Vermont first-year skier wins national title

Vermont continued its historic year in sports with yet another achievement, this time from the skiing team.

First-year skier Paula Moltzan raced to victory at the 2017 NCAA Championship, winning the national title for women’s slalom.

Part of a banner day on the slopes for the Catamounts, Moltzan’s big win helped to move Vermont to fifth place in the national standings with 399 total points.

With a combined time of 1:56.57, she was able to top the nation with dominating numbers as a surging first-year. Moltzan ranked third after her first run with a time of 58.91, but improved in the second run with a time of 57.66, according to UVM athletics.

Moltzan, a medical laboratory science major, said preparation was very important to her success.

“We train almost every day of the week on snow [at Stowe] or in the gym,” she said. “This event wasn’t any different for me than any other races we have had this year.”

Though often it takes time for first-years to settle in a new environment and start winning titles, Moltzan is showing her skills right out of the gate.

The Prior Lake, Minn. native is the fifth UVM woman to win a national slalom title, and the first first-year to do it since Gabriella Hamberg ‘90 31 years ago, according to UVM athletics.

“Winning the national championship title as a freshman is pretty amazing,” Moltzan said. “Even though it is an individual title it is awesome to have a bunch of great teammates to celebrate with.”

Moltzan and her teammates have plenty reason to celebrate as they have accomplished so much this season.

Moltzan is one of multiple Catamounts who have earned their way to the podium this year; senior William St-Germain finished second overall in the men’s alpine race and senior Alayna Sonnesyn finished second in the women’s 15k freestyle race.

“Paula is a great teammate to have,” said Sonnesyn. “I have been able to get to know her a lot throughout the year. She always has a positive attitude and works hard in school and with skiing, but has fun doing it.”

Moltzan only has NCAA eligibilty for the next two years, but plans on continuing to ski past college with either the U.S. ski team or on her own, she said.

“I hope to win a couple more titles for myself and the team,” Moltzan said.

Moltzan was named the TD Bank Student Athlete of the Week for the period ending March 12, adding on to her list of achievements.