LEWISTON, Maine  -- Veronique Archambault-Leger (Verdun, Quebec) captured first place in the women’s slalom to lead the University of New Hampshire ski team to a fourth-place finish at the Bates Winter Carnival, which was held Jan. 11-13.

            New Hampshire amassed a total of 574 points to finish behind Dartmouth College (738.5 points), Middlebury College (711) and University of Vermont (650.5) in the 12-team event.

            Archambault-Leger, who earned All-America honors in both slalom and giant slalom – as well as seven first-place finishes on the carnival circuit – last year as a freshman, took top honors in the first race of 2008 with a two-run time of 1 minute, 36.46 seconds in Saturday’s slalom race at Sunday River. She was the only skier to record a sub-48 second first run with a time of 47.38. Cynthia Tessier (Ste Julienne, Quebec), an All-East Second Team selection a year ago, recorded an aggregate time of 1:40.85 to take 11th place.

            Willie Ford (Plymouth, N.H.) was UNH’s top skier in the men’s slalom as his runs of 44.80 and 47.84 combined to produce the fifth-fastest effort of 1:32.64. Sean McNamara (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) finished 19th overall with a time of 1:34.82 and James MacMahon (Unity, N.H.) completed the scoring in 21st place (1:35.28).

            The women’s Nordic squad recorded the third-highest score (78 points) – the highest UNH team finish in all the carnival’s disciplines -- to propel the Wildcats into third place following the opening day of competition on Friday. Sarah Wright (Wyoming, Minn.) edged out teammate Heather Zimmerman (Bethel, Maine) for sixth place in the 5K free technique race with a time of 13 minutes, 32.8 seconds. Zimmerman took seventh place in 13:37.1. Tasha Kullas (Timmins, Ontario) completed the course in 13:49.7 for 13th place to round out the team scoring. Katie Miller (Lenox, Mass.) and Marlijne Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) also finished in the top 20 at 15th (13:54.7) and 19th (14:01.1), respectively.

            Led by Steven Bedard (Cheshire, Mass.) in 16th place with a time of 23:58.0, the men’s contingent had three racers finish within six seconds. Dylan McGuffin (Northfield, N.H.) crossed the finish line two seconds behind Bedard to finish 17th overall and Rody Lageson (St. Paul, Minn.) was timed in 24:04.0 for 22nd place.

            Wright was once again UNH’s top skier in Saturday’s women’s 10K classic race as she completed the course in 34:18.6 for 14th place. The next three ‘Cats finished within 10 seconds of each other with Kullas (35:15.7) in 23rd place, Miller (35:16.6) in 25th and Zimmerman (35:23.5) in 27th.

            Bedard duplicated Wright’s feat as the top ‘Cat in both disciplines with his 15th-place finish of 27:17.8 in the men’s 10K classic race. Lageson followed in 23rd place with a time of 27:44.7 and McGuffin completed the team scoring in 28th place at 28:00.2.

            Three Wildcats recorded top-10 finishes in Sunday’s giant slalom competition. Archambault-Leger (2:05.70) and McNamara (2:00.50) both took fourth place and Aileen Farrell (Ottawa, Ontario) placed eighth with a time of 2:07.20. On the men’s side, McNamara was followed by Ford in 15th place (2:02.70) and Michael Cremeno (Pembroke, N.H.) finished one-tenth of a second – and one place – behind Ford. Tessier rounded out the women’s scoring in 20th place with a clocking of 2:09.90.

            New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 18-19 at the St. Lawrence Winter Carnival with the alpine events at Whiteface and Nordic being held at Mt. Van Hovenburg.

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