WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The University of New Hampshire women’s Nordic team recorded the second highest team score in both the 5K freestyle and classic 3x3 relay – and men’s alpine tallied the second-highest team score in the giant slalom – to lead the Wildcats to a third-place finish in the Williams Winter Carnival, which was held Feb. 15-16.
UNH amassed 587.5 points as the Wildcats were narrowly defeated by Dartmouth College (617 points) and Middlebury College (608) in the 11-team event.
In Friday’s opening day of races, the women’s Nordic team tallied the second-highest score in the 5K freestyle with four skiers in the top 10 and the men’s alpine squad recorded the second-best score in the giant slalom with three Wildcats in the top 10.
Sarah Wright (Wyoming, Minn.) was the third overall skier to complete the Prospect Mountain course with a time of 12 minutes, 56.4 seconds – just one-tenth of-a-second behind the second-place finisher. The next three Wildcats finished 8-9-10 and within six seconds of each other. Natasha Kullas (Timmins, Ontario) led that trio with a time of 13:13.6 and was followed by Heather Zimmerman (Bethel, Maine) in 13:17.6 and Marlijne Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) at 13:19.2. In addition, Katie Miller (Lexon, Mass.) was clocked in 13:33.3 to take 18th place.
On the slopes of Jiminy Peak, Sean McNamara (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) recorded the second-fastest time in both the first (50.11 seconds) and second (49.57) runs to finish in second place with an aggregate time of 1:39.68. Willie Ford (Plymouth, N.H.) completed his runs in a time of 1:41.16 to tie for fifth place and Michael Cremeno (Pembroke, N.H.) was clocked in 1:41.23 for seventh place.
Veronique Archambault-Leger (Verdun, Quebec) led UNH’s contingent in the women’s giant slalom with a seventh-place finish at 1:44.67. Aileen Farrell (Ottawa, Ontario) recorded the 12th-fastest overall time of 1:45.51 and Emily Capaul (Campton, N.H.) completed the team scoring in 25th place at 1:47.68.
Back at Prospect Mountain for the men’s 10K freestyle, Dylan McGuffin (Northfield, N.H.) was the first Wildcat across the finish line – 16th overall – with a time of 24:12.3. Rody Lageson (St. Paul, Minn.) followed in 20th place at 24:20.0 Michael Lessard (Greene, Maine) took 28th place with a mark of 24:46.1.
Both Nordic teams excelled in Saturday’s classic 3x3 relay. The top women’s combination of Cook, Kullas and Wright tallied an overall time of 32:25.6 to earn second place; the trio of Zimmerman, Stephanie Bayr (Keene, N.H.) and Miller took sixth place in 33:26.6. On the men’s side, Shane MacDowell (Peru, Mass.) skated the first leg and was followed by Lageson and McGuffin, and their aggregate time of 27:52.2 was strong enough for third place. The second ‘Cat team – Harrison Harb (Contoocook, N.H.), Lessard and Steven Bedard (Cheshire, Mass.) – matched the finish of the women’s second team with a time of 28:13.1.
Both alpine squads recorded the fourth-best team scores in Saturday’s slalom. Archambault-Leger had the top individual effort with third place (1:37.45) in the women’s competition. Cynthia Tessier (Ste Julienne, Quebec) captured ninth place with a time of 1:39.89. Three ‘Cats, led by Ford in fourth place with an overall time of 1:33.59, placed in the top 15 of the men’s slalom. McNamara took 12th place in 1:34.84 and Ethan Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.) capped the scoring with 15th place at 1:36.50.
New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 22-23 at the EISA Championships, which are hosted by Middlebury College. Snow Bowl will be the site of the alpine races while the Nordic skiers will take to the Rikert Touring Center.