– Veronique Archambault-Leger (Montreal, Quebec) won the women’s giant slalom for the fourth time this season to highlight the University of New Hampshire ski team’s fourth-place finish at the EISA Championships, which were held Feb. 23-24 at Middlebury Snow Bowl (alpine) and Rikert Touring Center (Nordic).
    UNH, which also placed fourth in all five regular-season carnivals, amassed 682 points to finish behind Dartmouth College (928.5 points), University of Vermont (858) and Middlebury College (833) in the 17-team event.
    Archambault-Leger, the EISA Women’s Alpine Points Champion, Women’s Alpine Rookie of the Year and All-East First Team honoree, raced to another giant slalom victory with an overall time of 2 minutes, 5.67 seconds. She was one of two skiers to complete the first run under one minute (59.87) and recorded the fastest time in the second run (1:05.80).
    The women’s alpine team placed another skier in the top 10 and a total of five in the top 20 of Saturday’s giant slalom competition. Aileen Farrell (Ottawa, Ontario) recorded the sixth-fastest time at 2:07.42 and Cynthia Tessier (Rawdon, Quebec), an EISA Second Team selection, completed UNH’s scoring in 15th place with a time of 2:08.73. Mindy Regii (Campton, N.H.) and Eilleen Dent (Castorland, N.Y.) finished 18th (2:09.25) and 19th (2:09.33), respectively.
    The men’s alpine team was led in the giant slalom by Willie Ford (Plymouth, N.H.), who took 12th place in a time of 2:02.72.
    In the opening day of competition, Sarah Wright (Wyoming, Minn.) – an EISA Second Team honoree – was the top ‘Cat in the women’s 5K free technique race at 12th place with a time of 14:30.4. Heather Zimmerman (Bethel, Maine) crossed the finish line in 14:50.3 to take 19th place and Mandy Vincent-Lang (Anchorage, Alaska) covered the course in 15:06.2 for 22nd place.
    The men’s Nordic team was once again led by Rody Lageson (St. Paul, Minn.) in Friday’s 10K free technique race. He finished 22nd overall with a time of 26:42.8 and was followed by Shane MacDowell (Peru, Mass.) in 30th place at 27:00.3.
    On Saturday, a tightly-bunched UNH women’s Nordic team finished 16th, 17th, 19th and 20th within a span of 28 seconds in the 15K classic. Zimmerman led the charge in 57:00.0 and was followed by Joanna Kinsman (Fryeburg, Maine; 57:11.7), Marlijne Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.; 57:26.1) and Wright (57:28.0).
    Lageson was New Hampshire’s top performer in the men’s 20K classic race by finishing the course in 1:00:58.2 for 16th place. Erick Anderson (Maplewood, Minn.) took 26th place at 1:02:16.5 and MacDowell completed the team scoring in 30th place with a time of 1:02:53.1.
    Back on the slopes, Archambault-Leger finished fifth in the women’s slalom with a two-run time of 1:48.37. Tessier’s time of 1:51.36 placed her 14th overall and .01 in front of teammate Dent in 15th place. Regii recorded another top-20 finish at No. 19 (1:53.00).
    Ford was UNH’s top performer in the men’s slalom. He finished eighth overall with a time of 1:35.21 and was followed by Sean McNamara (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.), another EISA Second Team honoree, in 12th place at 1:35.73. Bubba MacMahon (Unity, N.H.) rounded out the scoring in 19th place at 1:36.42. Randall Bloom (Norwalk, Conn.) and Spencer Cowin (Newry, Maine) finished within a second of MacMahon to take 21st and 24th place, respectively.
    New Hampshire concludes the 2007 season at the NCAA Skiing Championships, which will be held at UNH’s Attitash (alpine) and Jackson Cross Country Center (Nordic) venues from March 7-10. Visit the UNH athletics website (www.unhwildcats.com) for complete details.
    The Wildcats will have a full complement of alpine skiers at the NCAAs with Archambault-Leger, Tessier and Farrell representing the women’s squad as well as McNamara, Ford and Joe Dunn (Stockbridge, Vt.) competing for the men.
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