Shiffrin takes big lead in 1st run of WCup slalom

GRAHAM DUNBAR AP Sports Writer Published:

LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (AP) -- Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin took a huge lead of 1.57 seconds in the first run of the World Cup Finals slalom on Saturday.

The 19-year-old American, who already won the season-long slalom title, timed 1 minute, 5.42 seconds through the lengthy course of 74 gates.

Sweden's Frida Hansdotter was second and her teammate Maria Pietilae-Holmner was third, with 1.70 seconds to make up on Shiffrin in the second run this afternoon.

"It's kind of a nice position to be in but I'm going to try to go fast in the second run," said Shiffrin, who seeks her fifth World Cup slalom win this season.

Tina Maze of Slovenia, whom Shiffrin edged for the slalom title here last season, was 5.65 seconds back in 20th.

Only four racers were within two seconds of Shiffrin on a tiring end-of-season course.

"You have to try to just be as efficient as you can and not waste any energy," Shiffrin said. "Try to just stay close to the gates as you can, make sure you are moving quick in between and let your skis do the rest of the work."