Moltzan bucks Vail trend with win
VAIL, Colorado When Buck Hill skiers race speed events, its always on foreign snow. When it comes to technical events, however, any hill seems like home.Paula Moltzan led a charge of Buck Hill racers in Thursdays J3 Rocky/Central Junior Olympics giant slalom on Vails Golden Peak. Moltzan, a first-year J3, put together the two fastest runs to pick up the win in 1 minute, 35.87 seconds and to prevent host Ski & Snowboard Club Vail from winning its third race of the week.Its really sweet, Moltzan said. We like to show everyone how its done.The Buck Hill team, which has 309 feet of vertical to work with in Burnsville, Minn., saw three of its racers in the top five and four in the top eight. In Wednesdays super-G, Buck Hill had three racers in the top 10, and two cracked the top five in Tuesdays downhill.When we get into tech, we really show it, said Moltzan, who was third in the downhill.SSCVs Kaytlyn Samuelson placed second (1:36.45) one day after jumping on the podium with a third in the super-G.It was pretty good, said Samuelson, who had the second-fastest time on each run. I just needed to get that second run and went all out and did my best, and it was good enough to take second place.Aspens Katherine Ryan was third, while Buck Hill skiers Madeline Wiltgen and Kiltie Finsland were fourth and fifth, respectively. Wiltgen was second in the super-G.SSCV had three skiers in the top six heading into the second run, but both Greta Byrne, who was in third, and Jessica Delacenserie, who was sixth, skied off course.Its all or nothing, SSCV coach J.J. Jensen said. They had to make up a little time, and the girls wanted to win so they are putting it down the hill 100 percent, going as fast as they can. Nobody here had that speed.The winner of each race at this weeks Junior Olympics earns a spot at the Whistler Cup series next month in British Columbia. The Whistler Cup, along with the Topolino Games, which were held late last month, are two of the top competitions for young ski racers from around the globe.Moltzan, who won her Junior Olympic qualifier, is now heading to Whistler.Its really fun to win as a first year, she said. I won our championships but not by very much so Id hoped to do really well here.While SSCV didnt have as many kids in the top 10 as in the speed events, Jensen isnt disappointed. You dont want to leave anything on the hill, and they went for broke, Jensen said. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesnt. Hopefully, Saturday it will.The boys have a giant slalom today, while the Junior Olympics close out with a slalom for the boys and girls Saturday.
SSCVs Erika Ghent placed 22nd in a giant slalom at the North American Cup Championships in Whiteface, N.Y. Ghent was 10th in Wednesdays super-G and 15th in Tuesdays super-combined. SSCVs Will Gregorak was 17th in the mens NorAm super-combined.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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