CRAFTSBURY, Vt. & HANCOCK, Mass. – Three University of New Hampshire women's alpine skiers finished in the top 10, highlighted by a fourth-place run from Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec), to secure Saturday's team victory in giant slalom and a fourth-place result overall at the Williams Winter Carnival.
UNH, which was a distant seventh following Friday's opening day of racing, leaped three spots with a team total of 634.5 points. Dartmouth notched the carnival victory with 869.5 points to edge Vermont (840 points) and third-place Middlebury (690).
The women's alpine team bested Williams, 113-109, in GS led by Lepine's combined time of 1 minute, 49.69 seconds for 41 points. Laura Rozinowicz (Toronto, Ontario) earned fifth place and 39 points in a time of 1:50.69, and Jenna Kantor (East Burke, Vt.) crossed the finish line in 1:51.12 for eighth place and 33 points.
Taylor Vest-Burton (Breckenridge, Colo.) posted the UNH men's alpine team's top score for the second consecutive day with a time of 1:46.64 for a share of 10th place (30.5 points) in the GS. Sam Coffey (Snowmass, Co.) racked up 29 points, courtesy of a 13th-place time of 1:47.08 for 29 points, while Zach Clayton (Manassas, Va.) finished in 1:47.49 for 16th place and 26 points. The Wildcats, with 85.5 points, finished third in men's GS, which Middlebury won with 124 points.
Due to Friday's cancelled Nordic races, points were doubled for Saturday's women's and men's cross-country events. In the women's 10K classic, Tristan Ramey (Anchorage, Alaska) spearheaded UNH's third-place finish by placing 12th (60 points) in a time of 32 minutes, 48.2 seconds. Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah) saw her impressive string of top-10 finishes snapped at eight by virtue of her 14th-place time of 32:57.9 for 58 points. Annika Taylor (Truckee, Calif.) received 48 points after notching 21st place in 33:34.8. The Wildcats' 166 points trailed only race-winner Dartmouth (272) and UVM (240).
The men's Nordic team was paced by Sam Reed (Keene, N.H.), who earned top 'Cat honors for the first time in his career by finishing the 10K classic in 28:16.9 for 18th place (52 points). Erik Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden) crossed the finish line one-tenth of a second behind Reed to claim 19th place and 50 points, and his younger brother Per Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden) placed 24th in 28:29.6 (44 points). The Wildcats totaled 146 points to finish fifth in the event, which was captured by the Big Green (238).
The UNH ski team will take part in the EISA Championship, hosted by Middlebury College, on Feb. 24-25. Alpine racing is set for the Snow Bowl, and Nordic competition will take place at Trapps Family Lodge. For more information, visit www.unhwildcats.com or www.unhskiing.com.
Photo courtesy of EISA Skiing/Cory Ransom