Atkinson's 2nd-Place Finish Leads Ski Team to 4th Overall on Day 1 of Middlebury Carnival

Paul Atkinson

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.Paul Atkinson (Toronto, Ontario) took second place in the men's slalom race, leading the UNH men's alpine team to second place in that event and the Wildcats' ski team to fourth overall after day one of the Middlebury College Winter Carnival on Friday afternoon.

UNH has compiled 345 points, trailing Dartmouth College (481), the University of Vermont (427) and Middlebury (389) through four of the eight races, with four more events on the docket Saturday.

Atkinson, who recorded a combined time of 1 minute, 32.73 seconds, finished just .10 seconds behind SL winner Kevin Drury of Vermont, earning 47 points. Sam Coffey (Snowmass, Colo., 1:33.25) notched fifth place for 38 points, and Zach Clayton (Manassas, Va.) racked up 33 points with a 10th-place effort of 1:34.06. New Hampshire's 118 team points were second to UVM's 135.

The UNH women's alpine team also had a strong showing with a third-place score of 95, preceded by Dartmouth (129) and Middlebury (101). Individually, Catherine Blanchard (Eastman, Quebec) was the top 'Cat with a combined 1:34.42 for fifth place and 39 points. Jenna Kantor (Burke, Vt.) placed 12th in 1:35.55 for 29 points, and Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec) finished in 14th place with a time of 1:35.68 for 27 points.

The women's Nordic team earned a third-place tie in the 10K freestyle with Middlebury by totaling 87 points. Dartmouth (133) won the event and Vermont (125) took second. Leading the way for the Wildcats was Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah), who finished 10th overall in 30 minutes, 34 seconds for 33 points. Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) notched 32 points and 11th place in a time of 30:36.4, and Abby Taylor (Rochester, N.Y.) earned 23 points by posting a time of 31:36.3, good for 23rd place. Katie Miller (Lenox, Mass., 26th, 31:49.6) and Anya Caldwell Bean (Wolfeboro, N.H., 30th, 32:09.9) also had notable performances.

Dan Guiney (Park City, Utah) was the top performer for the men's Nordic team in the 10K free, securing 18 points by virtue of a 30th-place finishing time of 27:25.4. Harrison Harb (Hopkinton, N.H., 34th, 27:36.3) amassed 16 points, and Erik Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden, 44th, 28:05.2) tallied 11 points as UNH placed ninth with 45 team points.

The Middlebury Carnival wraps up Saturday with the men's and women's alpine giant slalom races at the Snow Bowl and the men's and women's Nordic freestyle sprint relays at Rikert. For more information on the UNH ski team, visit www.unhwildcats.com.

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