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Go Utes!
Engel Earns First Career Podium Finish for Utah Skiing at New Mexico Invite

Sloan Storey finished sixth in the women's 10-km freestyle.

Sloan Storey finished sixth in the women's 10-km freestyle.

Feb. 8, 2014

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RED RIVER, N.M. - Mark Engel finished second in the men's slalom to lead the Utah ski team on the second day at the New Mexico Invitational, as the Utes finished fourth overall at the Invite.

"We had several excellent individual performances which helps us in NCAA qualifying, so that was a highlight of the weekend," Utah Director of Skiing Kevin Sweeney said. "We did not ski very well as a team, and we were not putting enough skiers in the top 10 or 12 to be competitive. I know that we can ski better as a team than we demonstrated in New Mexico. I think everyone really charged, but we just haven't put it all together yet. We can go home this week and fine tune and get back in the medal round for regionals. We are all looking forward to that."

Engel had his first career podium finish for the Utes. He had the second-fastest second run of the day. Eian Sandvik tied for 13th in his best finish of the season. Joergen Brath finished 19th while Andy Trow was 22nd.

In the women's slalom, Ana Kobal led Utah with a sixth-place finish, followed by Jaime Dupratt in 10th and Chloe Fausa in 11th. Lauren Samuels came in 16th followed by Teagen Palmer in 28th. Kristiina Rove was disqualified her first run.

"It was a tough weekend for the Utes," Utah head alpine coach Jaka Korencan said. "We cannot be satisfied with the whole team performance; however, we had some great individual results. Kristiina, Chloe, Ana, Jaime, Andy and Mark scored some awesome NCAA qualification points. Eian is also picking up the pace and gaining confidence in slalom. Despite a poor team performance this weekend, individual athletes are gaining confidence and skiing better and better every day. Now it's time to stay positive, learn from and forget all the unfortunate mistakes, and move on."

In the men's 10-km skate race, Oscar Ivars finished seventh while Niklas Persson crossed the line ninth to continue his unbroken string of top-10 finishes. Tucker McCrerey finished 11th followed by Noébellet in 13th. Kevin Bolger finished 21st.bf

Sloan Storey led the women in their 10-km skate with a sixth-place finish. Anna Svendsen finished 19th with Madeleine Thorn in 19th, Josefin Nilsson in 22nd and Anna-Lena Heynen in 23rd.

"It was great to finally get the full team to the starting line this weekend," Utah head nordic coach Abi Holt said. "It's the first time this season that we've started our full roster, so that was one of our successes for the weekend. As seems to happen in Red River, we had mixed results. The altitude is so high there that excellent racing strategy and execution are essential. This weekend we saw Anna, Josefin, Sloan, Oscar, and Niklas nab top-10 finishes. We clearly still have room to improve, but I think our results are steadily on the upswing. We are still building toward the championship."

New Mexico won the invite with 655 points, followed by Colorado (588.5),Denver (573.5) and Utah in fourth (549). Alaska Anchorage rounded out the top five with 436 points.

The Utes will take the next weekend off before traveling to Denver for the NCAA West Regional and RMISA Championship.



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