March 9, 2011

Clayton Earns All-America in Giant Slalom on Opening Day of NCAA Ski Championships

Zach Clayton, All-America

STOWE, Vt. - University of New Hampshire junior alpine skier Zach Clayton (Manassas, Va.) finished 10th in the men's giant slalom to earn All-America status, and the Wildcats posted 188 points to claim eighth place overall after the first day of competition at the 2011 NCAA Skiing Championships, being hosted by the University of Vermont, on Wednesday afternoon.

Clayton's 10th-place finish was the highest among all UNH skiers, earning him a berth on the All-America Second Team and helping guide the men's alpine squad to fourth place in the GS at Stowe Mountain Resort with 75 points. After registering a time of 1 minute, 3.30 seconds on his first run, Clayton was clocked at 1:00.59 in his second run for a combined time of 2:03.89 for 30 points.

Paul Atkinson (Toronto, Ontario) earned 23 points by virtue of his 17th-place performance, timing out at 1:03.15 in his first run and improving to 1:01.53 in his second go-around for a combined time of 2:04.68. Sam Coffey (Snowmass, Colo.) placed 18th, just .17 seconds behind Atkinson, for 22 points, notching times of 1:02.92 and 1:01.93 for a total of 2:04.85.

Leading the way for the New Hampshire women's alpine skiers in the GS was Laura Rozinowicz (Toronto, Ontario), who recorded an 11th-place score of 23 points. The freshman finished her first run in 1:03.47 and her second run in 1:05.30 for a combined time of 2:08.77. Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec) nearly mirrored her two efforts, amassing times of 1:04.48 and 1:04.68 for a combined 2:09.16 for 21st place and 19 points. The third UNH alpine competitor, Catherine Blanchard (Eastman, Quebec), placed 25th for 15 points, posting times of 1:05.39 and 1:04.30 for a total of 2:09.69. As a team, the Wildcats totaled 57 points for eighth place.

The women's Nordic team racked up 55 points for sixth place in the 5K free technique race at Trapp Family Lodge, paced by the efforts of sophomore Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah), who earned 24 points by finishing 16th in a time of 15 minutes, 7.9 seconds. Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) locked up 19th place and 21 points courtesy of her time of 15:15.4, and Tasha Kullas (Timmins, Ontario) raced her way to 30th place and 10 points in 15:29.1.

Harrison Harb (Hopkinton, N.H.), the lone UNH men's Nordic competitor, collected one point in the men's 10K free with a time of 28:46.9.

The University of Colorado holds the overall lead with 408 points, including team victories in women's GS (104) and women's 5K (122). Dartmouth College is in second place with 362 points, highlighted by a team triumph in the men's 10K free (130).  The University of Utah, with 353.5 points, is third overall, followed by Vermont (349.5) and the University of New Mexico (305), which won the men's GS with 98 points.

Following an off day on Thursday, the NCAA Championships resume on Friday, March 11, with the men's 20K classic and women's 15K classic Nordic events at Trapp Family Lodge. The championships conclude on Saturday, March 12, with the alpine men's and women's slalom races at Stowe.

For more information on the UNH ski team, visit www.unhwildcats.com, and for live streaming of the NCAA Skiing Championships, CLICK HERE.

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