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Contact: William Sodoma
Date: March 13, 2009
BETHEL, Maine --- Colby College’s Josh Kernan (Shelburne, N.H.) and Vincent Lebrun-Fortin (Montreal, Quebec) are among the top six collegiate skiers in the country in the slalom after both placed in the top 10 at the NCAA Skiing Championships on Friday at Sunday River.
Kernan, a day after taking seventh in the giant slalom, placed fourth and Lebrun-Fortin was two places back in sixth as the Mules had one of the greatest days in the history of the Colby ski program. Kernan is a first team All-American for placing in the top five and Lebrun-Fortin made the second team for finishing in places six to 10.
For the Colby women, Emily Colin (Santa Fe, N.M.) placed 21st with a two-run total time of 1:49.11.
“All three of them came out and performed. That was the fun aspect about it,” Colby alpine head coach Danny Noyes said. “In an event like this you are tired from the season, there is a lot of stress and nerves. We overcame all that today.”
Colby finished fifth out of 14 teams in the men’s slalom for the second straight year despite only have two skiers. All four teams ahead of the Mules had full teams of three skiers. University of Colorado won the event with 105.5 points and was followed by University of Denver (88), University of New Hampshire (84), University of New Mexico (79), and Colby (78)
Lebrun-Fortin, a sophomore, has earned three All-America honors in four NCAA races during his two years at Colby. Kernan earned his first two national honors this year, but has shown consistency up to this point with trips to the national meet in his first three years with the Mules.
Kernan finished with a two-run total time of 1:38.10 to finish first among Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) skiers and first among skiers born in the United States. He was in second place after the first run with a time of 48.60 and then added a 49.50 the second time down the hill. Kernan finished in 14th place in both races at the national meet a year ago.
“Josh and I talked last spring and I told him he needed to be in the top seven of all the carnival races next year, and he went out and did it,” Noyes said. “To be in second place after the first run was a ton of pressure. He handled it very, very well.”
University of Colorado’s Gabriel Rivas won the competition with a combined time of 1:36.69 after a blazing 47.77 on his first run. University of New Mexico’s Peter Brenna was second in 1:37.50 and University of Denver’s Leif Kristian Haugen took third with a 1:37.70. Brenna of Norway had the best second run at 48.64. Rivas is from France and Kristian Haugen also is from Norway.
University of New Hampshire’s Sean McNamara squeezed behind Kernan and just in front of Lebrun-Fortin with a combined time of 1:38.16 to place fifth. Lebrun-Fortin, who took fifth in the slalom and seventh in the giant slalom at last year’s national meet in Montana, was seventh after a 49.14 opening run. He then clocked the fifth-best time second run of the day at 49.11 to move up to sixth place in 1:38.25.
Lebrun-Fortin may have had a better time on his first run without some adventures with a gate.
"He hit a gate and it ended up stuck to him on his lap,” Noyes said. “He carried the gate with him around the next turn, it fell off him and moved down the course ahead of him. He ended up jumping the gate once he got further down the hill where it was.”
The alpine ski program has had six different skiers earn All-America honors in the past six years, including Abbi Lathrop’s national championship in the women’s giant slalom in 2006.