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Heldman, Manter put Bates in 13th at NCAA Ski Championships

Bates sophomore Bump Heldman placed 24th in the giant slalom on the first day of the NCAA Collegiate Skiing Championships, hosted by the University of Colorado. (File photo by Lincoln Benedict '09).

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. -- Bates College alpine skiers Bump Heldman and Ben Manter finished 24th and 26th, respectively, out of 35 competitors Wednesday as the NCAA Collegiate Skiing Championships got under way with the giant slaloms.

Heldman (Auburn, Maine) had a two-run combined time of 1:51.66, just .03 seconds behind Colby's Josh Kernan for 23rd and one-hundredth of a second ahead of Montana State's Chris Barber. Manter (Vassalboro, Maine) was only one more hundredth of a second behind Barber, at 1:51.68. After him, there was a significant dropoff: host team Colorado's Drew Roberts was 27th in 1:58.81.

With two of eight events at NCAAs now complete, Bates stands in 13th place as a team with 30 points, ahead of Nevada (25) and just behind Williams (44). Junior Nordic skier Natalie Ruppertsberger (Plainfield, N.H.) will compete tomorrow in the Women's 5K Classical Technique race, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time.

Also on Wednesday, Bates' alpine and Nordic ski teams had seven members named to the EISA All-Academic Intercollegiate Ski Team, presented by the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association. Athletes received the award for having a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in the fall semester and for competing in the Eastern Regional Ski Championships. All-Academic awardees were senior Nordic skier Abby Samuelson (Freeport, Maine), senior Nordic skier Ben Smeltzer (Waterbury Center, Vt.), senior Nordic skier Brandon Cooper (Aspen, Colo.), Ruppertsberger, first-year Nordic skier Corey Hill (Keene, N.H.), first-year Nordic skier Lucas Milliken (North Yarmouth, Maine) and senior alpine skier John Canney (North Clarendon, Vt.).