February 28, 2010

FIVE 'CATS RECORD TOP-10 FINISHES IN DAY 2 AT EISA CHAMPIONSHIPS; SKI TEAM FINISHES FOURTH

AILEEN FARRELL
DYLAN McGUFFIN

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Veronique Archambault-Leger (Verdun, Quebec), Paul Atkinson (Toronto, Ontario), Aileen Farrell (Ottawa, Ontario) and Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec) all recorded top-10 finishes in the giant slalom and Dylan McGuffin (Northfield, N.H.) was top-10 in the men's free skate to lead the University of New Hampshire ski team to a fourth-place overall finish in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships that concluded Sunday afternoon.

UNH, also in fourth place following the first day of competition on Saturday, amassed a total of 734 points to place behind Dartmouth College (846 points), University of Vermont (806) and host school Middlebury College (741.5) in the 17-team event.

It was the second top-10 performance of the EISA Championships for Archambault-Leger, Atkinson and Lepine.

Archambault-Leger, who won the women's slalom Saturday at the Snow Bowl, also recorded the top effort by a Wildcat on Sunday with a third-place finish in the women's giant slalom. In the first run, she crossed the finish line in 1 minute, 3.28 seconds and followed that with a mark of 1:05.49 for an overall time of 2:08.77.

Atkinson, who raced to third place in the men's slalom Saturday, was once again UNH's top finisher in Sunday's men's giant slalom at seventh place overall. He completed his first run in 1:01.98seconds and the second in 1:03.75 for an overall time of 2:05.73. Lepine skied to an aggregate time of 2:10.32 -- her individual run times were 1:03.80 and 1:06.52 -- to record the ninth-fastest time in the women's giant slalom; she had placed third in the slalom.

Farrell turned in a sixth-place effort in the women's giant slalom. Her runs of 1:03.58 and 1:06.06 produced an overall mark of 2:09.64 and helped the Wildcats record the second-highest team score in the women's giant slalom with 114 points.

Alex Norden (Eaton, N.H.) capped a successful weekend in 12th place in the women's GS. She raced to times of 1:04.28 and 1:06.35 for a combined total of 2:10.63; one day earlier, Norden was 16th in the slalom.

In the men's slalom, a quartet of 'Cats finished within .27-of-a-second to finish in 12th, 14th, 15th and 18th place and give the team the fourth-best team score (89 points) in the event. James MacMahon (Unity, N.H.) recorded the fastest run of those four UNH skiers at 1:03.18 to climb into 12th place overall; combined with his first-run time of 1:02.86, his total time was 2:06.04. Michael Cremeno (Pembroke, N.H.) completed New Hampshire's scoring in 14th place at 2:06.13 with individual runs of 1:01.94 and 1:04.19. Taylor Burton (Breckenridge, Colo.) followed closely behind in 2:06.21 and Willie Ford (Plymouth, N.H.) took 18th place in 2:06.31.

UNH's mens' and women's Nordic squads both tallied the fourth-highest team scores in the freestyle races -- both placed three skiers in the top 18 overall -- with the men garnering 89 points and the women 83.

McGuffin finished sixth in the men's 20K mass start freestyle race by crossing the finish line at the Rikert course in 1 hour, 54.9 seconds. Michael Lesard (Greene, Maine) recorded the 12th-fastest time of 1:01:47.1 and Erik Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden) was timed in 1:02:58.6 to earn 18th place.

Anya Caldwell Bean (Wolfeboro, N.H.) led the women's squad in 12th place; she completed the 15K mass start freestyle race in 54:01.3. Danielle Baron (Gilford, N.H.) and Abigail Taylor (Pittsford, N.Y.) crossed the finish line within the next 30 seconds to earn 16th and 18th place, respectively. Baron raced to a time of 54:28.8 and was followed closely by Taylor at 54:30.0.

The UNH ski team returns to action March 10-13 at the NCAA Ski Championships. The University of Colorado are the host school and will hold the alpine events at Howelson Hil land Mt. Werner (Steamboat, Colo.) and the Nordic events at Howelson Hill.

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