PSU Skiers finish in middle of pack in giant slalom at Berkshire East

CHARLEMONT, Mass. - Plymouth State University's men's and women's alpine ski teams had to overcome falls by some skiers Friday, and both squads ended up in the middle of the pack in the giant slalom races at the UMass Winter Carnival at Berkshire East Mountain in Western Massachusetts.

The Panther men placed third out of 10 competing teams, while the Panther women were fourth out of 10 schools.  The action continues Saturday at the same location with the slalom races.

"We had several skiers fall, so we didn't finish as well as a team as we would've liked," said PSU coach Kim Bownes.  "But we saw a lot of good things.  I think it shows we should have a pretty good team this year."

PSU had three of the top six finishers among the 80 skiers in the men's race.  Sophomore All-American Topher Harlow (North Conway, N.H.) and freshman Jason Hey (Northboro, Mass.) finished third and fourth, respectively, and junior Matt Prendergast (Westminster, Mass.) took sixth.  Senior Chad Demetry (Francestown, N.H.) also had a strong race for PSU, placing 13th.

Host UMass won the men's team standings, with Colby-Sawyer finishing runner-up and PSU third.  The rest of the teams, in order of finish, included Boston College, Babson, MIT, Saint Anselm, UConn, Brown, and New England College.

Freshman Melissa Caflisch (Clymer, N.Y.) had a terrific collegiate debut for PSU, taking second place among 65 skiers in the women's race.  Junior Chantelle Heroux (Cooperstown, N.Y.) followed up with an 11th place, and junior Kelsey Real (Lanesboro, Mass.) finished 29th.

Brown won the women's team standings, with UMass second, Colby-Sawyer third and PSU fourth.  Rounding out the field, in order of finish, were Smith, Boston College, Babson, MIT, UConn, and Saint Anselm.

Following Saturday's slalom at Berkshire East, PSU will the host the Plymouth State Winter Carnival next Saturday-Sunday (Jan. 22-23) at Waterville Valley (N.H.)

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