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PSU Student-Athletes earn NCAA Championship berths

PSU Student-Athletes earn NCAA Championship berths

Einarsdottir, Kuus (Skiing), Aumann (Wrestling) to represent Panthers at National Championships

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Three Plymouth State University student-athletes have achieved national prominence and will represent their school at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics – the NCAA National Championships.

            Sophomore Freydis Einarsdottir (Gardabaer, Iceland) and freshman Karl Kuus (Toronto, Ont.) have qualified for the NCAA National Collegiate Skiing Championships, and sophomore Joe Aumann (Hopatcong, N.J.) has earned a berth in the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships. Einarsdottir will make her second straight appearance at the NCAA Championships, while the other two will make their NCAA Championships debuts.

            The alpine portion of the NCAA Collegiate Skiing Championships, which includes competitors from all NCAA Divisions, will take place March 8 & 10 at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, N.H., hosted by the University of New Hampshire. The slalom races are set for Wednesday, Mar. 8, and the giant slalom is slated for Friday, Mar. 10 at the Mittersill section of Cannon Mountain. This marks the fourth straight year that Plymouth State has been represented at the NCAA Skiing Championships, and the second consecutive year with racers from both genders.

            The NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships will take place March 10-11 at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin, hosted by UW-La Crosse. Preliminary rounds begin on Friday, Mar. 10 at 11 a.m., with the championship finals in each weight class set for Saturday, Mar. 12 at 7 p.m. PSU will be represented at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships for the first time since 2012.

            All NCAA Championships will be webcast live on NCAA.com. Visit http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule  to watch all the action. 

NCAA Skiing 

            Einarsdottir will make a return appearance at the NCAAs, having competed in 2016 at Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The first Plymouth State woman to ever compete at the NCAA Skiing races, she fell and did not finish her race in the giant slalom, but rebounded to place 12th in the giant slalom, the highest finish ever for any Plymouth State skier at the NCAAs.

            One of just 34 women from all NCAA Divisions to qualify for this year's event, Einarsdottir had six top 10 finishes in 10 alpine races this season in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA). Her top finishes were a third place in the slalom at the Saint Lawrence University Carnival, a fifth place in the slalom at the University of New Hampshire Carnival, and a fifth place in the giant slalom at the University of Vermont Carnival.

            Einarsdottir received outstanding experience earlier this month when she represented her home country of Iceland at the FIS World Alpine Championships in Switzerland.

            Kuus has enjoyed an outstanding rookie season for the PSU men's team, posting five top-10 finishes in 12 alpine races this winter. His top performances were a fifth place finish in the slalom at both the Saint Lawrence Carnival at the Middlebury Carnival, an eighth place in the slalom at the University of New Hampshire Carnival, and an eighth place in the giant slalom at the University of Vermont Carnival.

            The contingent from the East will include the PSU pair along with skiers from the University of Vermont, the University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College and Middlebury College. They will be competing against the top collegiate ski racers in the country, including Division I scholarship student-athletes, and skiers with World Cup and Olympic experience.

            The Panthers are led by seventh-year head coach Andrew Gannon.

NCAA Wrestling

            Aumann earned his first NCAA Championships berth with a third-place finish in the 125-pound weight class at last weekend's NCAA Northeast Regionals at Roger Williams University. He won four straight consolation matches, defeating freshman Peter Del Gallo of the University of Southern Maine in the third-place bout, 5-4. Del Gallo entered the tournament ranked second in New England and 12th nationally, and had defeated Aumann four times earlier this season, including once by pin.

            Aumann, who entered last week's competition ranked fifth in New England, will take a 28-8 overall record into the NCAA Championships. He earned place-winner status in six tournaments this season, placing third at the Doug Parker Invitational at Springfield College, the Ted Reese Invitational at Southern Maine, the Johnson & Wales Open and the NCAA Regionals; placing second at PSU"s Jim Aguiar Invitational; and taking first place at the Scott Viera Invitational at Roger Williams University.

            Aumann's success this season has bumped his career record to 48-20. He is the first Panther to compete at the NCAA Championships since Mike Willey placed eighth for the Panthers and earned All-America status in 2012.

            The Panthers are led by fourth-year head coach Ryan Schieding.

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