LUDLOW, Vt. – The Castleton University women's alpine ski team opened the season with a bang, claiming first place by a wide margin on Thursday in the slalom at Okemo Mountain Resort as each of the four fastest racers on the mountain donned 343-green and black.
The Spartans posted the best team time of the day, clocking in at 4:47.7 as a team, 15 seconds faster than second-place Brown (5:02.41). Babson (5:02.74), Clarkson (5:10.61) and Saint Anselm (5:12.76) rounded out the top five in the 10-team field.
Li Aunes claimed the top spot on the podium, closing out a pair of runs in 1:35.53--just a fraction of a second faster than teammate and first-run leader Linn Ljungemo (1:35.74). Karoline Rettenbacher rounded out the podium in her collegiate debut, posting a combined time of 1:35.80 on the afternoon.
Kirsten Kruk kept the Spartans rolling with a fourth-place finish in 1:36.11, followed shortly after by Kylie Mackie in sixth place at 1:37.84. Kruk's second run of the day was the fastest in the field, bumping her up one spot after posting the fifth-fastest opening run. Lena Soehnle debuted with an eighth-place finish with a time of 1:39.57, while Ellie Frischmon finished 14th with a time of 1:42.25.
Castleton returns to the slopes for the giant slalom on Friday at Okemo Mountain Resort with the opening runs beginning at 9:30 a.m.