PSU Ski Teams strong in slalom at NCAA Regionals

PSU Ski Teams strong in slalom at NCAA Regionals

Einarsdottir runner-up for Panther women; Martin, Kellock lead Panther men

            MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – It was a strong day on the mountain for the Plymouth State University alpine ski team Friday as the Panthers turned in some outstanding performances in the slalom portion of the Middlebury College Winter Carnival at the Middlebury Snow Bowl.

            The event also serves as the NCAA Regionals and the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Championships, which includes the top collegiate ski teams in the east from all NCAA Divisions. PSU finished fifth out of 15 schools in the men's team standings, matching it's best team place of the season, while the Panthers were finished eighth out of 15 on the women's side.

            Freshman Freydis Halla Einarsdottir (Gardabaer, Iceland) led the way for the Panthers with her second podium finish of the season, taking second overall among the 70-plus women's racers. The Panther rookie sensation was the seventh-fastest skier down the mountain on the first run, and was third-fastest on the second run to claim her season-best second place overall. Einarsdottir has finished in the top seven in all six slalom races this winter.

            The Panther men's team had four skiers who finished in the top 24 in the field of more than 70 racers. Senior Max Martin (Salt Lake City, Utah) had his best finish of the season, crossing the line in ninth place overall, which included the 15th-best time on the first run and the second-fastest split on the second run. Junior Jonny Kellock (Cedar Valley, Ont.) took 14th place overall, his third top-14 finish in slalom this season. Martin and Kellock both remain in contention for an NCAA Skiing Championships berth.

            Senior Takehiro Watanabe (Sapporo, Japan) and sophomore Hunter Stuercke (Cottonwood Heights, Utah) were also strong finishers for the PSU men, placing 23rd and 24th, respectively, and sophomore Bryce Eller (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) was 33rd.

            Three other Panther women finished both runs, as senior Katie Burton (Jackson, N.H.) placed 47th, sophomore Eklutna Kenney (Weybridge, Vt.) was 57th, and senior Eliza Whatley (Carrabasset, Maine) was 63rd.

            Dartmouth College claimed the team title for both men and women. The Big Green men won with 120 points, ahead of runner-up Middlebury (100) and third-place University of Vermont (94), while the top three in the women's standings were all very close as Dartmouth scored 111, the University of New Hampshire 107 and Colby College 106.

            Plymouth State was fifth in the men's standings with 80 points, behind fourth-place UNH (89) and ahead of sixth-place Colby College (74). The PSU women were eighth with 52 points, behind seventh-place Williams College (61) and ahead of ninth-place Saint Lawrence University (44).

            The Middlebury Carnival continues on Saturday with the giant slalom races.

-- 30 --