HUNTINGTON, Vt. and SMUGGLERS NOTCH, Vt.Michael Cremeno (Pembroke, N.H.) raced to a second-place finish in the men’s giant slalom and six teammates also recorded a top-10 finish Friday to lead the University of New Hampshire ski team to third place in the standings following the first day of action at the St. Michael’s Winter Carnival.

UNH, which recorded the highest team score in the men’s giant slalom (111.5 points) and second-best score in the women’s 10K freestyle race (106), tallied a total of 391.5 points in the four disciplines. Dartmouth College (450) and the University of Vermont (424) are ahead of the Wildcats in the 12-team carnival.

Cremeno completed his first run in the giant slalom at Smuggler’s Notch in 49.59 seconds and then recorded the fastest second run with a mark of 49.73 for an overall time of 1:39.32 to earn second place, just .14 behind the winning time.

Willie Ford (Plymouth, N.H.) finished sixth overall with an aggregate time of 1:40.08 on runs of 49.71 and 50.37. Paul Atkinson (Toronto, Ontario) completed the team scoring and finished just outside the top 10 in 11th place; he was clocked in 50.26 and 50.10 for a total mark of 1:40.86.

UNH’s women’s Nordic squad placed three skiers in the top 10 of the 10K free. Anya Caldwell Bean (Wolfeboro, N.H.) led the ‘Cats in fifth place with a time of 32 minutes, 1.9 seconds at Sleepy Hollow. Natasha Kullas (Timmins, Ontario) completed the course in 32:07.0 to finish immediately behind Caldwell Bean in sixth place. Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah) was the 10th skier to cross the finish line as she was timed in 32:35.9.

Back on the slopes of Smugglers Notch, the UNH women’s alpine squad tallied 90 points in the giant slalom to record the third-highest team score. Aileen Farrell (Ottawa, Ontario) completed her first run in 51.40 and second in 53.20 for an overall time of 1:44.60. Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont Tremblant, Quebec) placed 13th overall with a mark of 1:45.22 with runs of 52.82 and 52.40. Cynthia Tessier (Rawdon, Quebec) rounded out the scoring in 17th place at 1:45.97; her runs were timed in 53.20 and 52.77.

The men’s Nordic squad compiled 84 points, which was the fifth-highest team score, in the 15K free. Dylan McGuffin (Northfield, N.H.), who won last week’s freestyle race, crossed the finish line in a time of 42:17.4 to take third place. Michael Lessard (Greene, Maine) and Steven Bedard (Cheshire, Mass.) also pointed for the Wildcats in 24th and 26th place, respectively; Lessard completed the course with a time of 44:54.6 and Bedard followed two seconds later.

The final day of the St. Michael’s Carnival will be held Saturday. The slalom races will once again be held at Smuggler’s Notch and the classic relay races will take place at Sleepy Hollow.

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