Mark Engel on the podium at Squaw Valley.
March 19, 2014
SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. - Utah ski team member Mark Engel finished second today in a FIS giant slalom race at Squaw Valley.
Engel is competing at Squaw Valley as part of the U.S. Alpine Championships. Today's race was a FIS race held in conjunction with the championships.
"You're always fighting on this hill," Engel said. "It's long and steep all the way to the finish. It was really hard snow during the first run and the second run it was a little softer in some of the turns, but it never felt like it was going to give way. I think I always have a chance on Friday, so I'm going to go for it a little bit more."
Engel was part of a strong podium that included winner Tim Jitloff, who competed in the 2014 Olympics, and third-place finisher Ryan Cochran-Siegel, a three-time Nor-Am Cup Champion and a four-year U.S. Ski Team member. Engel also beat out fourth-place finisher Will Gregorak, also a member of the U.S. Ski Team while fifth-place finisher Jared Goldberg was also a 2014 Olympian.
"Mark had a great race," Utah assistant alpine coach Luke Patterson said. "The hill and snow were really difficult and he showed a lot of maturity and tactics to attain this result."
Engel recently won the men's NCAA giant slalom national title. He had six top-five finishes this year for the Utes, including two wins. Engel spent two years on the U.S. Ski Team (2011-13).
Another former Utah skier, Nick Cohee, finished sixth in the race.
Engel will be joined at the U.S. Alpine Championships by teammates Joergen Brath, Eian Sandvik, Andy Trow, Jaime Dupratt, Chloe Fausa, Kristiina Rove and Lauren Samuels. The women's U.S. giant slalom championship will race on Thursday, March 20, with the men's championship on Friday, March 21. The slalom races will be held on Saturday, March 22, with a women's GS FIS race held on Sunday, March 23.