RIPTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College Nordic skiing team concluded its season on Sunday during the Middlebury College Carnival at the Rikert Ski Touring Center, joining with the Alpine squad to take ninth among 16 schools with 330 points. The Purple and Gold was within 30 points of eighth-place Saint Lawrence University.
The meet was also the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Championship and the NCAA East Regional Championship, as the Purple Knights nabbed ninth in consecutive seasons at the EISA meet for the first time since a four-year run that concluded in 2005. Saint Michael's had entered the day with a narrow two-point lead for eighth while looking to finish as high as eighth at an EISA Championship for the first time since the league merged its Division I and II meets for one championship in 1994. The University of Vermont won the conference title with 989 points.
Junior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) had the highest finish among Purple Knights on Sunday, claiming 41st in the men's mass-start 20K classic race. He clocked in at 52:11.0. First-year Liam Schmelzle (Saint Louis Park, Minn./Saint Louis Park) was 48th in 53:15.3, and classmate Aaron Deeter (Truckee, Calif./Tahoe Truckee) trailed by four spots with a time of 54:40.6. Senior Samuel Fogg (Rutland, Vt./Rutland) closed out his career by taking 58th.
Sophomore Emma Barnes (Amherst, Wis./Amherst) took 44th to pace the women in the mass-start 15K classic competition, crossing the finish line in 49:31.0. Senior Elizabeth Cubberley (Acworth, N.H./Fall Mountain Regional) was 53rd in 52:15.2, while first-year Amy Duclos (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) nabbed 55th at 52:45.5. Cubberley and senior Brianna McKinley (Moultonborough, N.H./Moultonborough Academy), who was 65th, both participated in their final college races.
With the Alpine regular season concluding yesterday and the EISA Nordic circuit now finished, qualifiers will be announced soon for the March 9-12 NCAA Championship in Steamboat Springs, Colo.