LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - Six Saint Michael's College Alpine skiers earned top-30 finishes on Friday during the Alpine and Nordic skiing teams' season opener at the Saint Lawrence University Carnival. As a school, the Purple Knights are ninth among 16 teams with 160 points, just 18 short of the eighth-place hosts. The two-day event, which has its Alpine events at Whiteface Mountain and the Nordic races at Mount Van Hoevenberg, concludes on Saturday, with action beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The women's squad was fifth out of 13 teams thanks to placing four individuals in the top 30, a feat the team last pulled during the 2002 Middlebury College Carnival/Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Championship slalom. By finishing among the top 30, all four Purple Knights earned NCAA points.
Junior Meggane Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée des métiers Ambroise Croizat) paced the Purple Knights by taking 14th in a combined two-run time of 2:16.25, turning in nearly identical treks of 1:08.11 and 1:08.14. The placement matched her career best in a GS. First-year Anna Willassen (Jar, Norway/Persbråten VGS) was 16th in 2:16.42 during her college debut, and classmate Megan Ahearn (Ringwood, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy) took 27th at 2:17.91. Her improvement of 1.43 seconds between runs was the second best in the event. In her return from a season-ending injury after three carnivals last season, junior Ella Dorval Hall (Newburyport, Mass./Gould Academy) placed 28th in 2:18.12.
On the men's side, sophomore Guillaume Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée Général Ferrié) nabbed sixth place in 2:07.40 while claiming the 14th top-10 finish in 15 starts during his young career. In his previous outing wearing Purple and Gold, at last March's NCAA Championship, Grand became the first All-America skier in College history during the slalom. Sophomore Torjus Grimsrud (Stabekk, Norway/Donski Alpine) placed 27th with a time of 2:10.88 as the only other male Purple Knight to complete two runs.
In the women's classic sprint, junior Emma Barnes (Amherst, Wis./Amherst) kicked off the campaign with a 38th-place finish among collegians, clocking in at 3:53.35. Sophomore Amy Duclos (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) placed 70th at 4:06.33, and first-year Aimee Sala (Carrabassett Valley, Maine/Kents Hill School) debuted in 76th with a time of 4:08.57.
On the men's side, sophomore Aaron Deeter (Truckee, Calif./Tahoe Truckee) notched a 73rd-place showing in the classic sprint in 3:20.94, edging out classmate Liam Schmelzle (Saint Louis Park, Minn./Saint Louis Park), who was 74th at 3:21.08. Senior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) took 84th in 3:23.85.