PSU Women’s Skiers place fifth overall at National Championships

WINTER PARK, Colo. - The Plymouth State University women's ski team finished its season on an outstanding note Friday with a strong performance in the slalom race at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association's National Championships at Winter Park Resort.

The Panthers placed seventh place out of 19 schools in Friday's slalom, and combined with the fourth place in Wednesday's giant slalom, PSU finishes in fifth place overall in the combined alpine scoring.

Sierra Nevada College won the slalom event, with PSU's regular season division rival Boston College in second, Rocky Mountain College third, Colby-Sawyer fourth and Brown University fifth.

The combined alpine results had Sierra Nevada as the national champion, followed by Boston College as the runner-up, Colby-Sawyer finishing third, Rocky Mountain in fourth and Plymouth State in fifth. There were 19 teams that qualified for and competed in the championships.

Junior Melissa Caflisch (Clymer, N.Y.) earned double All-American honors for the Panthers with a seventh place out of 101 racers in the slalom and a fifth place finish in the combined results. Caflisch (right), who was ninth in the GS, is now a five-time All-America. The next group of Panthers to finish in the slalom were freshman Alyssa Deane (Casper, Wyo.) in 25th, junior Kara Marvelli (Franconia, N.H.) in 29th, and junior Meaghann McKenney (Hubbardston, Mass.) in 34th, while freshman Shelley Bowen (Gilford, N.H.) ended up 51st.

Sophomore Katie Van Riper (Carabasset Valley, Maine), who was PSU's No. 2 skier most of the season, suffered an injury in practice last week and could not compete.

"Our women had a great week; I'm so proud of them," said PSU head coach Kim Bownes. "Everyone skied so well and they all skied as a team. For us to finish that high, especially without Katie, is just fantastic."

The championships conclude Saturday with the men's slalom race.

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