HANCOCK/RIPTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College Alpine and Nordic skiing teams combined to place seventh among 15 schools as the two-day Middlebury College Carnival came to an end on Saturday. With 361 points, the Purple Knights held off Saint Lawrence University by 10 points, claiming their third straight seventh-place showing after having never finished as high previously at an Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) carnival. Dartmouth College won the meet with 1,027 points.
Alpine races occurred at the Middlebury Snow Bowl while Nordic events were at Rikert Ski Touring Center. During the day, both Purple Knight Alpine squads placed sixth, with the women scoring 69 points to trail fifth-place Colby College by just two points. For the weekend, the Purple and Gold's Alpine teams were fifth among 13 institutions, netting 273 points to trail only perennial powers Dartmouth, Middlebury, the University of New Hampshire and the University of Vermont.
In the women's giant slalom, first-year Anna Willassen (Jar, Norway/Persbråten VGS) was 10th with a two-run combined time of 2:08.70, claiming her third top-10 showing this season, all in the GS. Junior Meggane Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée des métiers Ambroise Croizat) was 28th in 2:12.27, and first-year Emilia Laffin (Chamonix, France/Lycée du Mont-Blanc René Dayve) claimed 30th in 2:12.50.
Classmate Megan Ahearn (Ringwood, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy) took 32nd at 2:12.73, falling just 0.23 seconds short of the top 30, which would have landed her NCAA points. First-year Erin Spence (Aspen, Colo./Aspen) was nearby in 37th, clocking in at 2:13.43.
In the men's GS, first-year Colby Jordan (Charlotte, Vt./Mount Mansfield Winter Academy) posted his second straight top-20 finish in the discipline, taking 18th at 2:04.48. Sophomore Guillaume Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée Général Ferrié) was 19th with a time of 2:04.52, and first-year Zach Bouchard (Merrimac, Mass./Gould Academy) took the Purple Knights' third scoring spot, in 41st at 2:06.69.
The Nordic squads competed in classic sprint relay races. The top women's duo of junior Emma Barnes (Amherst, Wis./Amherst) and sophomore Amy Duclos (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) placed 21st in 26:26.4, while senior Julia Snyder (Fairfax, Vt./BFA-Fairfax) and first-year Aimee Sala (Carrabassett Valley, Maine/Kents Hill School) took 29th at 28:02.6. On the men's side, sophomores Aaron Deeter (Truckee, Calif./Tahoe Truckee) and Liam Schmelzle (Saint Louis Park, Minn./Saint Louis Park) were 23rd at 22:57.1, and senior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) and first-year Mitch McDonald (Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake) paired to take 31st in 24:56.2.
The EISA circuit winds down action next Friday and Saturday with the Bates College Carnival, which is also the EISA Championship and the NCAA East Regional Championship. Day one action begins at 9:15 a.m.