HUNTINGTON, Vt./CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine - Saint Michael's College Alpine skiing junior Guillaume Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée Général Ferrié) placed third in the giant slalom for his fifth career podium on Sunday at the Colby College Carnival at Sugarloaf Mountain. The Purple Knight Nordic skiers completed hosting their segment of the two-weekend Saint Michael's Carnival at Sleepy Hollow Inn, Ski and Bike Center, the College's second carnival in four seasons.
Sunday's Alpine races were not just the first of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) season - Saturday's were wiped out due to inclement conditions - but also the only ones at the Colby Carnival. All team scores from Sunday, as well from Nordic's lone day of competition there last Sunday, were doubled to create final scores. As an institution, Saint Michael's took 11th among 16 schools with 274 points, while Dartmouth College won with 968 points. An additional date to make up the missing Colby slalom might be added to the calendar.
On Sunday, the Alpine men scored 136 points to claim fourth place, trimming Williams College by two, as Grand, a two-time All-America skier, earned his fifth career top-three finish and trip to the podium, but first in the GS. While wearing the No. 3 bib, Grand finished third with a two-run time of 2:00.51, coming within 0.40 seconds of second place. Sophomore Zach Bouchard (Merrimac, Mass./Gould Academy) earned his seventh career top-30 performance, taking 29th at 2:05.07 to pick up two NCAA points. Junior Torjus Grimsrud (Stabekk, Norway/Donski Alpine) was the third Purple Knight scorer, placing 44th at 2:09.44.
Sophomore Anna Willassen (Jar, Norway/Persbråten VGS), a 2017 NCAA Championship qualifier, led the women during the GS in 15th place, clocking in at 2:08.65 and coming within 0.49 seconds of the top 10. Classmate Erin Spence (Aspen, Colo./Aspen) came within one spot of her career high at 27th in a time of 2:13.14, cutting 1.5 seconds between runs. The two were the only Purple Knights to complete two treks down the mountain.
Through the Nordic portion of the Saint Michael's Carnival, the host institution is 11th among 12 schools with 103 points. Both Purple and Gold squads placed 11th on Sunday, while the men garnered 25 points to trail Saint Lawrence University by three. Alpine races are slated for next Friday and Saturday at Smugglers' Notch in Jeffersonville, where the carnival will officially conclude.
During the 10K freestyle, first-year Ale Legate (Anchorage, Alaska/West Anchorage) led the Purple Knight women in 53rd place at 32:55.0. Senior Emma Barnes (Amherst, Wis./Amherst) was 67th by crossing in 34:09.9, and sophomore Aimee Sala (Carrabassett Valley, Maine/Kents Hill School) was 77th in 36:36.5.
On the men's side, sophomore Mitch McDonald (Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake) had his second team-leading performance of the weekend, taking 70th in the 15K freestyle at 43:35.8. Classmate Kevin Jeter (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) placed 72nd at 43:53.4, and first-year Alex Warner (East Montpelier, Vt./U-32) captured 79th place in 44:50.8.
Alpine skiing resumes action at next weekend's Saint Michael's Carnival, with Friday's events beginning at 9:30 a.m. Nordic skiing breaks until the University of Vermont Carnival on Feb. 2-3.