Paula Moltzan, shown here racing at the 2013 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships in Squaw Valley, finished sixth in the Junior World Championships giant slalom Thursday. (Mark Epstein/U.S. Ski Team)
JASNA, Slovakia (Feb. 27) - Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN; Buck Hill Ski Team/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) produced the best big race result of her young career Thursday with sixth in the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships giant slalom to open women's competition in Jasna. Moltzan, who has three Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom starts to her credit, finished ninth in the opening run and jumped three more slots to finish .85 off the podium. The Italian team found their flow in the fog-plauged race as Marta Bassino and Karoline Pichler captured gold and silver ahead of Rosina Schneeberger of Austria. Women's medal competition continues Friday with slalom.
Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN; Buck Hill Ski Team/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) landed the best big race result of her young career with sixth in the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships giant slalom.
A member of the U.S. Development Team, Moltzan finished ninth in the opening run, then jumped three more spots to finish .85 off the podium.
Fog and wind plagued both runs, but didn't slow Italians Marta Bassino and Karoline Pichler from finishing with gold and silver ahead of Austrian Rosina Schneeberger.
Libby Gibson (Jamaica, VT; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) was disqualified from the final and Foreste Peterson (Berkeley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team) did not finish the second run.
Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV; Sugar Bowl Academn/Diamond Peak) and Katie Irwin (Vail, CO; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) did not finish the first run.
Women's medal action continues Friday in Jasna with slalom where Motlzan will be back in the start for her best event.
A men's downhill training run was also slated for Thursday, but was canceled due to thick fog.
QUOTES Paula Moltzan It was an interesting start to the day. It was foggy and rainy - the weather wasn't ideal, but the course sets were really on par. The first set was 25 meters with good rhythm all the way down. The start for the second run was moved down because of weather. It was super windy and foggy, but the set was pretty open, which is not really my go-to, but it worked out. It was a level playing field becuase everyone was skiing in horrible weather.
This finish stacks up among my best. I'd say my win in New Zealand over the summer was probably the highlight of my career so far. I'm also proud of my NorAm slalom win in Vail this winter, but this race is right up there.
I'm hoping to top this tomorrow in slalom though. The slope looks great and the snow is great. I know the competition is going to be tough, but I'm going to give it my best.