Moltzan and Seymour Crowned First-Time National Slalom Champions
Olympian Paula Moltzan led both runs of the U.S. Alpine Championships in Sugarloaf, Maine, to dominate the women’s slalom on Tuesday. Moltzan, 27, finished with a combined time of 1:32.28, an impressive 2.81 seconds ahead University of Denver Pioneer Katie Hensien, who moved up from fourth place in the first run to finish second on the day.
Moltzan shed light on what it’s like racing this late in the competition season, despite the weather challenges. “It’s fun to be out here in Sugarloaf with friends and family, the conditions are definitely challenging, the conditions are not the easiest,” Moltzan said. “It’s nice to be back in the U.S. and competing this late in the season.”
U.S. Ski Team member AJ Hurt was third with a combined time of 1:35.13 to best Canada’s Amelia Smart and Norway’s Kristiane Bekkestad. Allie Resnick of Vail, who was sitting in fifth after the first run, did not finish her second slalom run of the day.
Eighty women started the race which was held in windy, cold, and tilled ice conditions. Ten women did not finish the second run. The men’s slalom, which was also held on the Narrow Gauge Trail, saw 55 finishers out of 89 who started the day.
In the men’s slalom, Steamboat Springs native U.S. Ski Team member and 2019 NCAA slalom champion Jett Seymour, 23, held off teammate and runner-up Ben Ritchie, whom he led by .16 seconds after the first run.
Seymour gave his input on being the leader in today’s slalom and what the course and conditions were like for him.“It feels amazing, it was a bit of a tough year so it was nice to end on a positive note,” said Seymour. “The surface was great and the course was a lot of fun.”
George Steffey, who had the fastest second run of the day, finished in third after sitting eighth after the first run. Steffey, 24, and a Stratton Mountain School graduate posted a combined time of 1:28.98.
Luke Winters, the four-year veteran of the national team and Beijing 2022 Olympian, finished fourth, and Justin Alkier of Canada took fifth. Aspen native Bridger Gile, like Steffey, notched a big jump in run two, moving up from 10th to sixth place.
Unsettling weather has wreaked havoc on the Toyota U.S. Alpine Championships schedule, with the giant slalom races now set for Wednesday and Thursday and the overall event shortened by one day. This is the eighth time in Sugarloaf’s history that it has played host to the U.S. Alpine Championships.
U.S. ALPINE CHAMPIONSHIPS - REVISED SCHEDULE
March 30 - U.S. Alpine Championships Men's Giant Slalom
March 31 - U.S. Alpine Championships Women's Giant Slalom