Ski Team Roars Back to Finish 3rd at UNH Winter Carnival

Zach Clayton

JACKSON, N.H. – University of New Hampshire men's alpine skiers Zach Clayton (Manassas, Va.) and Sam Coffey (Snowmass, Colo.) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in Saturday's men's slalom race at Attitash Bear Peak to lead the Wildcats to second place in that event and third place overall at the UNH Winter Carnival.

The Wildcats, who were tied for fourth place following Friday's racing action, rallied back to take third with 710 points. Vermont won the carnival with 1,021 points, and Dartmouth finished second with 873 points.

The UNH men's alpine team highlighted the day's action with a second-place finish in SL with 218 points, behind only UVM (282). Due to the cancellation of Friday's giant slalom race, team points were doubled in SL.

Clayton clocked in at a combined time of 1 minute, 36.40 seconds, as he registered the seventh-fastest time in both of his runs for 41 points. Coffey, who finished a mere .02 seconds behind his teammate, rebounded from a 14th-place initial run to notch the third-fastest time in his second effort for a combined time of 1:36.42 (39 points). Paul Atkinson (Toronto, Ontario) placed 15th in a combined 1:37.85 to round out UNH's point-scorers with 29.

Catherine Blanchard

Catherine Blanchard (Eastman, Quebec) was the top 'Cat in women's SL, finishing in eighth place (37 points) in a combined time of 1:44.66, just .25 seconds in front of teammate Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec). Lepine's time of 1:44.91 was good for ninth place (35 points), and Jenna Kantor (East Burke, Vt.) came storming back from 37th place after her initial run to finish 13th overall in a combined 1:45.79 for 29 points. Kantor sliced 3.13 seconds off her time between runs one and two, displaying the best improvement among all competing women's Nordic skiers. With the double points, New Hampshire finished third with 202 points, while UVM (276) and Williams (204) recorded the top two positions.

In the women's 15K free Nordic race at Jackson XC, Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah) paced UNH's efforts with a 10th-place time of 43 minutes, 15.5 seconds for a team-high 35 points. Elizabeth Izzo (Lake Placid, N.Y.) chalked up 31 points with her 13th-place run of 43:38.0, and Annika Taylor (Truckee, Calif.) rounded out the Wildcats top three performers by completing the race in 44:18.6 for 21st place and 24 points. UNH accumulated 83 points to finish third, behind Dartmouth (133) and Vermont (125).

Erik Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden) secured the top finish among Wildcat Nordic skiers in the men's 20K free with a 12th-place time of 50:26.1 for 28 points. Johnny Springer (Jackson, Wyo.) claimed 23rd place in 50:49.0 to earn 23 points, and Dan Guiney (Park City, Utah) posted 17 points by finishing in 29th place (51:45.0). With 68 team points, UNH took seventh place in the event, which was won by Dartmouth (124 points).

The UNH ski team returns to EISA racing action at the Vermont Winter Carnival next weekend. Alpine racing is slated for Friday and Saturday (Feb. 3-4) at Mt. Mansfield, and Nordic racing will take place at Trapp Family Lodge on Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 4-5). For more information, visit www.unhwildcats.com or www.unhskiing.com.

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