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Women's Nordic third in 15K Classical at Eastern Regionals

Natalie Ruppertsberger '11 claimed eighth place in the 15K Women's Classic Technique race at Black Mountain. (File photo by Lincoln Benedict '09)









RUMFORD, Maine -- The Bates College women's Nordic ski team placed third out of 12 teams in the last race of the EISA carnival season, the women's 15K Classic Technique Mass Start race on Sunday at Black Mountain.

Bates' combined alpine and Nordic ski teams scored 549 points to finish a season-best sixth out of 16 teams in the Bates Carnival, which doubled as the NCAA East Region Championships.

Senior Natalie Ruppertsberger (Plainfield, N.H.) placed eighth out of 68 skiers in the race in 54:18.0, leading four Bates women in the top 24. Senior Kirsten Gill (Jackson, N.H.) came in 12th at 54:31.5, followed by senior Meg McClelland (Keene Valley, N.Y.) in 21st at 55:52.7 and junior Beth Taylor (Norwich, Vt.) in 24th at 56:22.6.

The Bates women finished the carnival season with nine top-four performances out of 12 carnival races on the year, including two third-place showings. They were the top Division III squad in all nine of those races.

First-year Jordan Buetow (Fairbanks, Alaska) led the Bates men's team once again in the men's 20K Classic race, taking 32nd place out of 64 in 1:06:58.5. First-year Peter Cowan (Bethel, Maine) was 36th in 1:08:08.2, while first-year Sean Woods (Gypsum, Colo.) and sophomore Lucas Milliken (North Yarmouth, Maine) were 44th and 45th, respectively.

Saturday Recap

Led by senior Kirsten Gill's seventh-place performance, the Bates women's Nordic ski team took fourth place among 12 teams in the 5K Freestyle race at the Bates Carnival, doubling as the 2011 NCAA East Region Championships.

The Bates women's 88 points outscored fifth-place Middlebury by a wide margin in the event. It was the eighth time in 11 Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association carnival races this season that the Bates women have finished fourth or better overall, and first among Division III squads.

Gill finished her familiar home course at Black Mountain in 15:57.5, seventh best among 68 competitors. Taylor and McClelland rounded out Bates' team scoring in 14th and 15th places overall, in 16:17.1 and 16:22.6. Ruppertsberger was 20th in 16:39.8.

In the men's 10K Freestyle race, Buetow had a career-best 15th-place finish in 30:11.3. Buetow has led the Bates men in each individual race this season. Milliken was 39th in 31:24.1, followed by first-year Alex Hamilton (Truckee, Calif.) in 42nd at 31:38.7.