Willassen takes sixth in GS, skiing squads seventh after day one at Dartmouth

Willassen takes sixth in GS, skiing squads seventh after day one at Dartmouth

LYME, N.H./CRAFTSBURY COMMON, Vt. - With first-year Anna Willassen's (Jar, Norway/Persbråten VGS) sixth-place finish in the giant slalom leading the way, the Saint Michael's College Alpine and Nordic skiing teams are seventh among 14 schools following Friday's opening day at the Dartmouth College Carnival. The Purple Knights, who finished seventh last weekend for the first time in the modern era of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA), have 214 points to lead eighth-place Bates College by 32.

Alpine races took place at Dartmouth Skiway, while the Nordic events moved to the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Saturday's final-day action begins at 9 a.m.

The women's Alpine squad scored fourth-place points (83), while the men tied for fourth (67) with Williams College. Willassen notched her second consecutive top-10 GS showing, having taken second last week, to place sixth with a combined two-run time of 2:09.82, leaving her within 0.41 seconds of fourth. First-year Emilia Laffin (Chamonix, France/Lycée du Mont-Blanc René Dayve) tied for 19th at 2:11.85, and junior Meggane Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée des métiers Ambroise Croizat) took 23rd in 2:12.91. First-year Erin Spence (Aspen, Colo./Aspen) also racked up NCAA points by claiming a career-high 26th at 2:13.47.

On the men's side, first-year Colby Jordan (Charlotte, Vt./Mount Mansfield Winter Academy) was a career-best 15th in 2:05.95 during the GS, just 0.78 seconds short of the top seven, while sophomore Guillaume Grand (La Plagne, France/Lyceé Général Ferrié) took 19th at 2:06.28, snapping a streak of 18 straight top-10 EISA finishes to begin his career. Classmate Danny Duffy (Warren, Vt./Green Mountain Valley School) was the third Purple Knight scorer, taking 38th at 2:07.99, just 0.64 seconds outside the top 30.

Both Nordic teams competed in 3x5K freestyle relays, with the top Purple Knight men's squad taking 18th in 39:51.7. Senior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) finished the middle leg, while sophomores Aaron Deeter (Truckee, Calif./Tahoe Truckee) and Liam Schmelzle (Saint Louis Park, Minn./Saint Louis Park) skied the anchor and leadoff loops, respectively. The Purple and Gold's first-year Minnesotan trio of Ethan Brookner (Minneapolis, Minn./Minneapolis), Kevin Jeter (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) and Mitch McDonald (Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake) took 22nd.

Senior Julia Snyder (Fairfax, Vt./BFA-Fairfax), junior Emma Barnes (Amherst, Wis./Amherst) and sophomore Amy Duclos (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) competed in that order for the 20th-place Saint Michael's women's 3x5K freestyle trio, crossing the finish line in 49:48.0. Seniors Hallie Bergwall (Lebanon, N.H./Lebanon) and Catie Corrigan (Canajoharie, N.Y./Canajoharie Central School) and first-year Aimee Sala (Carrabassett Valley, Maine/Kents Hill School) combined to take 22nd.