Four Alpine skiers claim top-20 finishes, Saint Michael's ties for fifth on Day 1 at UVM

Four Alpine skiers claim top-20 finishes, Saint Michael's ties for fifth on Day 1 at UVM

STOWE, Vt. - Four Saint Michael's College Alpine skiers finished in the top 20 on Friday when the University of Vermont Carnival got underway at the Stowe Mountain Resort, as the Purple Knights are tied for fifth among 13 schools with one day of Alpine races and next week's Nordic events still to be contested. Saint Michael's matched Colby College with 143 points and is nine shy of Middlebury College. Day two begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. with the first run of the slalom races.

Rookies had the top two finishes for the men, who scored 91 points to claim third place in the giant slalom, trailing only national powers UVM and Dartmouth College. First-year Guillaume Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée Général Ferrié) notched a sixth-place showing with a combined two-run time of 2:06.76, earning his fifth top-seven performance in as many races this season and coming within 0.75 seconds of the top three and a spot on the podium. He clocked in at 1:02.24 for the third-best second-run time. Classmate Danny Duffy (Warren, Vt./Green Mountain Valley School) had a career-best 13th-place finish thanks to a time of 2:08.67.

Senior Kevin Krone (Copper Mountain, Colo./Summit) took 17th in 2:09.59 for the best GS placement of his career, and the third-best across GS and slalom races, cracking the top 20 despite wearing the No. 75 bib. In the No. 73 bib, first-year Torjus Grimsrud (Stabekk, Norway/Donski Alpine) nabbed 25th with a time of 2:11.58, and junior Cam Furrer (Wolcott, Vt./Mount Mansfield Winter Academy) started 89th before taking 37th at 2:13.72 for the second-best finish of his career. After missing the 2015 season due to injury, Furrer returned to the slopes at his home mountain for his first college race since the 2014 Colby Carnival.

Sophomore Meggane Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée des métiers Ambroise Croizat) had the best GS placement of her young career, taking 14th in 2:15.33. It was also the third-best finish in either discipline for Grand, who started 48th. Senior Nicole Cordingley (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) had her best finish since the 2014 Colby Carnival by taking 28th at 2:20.94, skiing in the No. 63 bib. After starting 70th, classmate Mary Joyce (Long Beach, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) tied her career low by taking 30th, clocking in at 2:22.00. Joyce recovered from a near fall on her second run to hold off the 31st-place finisher by 0.42 seconds and claim the final NCAA point in the event. In the No. 80 bib, senior Willow Smith (Bradford, Vt./Oxbow) crossed in a cumulative time of 2:26.58 to take 38th. Like Furrer, Smith missed last winter with an injury, as her Friday appearance was her first since the 2014 Middlebury Carnival.