Moltzan golden at Jr. Worlds |

Moltzan golden at Jr. Worlds

HAFJELL, Norway — Nearly perfect snow conditions on the first run led Minnesota native Paula Moltzan, now with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, to a gold medal in slalom on Monday at the 2015 FIS Alpine Junior World Championships on the 1994 Olympic venue of Hafjell, Norway, just outside Lillehammer.

Moltzan’s win is the first ever win for a U.S. woman in Junior Worlds slalom.

Moltzan was on top from the beginning, finishing nearly a second faster than Germany’s silver medalist Marlene Schmotz on her first run before claiming the title by 0.65 seconds. Austria’s Katharina Truppe was a full second off Moltzan’s pace, finishing with the bronze.

“The course was so sweet on the first run,” Moltzan said. “Pretty turny, but the snow was so perfect to run first. I couldn’t imagine better snow for first run. I was pretty stoked. It was a pretty tough competition. These girls are great skiers and it could have gone to anyone today. Perhaps it was just my day with a little bit of luck. … I am really happy I wasn’t expecting this at all. It’s a nice surprise.

Moltzan’s gold medal is the first for the U.S. women since Julia Mancuso won the combined in 2004.

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This isn’t Moltzan’s first experience with high-level competition this season. She competed at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Beaver Creek in the slalom, finishing 20th.

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