Women skiers’ perfect; men fall just short

The Castleton State College women’s ski team finished its regular season with an undefeated record as they took first places in the slalom race on Saturday and the giant slalom race on Sunday. The giant slalom event, which usually includes two runs, was cut short due to bad weather, but the lady Spartans were unfazed. The team dominated again, placing four girls in the top 10, and finishing with a time of 139.80. Boston University and Green Mountain took second and third place with times of 152.10 and 153.67.

Among 74 women racing, Spartan freshman Erica Luce was the top skier with a time of 46.02. Katie Martin followed in second place with a time of 46.46, Heather Patterson placed third with a 47.32 run, and Alexandra Nolan came in sixth, clocking in at 48.18

On the men’s side, the Spartans fought hard and raced well, but came up short by one tenth of a second to Tufts University, which had a time of 137.44.

“I was very proud of the guys,” Spartan coach Chris Eder said. “I told them they were just one tenth of a second away from an undefeated season.”

The Spartan men were led by Justin Garritt, who placed fourth overall out of 101 skiers with a time of 45.62. Bobby Jones grabbed the fifth spot with a 45.78 run, and David Loman broke into the top ten with an eighth place 46.04 run.

“Not to make excuses,” Eder said, “but [having only one run] hurt us quite a bit, I think. In the second run, our guys always turn it on. Today we just didn’t have a chance to do that.”

Eder said Saturday was the big day win-wise because that was the day both the men and women achieved goal one: win the division. He added that while an undefeated season was great, winning the division was “more important.”

In Saturday’s races, Michelle Podnecky was the top skier for the lady Spartans with a first place time of 1:45.01, and Justin Schwartz won his sixth race of the season with a time of 1:36.49.

Eder said that one of the best parts about Saturday was the support the teams received from the college.

“Saturday’s race was awesome because we had faculty from the college show up,” he said. [Athletic Director] Deanna Tyson came by, and we had a lot of student fans when we clinched [the division]. That was great for the team to have support from the college.”

Eder was pleased to announce that 14 of his skiers were selected for the All Eastern Collegiate Ski Conference Thompson Division Team.

For the women, the selections were Patterson, Martin, Luce, Podnecky, Nolan, Amanda Griffin, Madalyn Kirbach, and Brenna Nolan.

For the men, selections were Schwartz, Jones, Charles Robbins, Greg Towel, Loman, and Garritt.

The skiers will hit the slopes again this weekend when they go to West Mountain in Glens Falls, NY, for a “tune up” in the Skidmore Invitational.

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