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March 7, 2008

PSU Skiers place in top three at Nationals in combined alpine

            NEWRY, Maine - The Plymouth State University alpine ski teams completed another highly successful season on Friday, finishing in the top three overall in the combined alpine at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association's National Championships at Sunday River Resort.

            The Panther men's team duplicated its second place outcome in Thursday's giant slalom with a runner-up finish in Friday's giant slalom, giving PSU second place in the men's combined alpine scoring. The men's slalom was held one day ahead of schedule, to avoid the incoming bad weather slated for Saturday.  The Panther women led after the first run of Friday's slalom, and held on for a fourth place finish, which combined with the third place in Thursday's GS, gave the team third place in the women's combined.

            The PSU men finished runner-up in the combined at the nationals for the second straight season and sixth time in the last 11 years.  The Panther women matched their best finish ever at the national championships, equaling the third place finishes in 1982 and 2001.

            Senior Vinnie DiNapoli (Ludlow, Vt.) and freshman Peter Ostroski (Intervale, N.H./Kennett) earned All-America honors for PSU for the second straight day, placing in the top 10 among the 113 men's competitors.  DiNapoli (near right) followed his third place in Thursday's GS with a third-place in Friday's slalom, which also placed him third in the combined alpine.  Ostroski (middle right), who was sixth in the GS, brought home a fourth place in Friday's slalom and ended up fourth overall in the combined. Freshman Chris Roche (Hingham, Mass.) was PSU's third finisher in Friday's slalom, coming in 15th to help the team clinch second place.  Roche (far right) was also 17th in the GS and ninth in the combined.  Senior Jason Hey (Northboro, Mass.) suffered a fall for the second straight day on Friday and finished 48th in the slalom, and freshman Travis Nevins (Henniker, N.H.) struggled in his first slalom run Friday and ended up 55th, finishing 29th in the combined.

            The men's team finishes were the same both days as well as in the combined team scoring, with PSU's conference rival University of Massachusetts finishing first, Plymouth State second, and perennial powerhouse Sierra Nevada College third. There were 19 teams competing in the event.

            Senior Melissa Caflisch (Clymer, N.Y.), sophomore Alyssa Deane (Casper, Wyo.) and freshman Alex Albrecht (Canterbury, N.H.) all turned in excellent performances for PSU in Friday's women's slalom race, which included 104 skiers.  Caflisch (far left) captured third place, which combined with her 10th place in Thursday's GS, gives her seventh in the combined women's alpine.  She earned All-America honors both days, making her an eight-time All-American in her career.  Deane (middle left) completed a terrific championship performance, combining her fourth place in the GS with a seventh place in Friday's slalom, placing her fifth in the combined.  Albrecht (near left) made the most of her first appearance at the nationals, finishing 12th in Friday's slalom.  Senior Kara Marvelli (Franconia, N.H.) wrapped up her collegiate career with a 32nd place in the slalom anda  26th in the combined, and freshman Erin Fletcher (Franconia, N.H.), who was 11th in Thursday's GS, did not finish in the slalom.

            The women's standings in Friday's slalom were extremely close, with Sierra Nevada College narrowly edging Colby-Sawyer College for first place, with UMass right behind in third and PSU fourth.  The top four teams were all within one second of each other for the combined times.

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

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