WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. – Freshman Melissa Caflisch (Clymer, N.Y.) took top honors in the women’s slalom Saturday at Waterville Valley to lead Plymouth State University’s strong performance at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association’s Eastern Regional Championships.
The Panther men had all five skiers place in the top 15 among the 82 slalom racers, bringing home a second place finish among the among the 15 schools that qualified for the event. The Panther women had three in the top 20 among 74 skiers and finished fourth among 15 teams. The top five men’s and women’s teams in the combined alpine (including Sunday’s giant slalom) will advance to the USCSA’s National Championships on Mar. 9-12 at McCall, Idaho.
Caflisch (right) was the fastest racer in both women’s slalom runs, winning the individual title and leading the Panthers to a fourth place. She is the first PSU woman to win the Eastern Regional slalom title since Anda Curuta in 2001.
Two other Panther women finished in the top 20 among the 74 racers – junior Chantelle Heroux (Cooperstown, N.Y.) placed 15th and freshman Kara Marvelli (Franconia, N.H.) came in 18th. The rest of PSU’s contingent included freshman Meaghann McKenney (Hubbardston, Mass.) in 31st, and junior Kelsey Real (Lanesboro, Mass.) in 39th.
Freshman Jason Hey (Northboro, Mass.) turned in his strongest performance of the season for the Panther men and cruised to a third-place finish in the slalom on Saturday. Sophomore Topher Harlow (North Conway, N.H.) was not far behind, finishing eighth, followed by junior Skip Bartlett (Silver Lake, N.H.) in 11th, senior Tyler Barlow (South Burlington, Vt.) in 12th, and senior Chad Demetry (Francestown, N.H.) was 14th.
The conference in which PSU skis during the regular season, the MacConnell Division, took the top five spots in both team standings. The University of Massachusetts won the men’s title, followed by PSU, Colby-Sawyer College, Boston College and Babson, while BC led the women’s team scoring, followed by UMass, Colby-Sawyer, PSU and Brown. The team standings are calculated by adding the combined times of the top three of each team’s five racers.
The competition wraps up Sunday at Waterville Valley with the giant slalom.
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