(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BIG SKY – Montana State alpine coach Kevin Francis got exactly what he was looking for on the opening day of the Bobcats’ 2018 season.
The MSU men placed all five skiers in the top 10, including Garett Driller’s first giant slalom title, while the women saw three racers in the top 10 on Saturday at the RMISA/NCAA Giant Slalom Qualifier at Big Sky Resort.
“We had a great start to the season,” Francis said. “Everyone had at least one great run.”
Driller, a senior from Tahoe City, Calif., had the seventh fastest time after the first run, but slayed his second go in 1:07.80 to capture the individual giant slalom crown in 2:12.38.
“Garret Driller skied smart and fast to take his first giant slalom win,” Francis stated.
Driller was followed in the top 10 by Jeffrey Bell, third, 2:13.15; Addison Dvoracek, fourth, 2:13.19; Morten Bakke, eighth, 2:13.60; and Patrick Carry, ninth, 2:13.77.
Dvoracek, a sophomore from Truckee, Calif., posted the quickest first run of the qualifier in 1:04.13.
The Bobcat women’s contingent was led by senior Kari Hole. Hole, a product of Norway, had the fastest first run with a clocking of 2:15.13 and finished third overall in 2:15.13.
“It was great to see Kari have two strong runs to find herself on the podium,” Francis said. “She was just two-hundredths of a second from the win overall after taking the first run. She will be hungry for the win tomorrow (Sunday).
Also placing in the top 10 for MSU were Benedicte Lyche, sixth, 2:15.75; and Stephanie Gartner, tenth, 2:17.18. Lyche and Gartner finished first and second, respectively, at last year’s NCAA Championship in giant slalom. Lyche became just the fourth Bobcat in history to capture a national title.
Rounding out MSU’s giant slalom qualifier were Jocelyn McCarthy, 18th, 2:19.52; and Amanda Stelling, 26th, 2:22.91. Mia Henry did not finish her second run.
The Bobcats will host the MSU Invitational beginning Sunday with the giant slalom starting at 10:15 a.m. on Tippy’s Tumble at Big Sky Resort.