HANCOCK/RIPTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College Alpine and Nordic skiing teams stand seventh among 15 schools with 225 points through Friday's opening day of the season-ending Middlebury College Carnival, trailing Williams College by 22 points. The event triples as the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Championship and NCAA East Regional Championship, and the Purple Knights have never finished higher than ninth at an EISA Championship since the league's modern era began in 1993-94.
Alpine races are taking place at the Middlebury Snow Bowl, while Nordic competitions are occurring at Rikert Ski Touring Center. Saturday's final day of action kicks off at 9 a.m., beginning a day when final qualifiers for the NCAA Championship will be determined.
Thanks to fourth-place showings by both the men's and women's Alpine squads during Friday's slalom, the Alpine skiing program scored fourth-place points, leaving the Purple Knights 12 points short of the hosts but 30 ahead of fifth-place University of New Hampshire. Both teams were six points short of Middlebury, while the women held off Colby College by four points and New Hampshire by eight.
Junior Guillaume Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée Général Ferrié) placed fifth with a two-run combined time of 1:35.44 during the slalom, claiming his sixth top-five performance of the year and ninth top-10 showing in 11 starts. Senior Danny Duffy (Warren, Vt./Green Mountain Valley School) took 13th at 1:36.58, while sophomore Zach Bouchard (Merrimac, Mass./Gould Academy) was 21st in 1:37.75. Senior Mathias Grimsrud (Stabekk, Norway/Donski Alpine) placed 26th at 1:39.00, while junior Tristan McInnis (Holladay, Utah/Rowland Hall) was 44th in 1:41.87.
Senior Meggane Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée des metiérs Ambroise Croizat) was 10th at 1:39.53, claiming her third career top-10 effort while coming within 0.44 seconds of seventh place. Sophomore Emilia Laffin (Chamonix, France/Lycée du Mont-Blanc René Dayve) matched her career high by placing 11th at 1:40.14, and junior Clara Lopez Costa (Barcelona, Spain/Green Mountain Valley School) took 26th in 1:41.64. Sophomore Megan Dingman (Park City, Utah/Rowland Hall) nabbed 38th in 1:45.29, and classmate Anna Willassen (Jar, Norway/Persbråten VGS) was 39th at 1:45.69.
Senior Emma Barnes (Amherst, Wis./Amherst) and first-year Ale Legate (Anchorage, Alaska/West Anchorage) finished within 1.4 seconds of one another during the 5K classic race, with Barnes taking 35th in 15:22.1 and Legate 36th at 15:23.5. They were the first members of their program to crack the top 40 at an EISA Championship since Chloe Boutelle '15 was 30th in the mass-start 15K Classic in 2012, and gave Saint Michael's two Nordic skiers among the top 40 in a race at a league meet for the first time since 1999, when the Purple Knights turned the feat in both events at the EISA Championship.
Sophomore Aimee Sala (Carrabassett Valley, Maine/Kents Hill School) was 59th in 17:01.5 as her team's third finisher. Senior Micaela Flagg (Wolfeboro, N.H./Kingswood Regional), junior Caitlin Holmquist (Gray, Maine/Gray-New Gloucester) and first-year Emma Bellefleur (Wolfeboro, N.H./Kingswood Regional) rounded out their team's finishers in 63rd, 64th and 65th place, respectively.
On the men's side, sophomore Mitch McDonald (Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake) led the Purple Knights in the 10K classic at 58th in 29:53.6, while first-year Sam Seeley (Center Harbor, N.H./Inter-Lakes) took 62nd at 31:46.5. Classmate Alex Warner (East Montpelier, Vt./U-32) was 63rd in 32:06.2, and sophomore Ethan Brookner (Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn) trailed by one position.