MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Veronique Archambault-Leger (Verdun, Quebec) placed second in both the slalom and giant slalom to garner All-East First Team honors and lead the University of New Hampshire ski team to a fourth-place finish at the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Championships, which were hosted by Middlebury College from Feb. 22-23.
The Wildcats amassed 796 points to place behind Dartmouth College (928 points), Middlebury College (906) and the University of Vermont (868.5) in the 15-team event.
In addition to receiving All-East First Team accolades, Archambault-Leger was feted as the Bogner Point Leader in Slalom as the women’s highest point scorer in that discipline. Three men’s alpine skiers – Michael Cremeno (Pembroke, N.H.), Willie Ford (Plymouth, N.H.) and Sean McNamara (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) -- garnered All-East Second Team recognition, as did Sarah Wright (Wyoming, Minn.) for her season-long efforts in the Nordic disciplines.
The Wildcats were fourth in the standings following Friday’s strong efforts by both alpine squads and the women’s Nordic contingent. The women’s alpine team recorded the second-highest team score of 115 and placed five skiers in the top 15, while the men’s alpine (108 points) and women’s Nordic (105) finished third in the slalom and 5K freestyle race, respectively.
Archambault-Leger raced to second place in the slalom with runs of 47.90 seconds and 49.60 for an overall time of 1:37.51. The next three Wildcats – all Granite Staters -- placed 10th-12th with Emily Capaul (Campton, N.H.) recording a two-run time of 1:40.35 followed by Alexandra Norden (Eaton, N.H.) in 1:40.75 and Ashley Ladd (Plymouth, N.H.) in 1:41.68. Cynthia Tessier (Ste Julienne, Quebec) completed this impressive quintet with a 15th-place finish of 1:42.07.
McNamara was the top ‘Cat in the men’s slalom in fourth place overall with an aggregate time of 1:31.62. Ford completed his two runs in 1:32.54 to take 10th place and Cremeno – bolstered by the fourth-fastest second-run time – finished 16th with a mark of 1:33.15.
Wright completed the Rikert Touring Center 5K free course in 14:03.0 to finish eighth overall. Katie Miller (Lenox, Mass.) crossed the finish line in 12th place at 14:16.2 and Natasha Kullas (Timmins, Ontario) placed 14th at 14:20.3 to round out the team scoring. Heather Zimmerman (Bethel, Maine) also had an impressive race and took 16th place in 14:25.6.
The men’s Nordic squad competed in the 10K free on opening day and UNH’s top finisher was Dylan McGuffin (Northfield, N.H.) in 10th place with a time of 23:04.2. Michael Lessard (Greene, Maine) was the next Wildcat skier to cross the finish line with a mark of 23:57.7 to place 24th and Rody Lageson (St. Paul, Minn.) capped the team scoring with 36th place (24:19.6).
Archambault-Leger once again was the top ‘Cat on Saturday with her second-place finish in the giant slalom; the ‘Cats had the fourth-highest team score of 102 points. She completed her first run in 1:00.30 and the second run in 1:00.19 for an overall time of 2:00.49. Tessier edged out teammate Aileen Farrell (Ottawa, Ontario) by .05-of-a-second for 15th place with a mark of 2:04.24. Farrell finished in 16th place at 2:04.29.
The UNH men’s alpine squad tallied the fifth-best team total of 98 points in the giant slalom. Ford was the seventh-fastest skier on the day with an overall time of 1:57.18. McNamara (1:58.77) and Randall Bloom (Norwalk, Conn.) followed in 17th and 23rd place, respectively, to complete the scoring.
Kullas raced to sixth place in the women’s 10K classic race by finishing the course in 30:44.4 on Saturday. Wright crossed the finish line in 31:12.1 for 13th place and Zimmerman was clocked in 31:36.7 for 19th place. That trio produced 102 points, which was the fourth-highest team score in the event.
McGuffin led the men’s Nordic team in the 15K classic with a 16th-place finish of 42:06.0. Lessard (43:04.1) and Lageson (43:06.8) once again rounded out UNH’s scoring in 30th and 32nd place, respectively.
The NCAA Ski Championships will be hosted March 5-8 by Montana State University. Bridger Bowl will serve as the alpine venue while the Nordic races will be held at Bohart Ranch.