RED LODGE — Rocky Mountain College got its ski-racing season off to a dominant start on Saturday at Red Lodge Mountain.
Freshman Frida Svedberg of the Battlin’ Bears swept a pair of giant slalom races for the women, while sophomore Nils Hogbom and freshman Andrija Vukovic took turns winning in the GS for the Rocky men.
“It was an excellent day for Rocky,” coach Jerry Wolf said of the Grand Teton Conference competition.
The two-day Rocky Invitational involved around 20 skiers from RMC and Montana State. There will be slalom racing on Sunday at 10 a.m. and noon on the Lower Limited run.
“They’re all skiing really well,” Wolf said of his Bears. “It was good to see them finish up in different spots in the (four) races. It shows that they’re all pretty talented and can mix it up a little bit.
“It’s pretty exciting.”
Rocky’s men are ranked No. 1 nationally in the United States Collegiate Ski Association, while the women are No. 3.
Hogbom won all three individual titles (GS, slalom and combined) at the USCSA national championships last year in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Svedberg, a newcomer from Sweden, won the morning GS at Red Lodge with a combined clocking of 1:34.51 for her two runs. Sophomore teammate Eloise Julliand was second at 1:34.92.
“I would say she was pretty focused on getting the job done every run, and that was good to see,’ Wolf said of Svedberg.
Sophomore Malin Eriksson of Rocky placed third in the eight-skier field at 1:36.31.
In the afternoon, Svedberg was first at 1:31.89, followed by teammates Fredrika Hjelm (1:33.40), Eriksson (1:33.57), Julliand (1:33.87) and Mallory Kelley (1:36.21).
Hjelm is a sophomore, while Kelley is a freshman from Red Lodge.
Julliand, who is from France, is the reigning national USCSA champion in the slalom and combined.
“They are both skiing really well, maybe not 100 percent consistent, but they definitely had some good runs,” Wolf said of his champions, Hogbom and Julliand.
For the men, Hogbom, who is from Sweden, won in the morning (1:33.09) and Vukovic, who is from Serbia, triumphed in the afternoon (1:30.25).
Teammates Thomas Vandel (1:33.17), Jesper Lindstrom (1:33.82), Harlan Collins (1:34.00) and Erik Hogbom (1:34.02) followed Nils Hogbom in the race results.
Nils and Erik Hogbom are brothers. Erik is a junior from France.
Montana State’s Carl Noges (1:30.86) was second to Vukovic.
Collins placed third (1:31.00) in the afternoon, followed by Lindstrom (1:31.30) and Nils Hogbom (1:31.34).
The women’s team at Rocky beat MSU 285.74-332.9 and 278.86-322.05 in their two races on Saturday. The Bears prevailed 280.08-291.98 and 272.55-282.17 on the men’s side.
Wolf said a majority of his skiers completed all of their runs in what he described as “great racing conditions” with sunshine and no wind.
“That was very cool to see,” he said of his skiers’ consistency. “That’s very important with team scoring in college racing.”