January 17, 2010

MCGUFFIN WINS FREESTYLE RACE TO LEAD SKI TEAM TO 3RD PLACE AT ST. LAWRENCE

DYLAN McGUFFIN
AILEEN FARRELL

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.Dylan McGuffin (Concord, N.H.) won the men’s 20K freestyle race and placed third in the men’s 10K classic race to lead the University of New Hampshire ski team to a third-place overall finish in the 2010 EISA season opener at the St. Lawrence Carnival, which was held Jan. 15-16.

UNH, which recorded the second-highest team scores in both men’s Nordic races as well as in the women’s 15K free and men’s slalom, amassed a total of 828 points. Dartmouth College won the carnival with 957 points and was followed by the University of Vermont (849 points) and UNH in the 15-team event.

McGuffin was the first skier to cross the finish line in Saturday’s 20K free competition at Mt. Van Hovenberg with a time of 54 minutes, 58.4 seconds. He was one of four Wildcats to finish in the top 10 and the ‘Cats had six of the top 15 times. Steven Bedard (Cheshire, Mass.) completed the course in 56:02.5 to take fourth place and Erik Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden) was sixth overall with a mark of 56:10.7 as the trio combined to produce 128 points.

Although they did not earn points for UNH in the carnival, Harrison Harb (Contoocook, N.H.), Michael Lessard (Greene, Maine) and Erick Anderson (Maplewood, Maine) turned in impressive performances by finishing ninth (56:19.8), 12th (56:34.3) and 15th (56:50.8), respectively.

UNH’s women’s Nordic squad was nearly as impressive with five skiers among the top 18 in the 15K free. Anya Caldwell Bean (Wolfeboro, N.H.) led the New Hampshire contingent, which totaled 105 points, in fifth place overall with a time of 49:38.0. Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah) crossed the finish line 13.8 seconds later to finish eighth overall and Natasha Kullas (Timmins, Ontario) was clocked in 50:08.2 to earn 10th place. Danielle Baron (Gilford, N.H.) followed in 16th place (51:11.3) and Katie Miller (Lenox, Mass.) recorded the 18th-fastest time (51:14.3).

The men’s alpine team, with three top-10 performances, scored 106 points in Saturday’s slalom races at Whiteface Mountain. Paul Atkinson (Toronto, Ontario) completed the first run in 47.87 seconds and was timed in 50.03 in the second run for an aggregate time of 1:37.90. Willie Ford (Plymouth, N.H.) finished .4-of-a-second behind Atkinson to take sixth place with runs of 47.64 and 50.66. Michael Cremeno (Pembroke, N.H.) was 10th overall with marks of 48.04 and 50.74 for a total time of 1:38.78.

In the women’s slalom, Veronique Archambault-Leger (Verdun, Quebec) was the top ‘Cat with an overall time of 1:53.84; she completed her two runs in 55.47 and 58.37. Aileen Farrell (Ottawa, Ontario) also finished in the top 10 – at 10th place – at 1:54.58; her first run was timed in 55.16 and the second was 59.42. Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec) capped the team scoring – the squad amassed 93 points, which was third best – in 12th place at 1:54.70.

McGuffin also turned in New Hampshire’s top individual effort in Friday’s opening day of competition. He raced to third place in the 10K classic with a time of 28:07.1. Lindgren (28:45.9) and Bedard (28:46.2) also placed in the top 10 at eighth and ninth place, respectively. Those three results yielded 108 points.

The women’s Nordic team compiled 81 points in the 5K classic to record the fourth-highest team score. Kullas was the first Wildcat skier – and sixth overall -- to cross the finish line with a time of 16:27.2. Baron completed the course in 16:50.5 for 15th place and Danielle McVicar (Kanato, Ontario) rounded out the scoring in 29th place (17:30.8).

New Hampshire’s alpine contingent compiled the third-best team score of 105 points in Friday’s giant slalom races. Farrell led the way in fourth place as she tallied runs of 1:02.69 and 1:03.38 for an overall mark of 2:06.07. Lepine took eighth place in 2:06.76 (1:03.68 and 1:03.08) and Catherine Blanchard (Eastman, Quebec) raced to marks of 1:04.98 and 1:03.53 for 12th place with an overall effort of 2:08.51. Cynthia Tessier (Rawdon, Quebec) did not point but did place in the top 20 – at 18th in 2:09.14.

Cremeno was UNH’s top finisher in the men’s giant slalom in fourth place. He completed the first run in 1:02.09 and the second in 59.53 for an overall time of 2:01.62. Ford was next in 13th place at 2:02.81 (1:02.80 and 1:00.01) and Atkinson placed 16th at 2:03.35 (1:03.03 and 1:00.32).

New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 22-23 at the St. Michael’s Carnival. The alpine races will be held at Smuggler’s Notch and the Nordic events will be contested at Sleepy Hollow.

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