Excerpted from The Citizen, Monday, Feb. 21.
The outstanding seasons continued for the Plymouth State University ski racing teams Sunday as the Panthers swept the men’s and women’s giant slalom events on day two of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association’s Eastern Regional Championships at Waterville Valley.
The Panther men’s squad earned the weekend sweep, combining Sunday’s GS title with Saturday’s slalom crown, giving PSU its third straight Eastern Regional combined alpine championship. The Panther women captured their second straight regional GS title to claim their first regional combined alpine title since 2001. Both Panther teams qualify for and will be among the overall favorites at the USCSA National Championships on March 9-12 at Sun Valley, Idaho.
PSU had three of the top six finishers in the men’s race Sunday to win the team title over MacConnell Division rivals Colby-Sawyer College and Boston College, which placed second and third, respectively, among the 12 teams at the event with Babson College and Castleton State College fourth and fifth. The men’s order of finish was the same for the top five schools on both days. The PSU women finished more than a second faster than runner-up Boston College in the GS, and the MacConnell Division took the top five spots in the women’s team standings — PSU in first followed by BC and Colby-Sawyer in a tie for second, Brown fourth and UMass fifth.
Sophomore Martina Ryberg continued her domination of collegiate skiing, winning Sunday’s GS for the weekend sweep and her second straight regional combined alpine championship. She will be one of the favorites to challenge for a national title. There were two other Panthers who finished in the top 12 in the GS among the 68 racers — freshman Marley Pawlak in ninth and junior Katherine Goller in 12th. Freshman Leigh Anne Connors posted a respectable 25th place in her collegiate postseason debut, and junior Kait Pawlak, who was 17th in the slalom, stumbled and did not finish her GS race.
Sophomore Parker Spear took top honors for the PSU men, placing fifth in Sunday’s GS after placing runner-up in the slalom to give him third place in the combined alpine standings. Sophomore Chris Beadon, the defending combined champion, rebounded from a tough day in the slalom to take third place among the 68 racers in the GS, and senior Travis Nevins (Henniker), wrapped up an outstanding weekend with a sixth place in the GS and a fourth place in the combined alpine. Senior Joseph Healey, who was 10th in the slalom, finished 14th in the GS, and junior Tom Sampson, a Plymouth Regional grad who was eighth in the slalom, was right behind in 17th in the GS. PSU cruised to the title without senior Peter Ostroski (Intervale), the two-time regional combined alpine champion, who sat out with an injury.