MCCALL, Idaho -- All five Rocky Mountain College skiers placed in the top 10 on Thursday as the Battlin' Bear women opened the USCSA Western Region Championship with a dominant performance in the giant slalom on Brundage Mountain.
Despite contending with snow and fog, freshman Frida Svedberg and sophomore Eloise Julliand placed 1-2 for Rocky, which is ranked third nationally. Teammates Fredrika Hjelm (fourth), Malin Eriksson (sixth) and Mallory Kelley (10th) rounded out the strong opening-day showing by the Bears.
"The girls came through it all," Rocky coach Jerry Wolf said of competing in the poor weather. "They definitely had focus today. It was pretty amazing to have every one of the girls step up under the circumstances."
Svedberg, who is from Sweden, won both runs and finished on top by nearly three seconds with a combined time of one minute, 49.84 seconds. Julliand, a reigning regional and national champion, was second at 1:52.93 in the field of 54 finishers.
It was Svedberg's school-record ninth win of the season.
"She just gets faster and faster and more confident," Wolf said of Svedberg. "She's so consistent."
Hjelm (1:55.45), Eriksson (1:56.95) and Kelley (1:59.25) are also underclassmen. Hjelm and Erikson are sophomores from Sweden, while Kelley is a freshman from Red Lodge.
Rocky wound up first in the team standings by nearly 20 seconds, followed by the University of British Columbia, Colorado and the College of Idaho.
The men's team from Rocky, ranked No. 1 in the USCSA, will be competing in the GS on Friday.
The men's and women's slaloms will be held on Saturday.
The top four teams for the men and women will qualify for the USCSA nationals, which begin March 10 in Lake Placid, N.Y.