2016 NCAA trio among top 12, Guillaume Grand podiums in UNH Carnival slalom

2016 NCAA trio among top 12, Guillaume Grand podiums in UNH Carnival slalom

FRANCONIA, N.H./JACKSON, N.H. - Junior Meggane Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée des métiers Ambroise Croizat) and sophomores Torjus Grimsrud (Stabekk, Norway/Donski Alpine) and Guillaume Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée Général Ferrié), all NCAA Championship qualifiers last season, were among the top 12 during Saturday's University of New Hampshire Carnival slalom, and the Saint Michael's College Alpine and Nordic skiing teams combined to take ninth place among 16 schools upon the carnival's completion.

The Purple Knights totaled 359 points at an event won by Dartmouth College with 903, as Alpine races occurred at Cannon Mountain Ski Area while the Nordic competition was at Jackson Nordic Center.

The Alpine teams combined to score 302 points during the weekend, good for fifth in their discipline, and just three points shy of fourth-place Middlebury College. On Saturday, the men were fifth with 91 points - just one shy of the University of Vermont and three short of the host - while the women took sixth at 69 points.

Guillaume Grand earned his second podium finish in as many slaloms this winter, taking second place both times. He clocked in with a combined two-run time of 1:46.70, placing among the top 10 for the 17th time in 18 career starts, including all 16 Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) races. It was his third career podium since last January after no Purple Knight had been among the top three at an event since 2012.

Grimsrud turned in his second career top-10 showing, tying for eighth at 1:47.75 on the strength of the fastest second run in the competition (52.23). At his second career carnival, sophomore Tristan McInnis (Holladay, Utah/Rowland Hall) notched a career-best 37th-place performance (1:55.28).

Meggane Grand placed 12th in the slalom at 2:03.88, as the top three women claimed NCAA points thanks to top-30 performances. First-year Anna Willassen (Jar, Norway/Persbråten VGS) was 23rd in 2:10.62, and classmate Megan Dingman (Park City, Utah/Rowland Hall) placed a personal-best 27th at 2:11.76 to cap her first collegiate carnival.

Senior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) paced the men's Nordic squad by taking 44th in the mass-start 20K freestyle, clocking in at 54:28.5. Sophomore Aaron Deeter (Truckee, Calif./Tahoe Truckee) nabbed 56th in 56:32.5, and classmate Liam Schmelzle (Saint Louis Park, Minn./Saint Louis Park) was 58th in 57:12.3.

In the women's mass-start 15K freestyle, sophomore Amy Duclos (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) placed 59th at 53:56.8, and senior Julia Snyder (Fairfax, Vt./BFA-Fairfax) was right behind at 60th in 54:04.8. Junior Emma Barnes (Amherst, Wis./Amherst) finished 62nd with a time of 56:22.0.

Two of the Purple Knights' next three carnivals are in Vermont, beginning with next weekend's University of Vermont Carnival in Stowe. Day one action begins on Friday at 9 a.m.