In the same village where there was once a miracle on ice, the University of Maine at Farmington men’s freeski and snowboarding team found success on the slopes.

Competing at last week’s United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association national championships in Lake Placid, New York — site of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team’s stunning upset of heavily favored USSR on its way to winning the gold medal in 1980 — the UMaine-Farmington freeski team captured a couple national titles and two Beavers snowsport athletes won individual championships.

The trophy-winning began last Tuesday when Caelan Billings won the individual snowboard national title in Boardercross — the first individual national champion in program history.

On Wednesday, the Beavers captured the team title in freeski Rail Jam, led by Zach Chaisson’s individual title. Like Billings, Chaisson also is the first freeskier to win an individual title.

The freeski team followed the Rail Jam championship with a team title in slopestyle Thursday. Maxwell Hamilton, Carson Theriault, Arden Weaver and Chaisson finished third through sixth to pace the Beavers.

UMF OPENS WITH WINS: A nail-biter and a no-doubter — that’s what the University of Maine at Farmington opened the season with Monday in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.


The Beavers broke the ice on the new season with a 4-3 win over Keystone College, then shut out Franciscan University 5-0.

Lewiston graduate Bella Miller had a big hit in the opener, singling home a run in the bottom of the sixth to put the Beavers up 3-2. Grace Pratt’s RBI groundout provided an insurance run.

Dirigo grad Katie Morse had an RBI double in the second game, and Oxford Hills grad Christa Allen contributed one of the Beavers’ eight hits. Melissa Mayo pitched a one-hitter, with 10 strikeouts and three walks.

BIGGANE’S BIG WEEK HONORED: Bates College junior Brandon Biggane was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

Biggane helped the Beavers to a 3-1 week, including a three-game sweep of Bard College over the weekend.

After going hitless with one walk in a loss to Endicott on Wednesday, Biggane collected two hits in each of the three games against Bard. That include a triple in each of the first two, and the go-ahead home run in the top of the 15th inning in the finale Sunday.

In total, Biggane tallied six RBIs and five runs scored in the series.

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