panthers to the third-place finish. Sophomore Shelley Bowen (Gilford, N.H.) came in 26th place and senior Kara Marvelli (Franconia, N.H.) was 34th.
PSU's regular season conference rival, the University of Massachusetts, captured the men's team title, with three skiers in the top 10. The Panthers were second, followed by perennial power Sierra Nevada College.
Sierra Nevada College captured the women's team championship. Colby-Sawyer, which is also PSU's regular season conference rival, finished in second place, with the Panther women third.
The slalom races are scheduled for the next two days, with the women racing on Friday and the men on Saturday. The combined alpine results will be announced after Saturday's events.
PSU is led by 21st-year head coach Kim Bownes and 13th year assistant Dave Gyger.
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