Ryberg, Panther men capture slalom championships
WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. – It was a good day on the mountain for the Plymouth State University ski racing teams Saturday as the Panthers posted strong finishes in the slalom race on day one of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association’s Eastern Regional Championships held at Waterville Valley.
The Panther men’s squad had three skiers finish in the top eight and four in the top 10, giving the Panthers their third straight regional slalom title and fifth in the past six years. The Panther women had the individual champion and four of the top 18 to finish second in the team standings. There were 68 racers and 13 teams in the men’s race, and 68 skiers from 14 teams in the women’s.
PSU finished nearly two seconds ahead of runner-up and MacConnell Division rival Colby-Sawyer College in the men’s combined team time, with divisional foe Boston College placing third. Babson University and Castleton State College rounded out the top five. Brown University captured the women’s team crown, slightly more than a second ahead of runner-up PSU. MacConnell Division schools took up the top five spots in the women’s team standings, with Colby-Sawyer third, Boston College fourth and the University of Massachusett Amherst fifth.
Sophomore Martina Ryberg (Stockholm, Sweden) took top honors for the Panthers, capturing her second straight women’s regional slalom title. She finished less than a second ahead of regular season rival Kia Mosenthal of Brown, posting her eighth victory in 10 races this winter. Junior Kait Pawlak (North Windham, Vt.) crossed the finish line in fifth place for PSU, matching her best finish of the season, and freshman Kali St. Laurent (Manchester, N.H./Central) and junior Katherine Goller (Williston, Vt.) came in 17th and 18th, respectively. PSU’s fifth skier, freshman Marley Pawlak (West Dover, Vt.), was disqualified on her first run.
Sophomore Parker Spear (Sodus Point, N.Y.) paced the Panther men’s squad, placing second in both runs and finishing runner-up for the day. He was joined in the top 10 by three teammates -- senior Travis Nevins (Henniker, N.H.), who placed fourth overall to finish in the top eight in the slalom for the third straight year; junior Tom Sampson (Plymouth, N.H./Plymouth Regional), who finished eighth in his first post-season appearance for the Panthers; and senior Joseph Healey (Fitchburg, Mass.), who came in 10th in his first post-season race. The Panthers’ finish was remarkable, since senior Peter Ostroski (Intervale, N.H./Kennett), two-time regional combined alpine champion, sat out with an injury, and sophomore Chris Beadon (Ridgefield, Conn.), who captured the MacConnell Division regular season title, fell on his second run after finishing third on the first run.
The teams will be back on the slopes Sunday with the giant slalom, with the combined alpine determined after Sunday’s races. The top five teams in the combined standings will advance to the USCSA National Championships Mar. 9-12, at Sun Valley, Idaho.
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