Paula Moltzan (right) finished fourth, Lila Lapanja (left) sixth and Foreste Peterson (center) 19th in the FIS Alpine Junior World Championships slalom. (Barbara Peterson)
JASNA, Slovakia (Feb. 28) - Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN; Buck Hill Ski Team/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) continued her strong skiing Friday with fourth in the FIS Alpine Junior World Championships slalom, just .49 from the podium. Joining Moltzan in the top 10 was teammate Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV; Sugar Bowl Academy/Diamond Peak) in sixth. Foreste Peterson (Berkeley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team) also put in a solid performance to finish 19th behind race winner Petra Vhlova of Slovakia. Moltzan was sixth just a day earlier in the giant slalom. Junior Worlds action continues Saturday with men's downhill.
Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN; Buck Hill Ski Team/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) continued her strong performance at the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships with fourth in women's slalom, just a day after finishing sixth in giant slalom.
Joining her in the top 10 was teammate Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV; Sugar Bowl Academy/Diamond Peak) with sixth. Foreste Peterson (Berkeley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team) was 19th to cap the solid team performance.
All three top 20 Americans are members of the U.S. Ski Team.
Petra Vhlova took the home snow win with a two-run time of 1:36.09 followed by Charlotta Saefvenberg of Sweden and Marina Wallner of Germany. Molzan was .49 from bronze.
Alice Merryweather (Hingham, MA; Stratton Mountain School) and Libby Gibson (Jamaica, VT; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) also started, but did not finish the first run.
The Junior World Ski Championships continue Saturday with a men's downhill training run followed by the medal race. Friday's downhill training was canceled for the second-straight day due to fog.
The next individual event for women is super G and super combined on March 3.
QUOTES Paula Moltzan It’s hard to be fourth but I’m happy with it. It’s so fun. It’s awesome to have your teammates up there with you. We push each other every day so hard, and to see all of us moving up together is really rewarding.
It was basically the same conditions as yesterday: super foggy, raining/snowing, but you’ve got to fight through everything.
The course was so good. The course crew has been really amazing here. The first course set was a little tight and quick and turny all the way down to the finish line. I don’t think too many people had problems, but the fast girls were really fast on it. The second run was way more distance and quick and fast down the fall line. The Slovakian just had it together, it was awesome.
Lila Lapanja Everything felt good. It was super foggy right above the course, so during warm-up you had to ski right in the fog and get a good feeling just sending it through the fog. I got a good feeling down and had a solid first run and a solid start position, which put me in a good position for second run and I knew I had to let it go if I wanted to stay up there with the top girls. So I gave it my best on second run and it worked out.
It was super fun. The snow is awesome. They did a great job.
Last year it was a huge goal of mine to even get top 15 at World Juniors and I did accomplish that in the slalom and knew I had so much left. I got another year of training under my belt and to finish in the top 10 knowing that I have so much more left is really exciting. I’m so excited of my potential when I put it all down for two solid runs.
There’s a great team vibe. We are basically siblings now. We’ve been traveling, training and living with each other, with Paula especially, for almost three years, so we have a healthy relationship off snow and on snow we’re very competitive and we push each other to keep doing our best. We’re always really positive and supportive of each other, and I always wish the best for them. So it was really exciting to share the fourth with Paula and Foreste had a solid day, I think it was her best result ever at Junior World Champs. It was a good day, very positive.