Panthers suffer from several falls at nationals
SUN VALLEY, Idaho – A dream day on Wednesday for the Plymouth State University women’s ski team, which included the first national team championship in school history in the giant slalom, turned into a nightmare on Friday in the slalom portion of the United State Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) National Championships at Sun Valley.
Racing on an extremely steep and difficult course, all five Panther racers stumbled on their first slalom run on Friday, and two did not finish. Two of the three Panthers who made a second run turned in strong performances in the afternoon session, but the third entry fell again and PSU was left with only two finishers and ended up 16th out of 20 schools in the team standings. The team times are the combined time of the top three finishers out of the five racers from each team.
Sierra Nevada College captured the team championship, with more than a four-second advantage over runner-up Boston College, and Rocky Mountain College took third place. PSU was way back in 16th place and despite the slalom title fell out of contention for the combined alpine championship.
Freshman Marley Pawlak (West Dover, Vt.), who earned All-America honors with a sixth-place in Wednesday’s GS, was the top Panther finisher in the slalom with a 23rd place overall. She was in 37th place after the first run despite a slight stumble, and she put together a fast, clean effort in the afternoon, the seventh-fastest time on the second run. Freshman Kali St. Laurent (Manchester, N.H./Central) was the only other Panther to finish both runs, posting the 35th-best time on the second run to finish 63rd overall.
It was a rough day for Panther sophomore Martina Ryberg (Stockholm, Sweden) and juniors Katherine Goller (Williston, Vt.) and Kait Pawlak (North Windham, Vt.). Ryberg, who won the national championship in the GS on Wednesday, fell on her first run but managed to finish, only to fall again in the afternoon. Goller and Pawlak each suffered a DNF on their first attempt.
The championships conclude on Saturday with the men’s slalom.
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