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Paula Moltzan Wins Giant Slalom Title in Tight Contest
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Elisabeth Bobcock, Paula Moltzan and Madison Hoffman celebrate success in the women’s giant slalom race at the Toyota U.S. Alpine Championships being held in Sun Valley.
   
Sunday, March 24, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

U.S. Olympian Paula Moltzan lagged behind her U.S. Ski Team teammate Elisabeth Bocock by .41 hundredth of a second after the first of two giant slalom races Saturday. But the 10-year veteran with the U.S. Ski Team skied slightly faster through snow and rain on the second run to win the women's national giant slalom championship at the Toyota U.S. Alpine Championships.

The women started their quest for a national giant slalom championship title under grey skies, an early morning storm having deposited two inches of snow at the top of Baldy and a dusting at the bottom. But it started snowing on top and raining at the bottom just as the second race began at 12:30 p.m., prompting the race announcer to continually apologize.

"This is not what Sun Valley's known for," he told the crowd assembled at the bottom.

 
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Elisabeth Bocock, who turned 19 earlier this month, catches her breath after swooping to a second-place finish.
 

The change of weather didn't seem to affect the women who skied tight smooth arcs around the gates, their bodies stretching out with each turn. Some had faster runs on the second.

"The first run was fine. The second was a little more challenging as we started in the snow and it turned to rain partway down," said Elizabeth Bocock, who skied five seconds faster on her second run.

Paula Moltzan, a Minnesota girl who trained with the Vail Ski Club and skied to 12th in the giant slalom in the 2022 Winter Olympics, ran her first race in 1:07.91 minutes and her second in 1:02.43 for a combined time of 2:10.34 to take first place.

She also was crowned Giant Slalom Champion at the U.S. Alpine Championships in Sun Valley in 2023 with a combined time of 2:15.57.

 
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A crowd gathered to watch the second race despite rain and snow.
 

Elisabeth Bocock, a fearless 19-year-old Salt Lake City racer who won the women's super-G title earlier this week, had a combined time of 2:10.39. And Madison Hoffman, an Olympian for Australia from Park City, had a combined time of 212: 33.

Tatum Grosdidier, who won Wednesday's FIS super-G and raced to third in the national super-G, combined times of 1:10.70 and 1:03.10 for 2:13.80--good enough for fourth place and tops among junior racers.

The rain did not dissuade a crowd from watching the race. Among them, elementary-aged Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation athletes.

"It's fun watching them," said Hadley Gouley. "I just love ski racing."

 
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MP Loewy tried to keep race results dry with the help of an umbrella as Kathleen Eder fed her the results.
 

The 2024 U.S. Toyota Alpine Championships featuring most of America's top skiers will conclude with men's and women's slalom races today on the Greyhawk side of Sun Valley's Bald Mountain.

Slalom is Paula Moltzan's specialty--she finished eighth in it in the 2022 Winter Olympics, so it could be a good matchup.

TODAY’S CONCLUSION

The Women’s Slalom Race No. 1 is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. today—Sunday, March 24--with Race No. 2 at noon.

 
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Paula Moltzan waited through raindrops to see if her first-place standing would hold up.
 

The Men’s Slalom Race No. 1 is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. with Race No. 2 at 1:30 p.m.

An Awards Ceremony will follow at Warm Springs Plaza.

Tylor and the Train Robbers will play live apres ski music on the patio from 2 to 5 p.m. and the Sponsor Village featuring U.S. Ski Team merchandise and other items will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

~  Today's Topics ~


Community Cookie Baking at Its Finest

Wood River Photographer Reimagines Winter Sports Culture

Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Members to Demonstrate Traditional Root Digging and More
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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