HANCOCK/RIPTON, Vt. - Three Saint Michael's College men's Alpine skiers were among the top 20 in the slalom on Friday at the Middlebury College Carnival, helping the Alpine and Nordic squads combine to place seventh out of 15 schools when day one of the two-day event came to a conclusion. With 182 points, the Purple Knights trimmed Bates College (167) and Saint Lawrence University (159).
Alpine races are occurring at the Middlebury Snow Bowl while Nordic events are at Rikert Ski Touring Center during the final Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) carnival in Vermont this season. Day-two action kicks off on Saturday at 9:30 a.m., as Nordic closes out its third straight weekend competed in Vermont. Alpine, which scored fifth-place points on Friday (147), is back in its home state for the second time in three weeks.
The Purple Knights' men's Alpine squad was fifth on day one, corralling 78 points to come within six of fourth-place Bates. After standing 22nd following his opening slalom run, sophomore Danny Duffy (Warren, Vt./Green Mountain Valley School) rebounded with a final placement of ninth with a combined two-trek time of 1:36.56. Thanks in large part to turning in the fastest second run in the competition (47.46), Duffy claimed the third top-10 finish of his career, all during slalom races.
Junior Mathias Grimsrud (Stabekk, Norway/Donski Alpine) took 17th in 1:37.72, while sophomore brother Torjus Grimsrud (Stabekk, Norway/Donski Alpine) was 18th at 1:38.32. A pair of rookies zoomed up the standings thanks to strong second runs, both barely missing the top 30 and an opportunity to claim NCAA points. First-year Zach Bouchard (Merrimac, Mass./Gould Academy) stood 50th after his opening ski but climbed to 31st with a final time of 1:40.59, just 0.10 seconds shy of 30th. Classmate Colby Jordan (Charlotte, Vt./Mount Mansfield Winter Academy) improved from 52nd to take 35th at 1:41.48.
All six Purple Knight women finished within 12 positions of each other, combining to score sixth-place points (69) to trail Williams College by just three. First-year Emilia Laffin (Chamonix, France/Lycée du Mont-Blanc René Dayve) was 21st at 1:42.11, and junior Meggane Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée des métiers Ambroise Croizat) took 23rd in 1:42.24. First-year Anna Willassen (Jar, Norway/Persbråten VGS) nabbed 25th at 1:44.86, and classmate Megan Ahearn (Ringwood, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy) placed 28th at 1:46.16.
During the Nordic portion of the carnival, sophomore Liam Schmelzle (Saint Louis Park, Minn./Saint Louis Park) paced the men in the mass-start 20K freestyle at 46th with a time of 52:03.5, and classmate Aaron Deeter (Truckee, Calif./Tahoe Truckee) took 48th by crossing the finish line in 52:12.2. Senior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) nabbed 56th in 54:18.1.
Sophomore Amy Duclos (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) was 58th in the mass-start 15K freestyle at 49:47.1 to lead the women, and senior Catie Corrigan (Canajoharie, N.Y./Canajoharie Central School) placed 62nd in 51:51.3. Just one spot back, junior Emma Barnes (Amherst, Wis./Amherst) clocked in at 52:15.5.