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Watanabe leads PSU Ski Teams in slalom at St. Lawrence Carnival

Panther men take seventh, women 14th in regular season finale

            LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Junior Takehiro Watanabe (Sapporo, Japan) posted the best finish of his career Saturday to lead the Plymouth State University alpine ski team Saturday in the slalom portion of the St. Lawrence University Carnival at Whiteface Mountain.

            Watanabe brought home seventh place among the 73 racers in the men's half of the slalom. He was in 17th place after the first run and recorded the second fastest time (56.24 seconds) on the course in the second run to move up 10 places. Combining Saturday's finish with another Top 10 finish at the University of Vermont Carnival in January, Watanabe is a strong candidate to qualify for the NCAA Skiing Championships Mar. 11-14 back at Whiteface Mountain.

            Three other Panther men had solid finishes Saturday. Junior Max Martin (Salt Lake City, Utah) was 28th, freshman Hunter Stuercke (Cottonwood Heights, Utah) was two spots back in 30th, and freshman Danny Blake (Orchard Park, N.Y.) finished 47th for the two slalom runs.

            Three Panther women's skiers finished both runs to record places – freshman Eklutna Kenney (Weybridge, Vt.) was 50th, junior Katie Burton (Jackson, N.H.) was 51st, and freshman Czarinna Cochrane (Carrabassett, Maine) came in 56th.

            The University of Vermont swept the team standings, outscoring Dartmouth College and Saint Michael's College in the men's scoring and Colby College and the University of New Hampshire in the women's. PSU placed seventh out of 13 in the men's standings and the Panther women placed 14th.

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