|Taylor Vest-Burton | Photo courtesy Cory Ransom|
NEWRY & RUMFORD, Maine– Taylor Vest-Burton (Breckenridge, Colo.) and Sam Coffey (Snowmass, Colo.) finished the men's giant slalom in fourth and fifth place, respectively, to propel the University of New Hampshire skiing team to fourth place overall following Friday's opening day of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Championships, hosted by Bates College.
Dartmouth leads the way in the NCAA East Regionals with 448 points, followed by Vermont (438.5 points), Middlebury (382) and UNH (354) with one day of racing remaining.
At Sunday River, Vest-Burton registered a combined time of 2 minutes, 35.36 seconds for his top finish of the year and a season-high 41 points. Coffey, who posted the third-fastest time on his initial run (1:17.30), notched his fourth top-five result of the year in a time of 2:35.41 for 39 points. Kris Hopkins (North Andover, Mass.) racked up 25 points with a 15th-place time of 2:36.88. The Wildcats finished in third place in men's GS with 105 points, behind Vermont (117) and Middlebury (115).
Jenna Kantor (East Burke, Vt.) made it back-to-back top-5 GS finishes by recording a two-run time of 2:40.88 for sixth place (37 points) to lead UNH's women's team to fifth place (84 points). Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec) finished in 14th place (2:42.52) for 27 points, and Randa Teschner (Petawawa, Ontario) secured 21st place (20 points) in 2:43.46. Dartmouth took first place with 104 points.
Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah) paced the UNH women's Nordic team by finishing sixth in the 5K classic at Black Mountain. The senior co-captain tallied 37 points by clocking in at 15 minutes, 33.0 seconds. Annika Taylor (Truckee, Calif.) placed 19th in 16:20.5 for 26 points, and Elizabeth Izzo (Lake Placid, N.Y.) totaled 21 points in 16:32.3 for 24th place. The Wildcats scored 84 points to finish in fourth place, while Dartmouth collected 133 points to post the victory.
Erik Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden) received top 'Cat honors in the men's 10K classic by crossing the finish line in 28:28.9 for 12th place (29 points). Sam Reed (Keene, N.H.) took 13th place (28 points) in 28:39.3, while co-captain Perry Thomas (Rindge, N.H.) earned his first points (24) of the season by virtue of his career-best 17th-place finish in 28:46.7. New Hampshire finished fifth with 81 points; Dartmouth scored 127 points to earn the victory.
The EISA Championships wrap up Saturday, Feb. 23, with the women's 10K freestyle mass start and men's 15K men's free MS at Black Mountain, with the men's and women's slalom races slated for Sunday River. For more information, visit www.unhwildcats.com or www.unhskiing.com.