Alpine opener a success with performances by Mueller, Coutu, van Vuuren and Gillis

Griffin Mueller placed 16th out of 73 women in the slalom races on Jan. 11, 2019 at the St. Lawrence Carnival. (File photo by Dennis Curran/EISA)

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- First-year Arie van Vuuren made his collegiate carnival debut a strong one, finishing 16th in the men's slalom, while junior Griffin Mueller placed 16th in the women's slalom on the opening day of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association carnival schedule Friday at the St. Lawrence Carnival.

Van Vuuren (Boulder, Colo.) finished his first run in 49.11 seconds and his second in 48.08, for a combined time of 1:37.19 -- 16th fastest out of 70 competitors overall.

Sophomore Joe Gillis (Branford, Conn.) had a strong 2019 debut as well, placing 27th in 1:39.69. Four other members of the squad failed to finish both runs and did not score.

Griffin Mueller, who qualified for and competed in the NCAA Championships last year, picked up where she left off with runs of 49.19 and 51.00 seconds, for a combined time of 1:40.19 that was 16th fastest out of 73 competitors.

First-year Tess Coutu (Foster, R.I.) was the second and final Bates woman to finish both runs, and her combined time of 1:44.47 put her in 27th place for an outstanding collegiate debut.

The alpine teams scored 81 carnival points on the day, putting Bates in ninth place out of 13 scoring teams, one point behind eighth-place Williams. The carnival continues Saturday with alpine giant slalom races and the first day of Nordic ski racing at Mt. Van Hoevenburg.