FRANCONIA, N.H./JACKSON, N.H. - Six Saint Michael's College Alpine skiers were in the top 30 on Friday as the Alpine and Nordic squads took ninth among 16 schools on day one of the University of New Hampshire Carnival. Alpine events are being held at Cannon Mountain Ski Area, while Nordic races take place at Jackson Nordic Center. Saturday's final day begins at 9 a.m.
The women's Alpine team scored sixth-place points, notching 70 to come within one of Middlebury College. The Purple Knights joined host UNH as the only schools to have all six competitors complete two runs. First-year Anna Willassen (Jar, Norway/Persbråten VGS) was a career-best 11th during the giant slalom with a combined two-run time of 2:23.43, as she clocked the fifth-best second-run time (1:13.29). Junior Meggane Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée des métiers Ambroise Croizat) was 17th in 2:24.79.
Four others were among the top 42, with first-years Megan Dingman (Park City, Utah/Rowland Hall), Emilia Laffin (Chamonix, France/Lycée du Mont-Blanc René Dayve) and Erin Spence (Aspen, Colo./Aspen) holding down positions No. 31, 34 and 38, respectively, in 2:29.11, 2:29.99 and 2:31.24. Dingman and Spence made their college debuts, with Dingman coming within one spot - and 0.08 seconds - of earning NCAA points. Senior Nicole Cordingley (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) placed 42nd in 2:33.29.
The Purple Knight men captured fifth place with 72 points - just eight short of Colby-Sawyer College - on the strength of four finishing in the top 28 during the GS. Sophomore Guillaume Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée Général Ferrié) moved up one spot following his opening run to finish seventh in 2:17.54, taking a top-10 showing for the 16th time in 17 career starts, including all 15 Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) carnival appearances.
Purple Knights held down the 26th through 28th slots. Junior Mathias Grimsrud (Stabekk, Norway/Donski Alpine) placed 26th at 2:21.47, first-year Zach Bouchard (Merrimac, Mass./Gould Academy) placed 27th in 2:21.60, and sophomore Torjus Grimsrud (Stabekk, Norway/Donski Alpine) notched a 28th-place showing at 2:22.23.
Sophomore Amy Duclos (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) paced the Nordic women during the 5K classic by taking 55th in 17:40.6, narrowly edging junior Emma Barnes (Amherst, Wis./Amherst), who was 56th at 17:41.3. Senior Julia Snyder (Fairfax, Vt./BFA-Fairfax) finished 60th at 17:57.0.
Senior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) placed 58th during the men's 10K classic, crossing the finish line in 29:39.2 to nip sophomore Aaron Deeter (Truckee, Calif./Tahoe Truckee), the 59th-place finisher with a time of 29:41.5. Classmate Liam Schmelzle (Saint Louis Park, Minn./Saint Louis Park) was 64th in 30:10.9.