MIDDLEBURY & STOWE, Vt. – The University of New Hampshire men's alpine ski team claimed three of the top five places in Friday's slalom race, headlined by a third-place finish from Taylor Vest-Burton (Breckenridge, Colo.), as the Wildcats capped the opening day of the EISA Championship, hosted by Middlebury College, fourth overall.
UNH's 362 points are just four behind Middlebury, with two more races slated for Saturday. Vermont holds the lead with 473 points, followed by Dartmouth (429).
Burton recorded the top result of his EISA career by tallying a combined time of 1 minute, 33.74 seconds in his two runs at the Middlebury Snow Bowl for 44 points. Coley Oliver (Salt Lake City, Utah) clocked in at 1:33.96 for a career-best, fourth-place finish to earn 41 points, and Paul Atkinson (Toronto, Ontario) took fifth place in 1:34.24 for 39 points. The 'Cats totaled 124 points in SL to place runner-up to UVM (128 points).
Catherine Blanchard (Eastman, Quebec) secured the top result of her UNH career, notching 44 points courtesy of a third-place, combined time of 1:39.17 in women's SL. Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec) placed 11th in 1:40.83 to register 29 points, and Laura Rozinowicz (Toronto, Ontario) collected 20 points by finishing in 20th place (1:42.21). With 93 points, UNH finished third in the race, behind Dartmouth (109) and Williams (99.5).
Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah) continued her consistent Nordic campaign by earning her ninth top-10 finish of the season in the 5K free at Trapp Family Lodge. Guiney's ninth-place time of 14 minutes, 47.2 seconds garnered 31 points. Kelsey Hoar (Shaftsbury, Vt.) turned in her finest effort of the season, finishing in 15:15.8 for 19th place (26 points), and Elizabeth Izzo (Lake Placid, N.Y.) crossed the finish line just 1.2 seconds behind Hoar to snare 20th place and 25 points. All told, New Hampshire scored 82 points to finish fourth in the race, which Vermont won with a team total of 134.
On the men's side, Johnny Springer (Jackon, Wyo.) was the top 'Cat by virtue of his career-best 15th-place finish in the 10K free. Springer's time of 26:10.7 produced 27 points. Per Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden) finished 28th (26:59.5) for 19 points, and Dan Guiney (Park City, Utah) nabbed 17 points by placing 30th in 27:05.0. UNH amassed 63 points to finish sixth. UVM gained the victory with 119 points.
The EISA Championship concludes Saturday with the men's and women's giant slalom races at the Middlebury Snow Bowl and the women's 15K classic and men's 20K classic at Trapp Family Lodge. For more information, visit www.unhwildcats.com or www.unhskiing.com.