Allison Empey of Calgary found the fastest line to take the gold medal in the women's Giant Slalom, Thursday, in the Pontiac GMC Cup opener at Nakiska, Alberta.

Empey posted the fastest time in both runs, clocking two minutes and 06.06 seconds. Alison Leighton of Whistler and the BCST had the second fastest combined time of the day to earn silver in 2:07.55, while Charlotte Whitney of Whistler rebounded from sixth in the first run to finish third overall in 2:07.89. Whitney felt she was too tentative in the first run. ''I just raced a lot more on the second run,'' she said. ''I needed to push a lot harder.'' Kendall Benbow, also of Whistler and the BC Ski Team finished just out of the top 10 in 11th place.

In the J1 Category, Alison Leighton took top honours Thursday, while team mate Kendall Benbow was number three.

Other BC women to finish in the top 15 were Megan Kidston (Sun Peaks) in 8th position, Rachel Nixon (Cypress/VST) in 9th, Andra Nedelcu (North Vancouver) finishing 10th, Andrea Newmarach (Sun Peaks) 14th and Katherine Clark (Grouse/VST) taking the 15th spot.

The Pontiac GMC Cup is 16-race developmental circuit with events in Eastern and Western Canada. The men's and women's overall champions receive $5,000 each.

Competition continues Friday with another GS.

Top 10 Women: 1. Allison Empey, Calgary, 2:06.06; 2. Alison Leighton, Whistler,
2:07.55; 3. Charlotte Whitney, Whistler, 2:07.89; 4. Janelle Miller, Lethbridge,
Alta., 2:07.94; 5. Carmel McElroy, Calgary, 2:08.17; 6. Victoria Hockley,
Calgary, 2:08.95; 7. Anastasia Skryabina, Whistler, 2:09.10; 8. Megan Kidston,
100 Mile House, B.C., 2:11.17; 9. Rachel Nixon, Delta, B.C., 2:11.28; 10. Andra
Nedelcu, North Vancouver, B.C., 2:11.62.