HUNTINGTON and JEFFERSONVILLE, Vt.  – Veronique Archambault-Leger (Montreal, Quebec) won the women’s slalom race in her first weekend of collegiate competition to highlight the University of New Hampshire ski team’s fourth-place finish in the 2007 Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association (EISA) season opener at St. Michael’s College Winter Carnival, which was held Jan. 19-20.
    UNH amassed a total of 576 points to place behind Dartmouth College (697 points), University of Vermont (686) and Middlebury College (679) in the 12-team event.
    Archambault-Leger had a dominating performance in Saturday’s slalom competition to capture first place in the event. She completed the first run in 46.75 seconds – only two other skiers were clocked faster than 48 seconds – and was the only athlete to finish below 48 seconds in the second run (47.57) to record a winning time of 1:34.32 for a winning margin of 2.85 seconds; in comparison, the differential between second and 18th place was 2.71 seconds.
    The rest of the Wildcats also excelled in the women’s slalom, as the team captured a total of four top-10 finishes and 96 points, which was the second highest total. Rookie Aileen Farrell (Ottawa, Ontario) took sixth place in 1:37.73 to edge out senior captain Mindy Regii (Campton, N.H.; 9th place; 1:38.26) and classmate Cynthia Tessier (Rawdon, Quebec; 10th; 1:38.36).
    The men’s alpine squad produced a pair of top-five finishes and 87 points in the slalom. Willie Ford (Plymouth, N.H.), another freshman, was in second place with a first-run time of 42.39 and finished third overall at 1:28.77. Joe Dunn (Stockbridge, Vt.) recorded the fourth-fastest time of 1:29.11 and Randall Bloom (Norwalk, Conn.) completed the scoring in 20th place at 1:32.48.
    Led by a fourth-place finish by the women’s Nordic team in the 5K free, UNH was in fifth place with 270 points after the first day of competition on Friday. Sarah Wright (Wyoming, Minn.) led the New Hampshire charge with a time of 16:07.3 to place fifth and account for 32 of the team’s 69 points in the event, which was held at Sleepy Hollow XC Center. Marlijne Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) crossed the finish line in 17:06.8 and Mandy Vincent-Lang (Anchorage, Alaska) followed in 17:07.1 to place 21st and 22nd, respectively.
    In the women’s giant slalom at Smugglers Notch, Tessier paced the ‘Cats with a fourth-place finish in a time of 1:56.15. Ashley Ladd (Plymouth, N.H.) completed her two runs in 1:58.76 to place 14th and Regii completed the team scoring in 31st place at 2:05.14.
    The men’s alpine squad placed four skiers between 12th-20th place in the giant slalom. Ford had an aggregate time of 1:51.45 for 12th place, just ahead of teammate Sean McNamara (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.), a two-time 2006 All-America honoree, at 1:51.83. Bloom completed the scoring in 18th place (1:52.56) and captain Spencer Cowin (Newry, Maine) followed closely behind in 20th (1:52.58).
    Also on Friday, the men’s Nordic team competed in the 10K free race and was led by captain Rody Lageson (St. Paul, Minn.). He was the seventh skier to cross the finish line by completing the course in 28:38.4. Daniel Lewis (Jackson, Wyo.) took 28th place in 30:00.5 and Andrew Morehouse (North Creek, N.Y.) completed the scoring in 35ht place at 30:16.4.
    Both Nordic teams fared well in Saturday’s 3x3 sprint relay competition. The men’s top triumvirate of Shane MacDowell (Peru, Mass.), Lewis and Lageson combined for a time of 27:36.5 to place fifth. The top two women’s squads finished within a minute of one another to earn sixth and seventh place. Cook, Vincent-Lang and Wright finished with an aggregate time of 32:57.0 to edge out the combination of Joanna Kinsman (Fryeburg, Maine), Heather Zimmerman (Bethel, Maine) and captain Emily Eastman (Intervale, N.H.), which completed the course in 33:49.6.
    New Hampshire returns to action next weekend, Jan. 26-27, at home for the Wildcat Carnival. Attitash will be the site for the Alpine races while Jackson XC is the venue for the Nordic events.

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