Utah ski team crowned as champions
STOWE, Vt. – The Utah ski team won its 12th NCAA Championship on Saturday afternoon, its second overall title in three years.
Roni Remme led the Utes with a second-place finish in the women’s slalom while Mark Engel also earned All-America honors in the men’s race.
The Utes won with 530.5 points, leading second-place Vermont (476), third-place Colorado (455) and fourth-place Dartmouth (447). Utah was first in the team standings after the freestyle races on the first day of the Championships, fell to second following the giant slalom on day two and won the team titles in both classic races on day three to enter the final day with a 65.5 point lead and solid slalom finishes led the Utes to the win.
“Incredible four days of racing out here in Vermont,” first-year Utah Director of Skiing Fredrik Landstedt said. “The team really came together and everyone fought all out for every point. I was very impressed with the alpine skiing today and how they all dealt with the pressure. It is very hard to come in to the championship as the favorite and then deliver. I am so proud of the athletes and coaches and super happy to get my coaching career at Utah started with a national championship.”
The final day started with the men’s race as Engel earned his second career All-America honor with a ninth-place finish. Joachim Lein finished 15th while Addison Dvoracek placed 23rd with the trio putting together 46 points.
In the women’s race, Remme earned her second second-place finish of the championships and is now a five-time All-American for the Utes. She has four podiums this year in her abbreviated NCAA season while also competing in World Cup competition. Eirin Engeset finished 20th and Kristine Aasberg placed 21st.
“Perfect day out here,” head alpine coach JJ Johnson said. “Obviously we had a big lead going into the day and we made a plan to ski very aggressive but in a smart way in conservative lines. Everyone executed that to a tee. Mark skied unbelievably well despite his back problems, he showed a ton of heart and showed why he’s the leader of the team. Joachim, Eirin, Kristine Fausa, it was incredible how they came through with the points and obviously Roni just skied unbelievably well. It was just an awesome day.”
The Utes were the top-scoring team in three of four Nordic races as well as women’s giant slalom.
The Utes have 12 NCAA titles and 13 championships overall, including an AIAW title in 1978. Utah’s 12 NCAA titles ranks third all-time in skiing. The Utes also won the title in 2017, 2003, 1997, 1996, 1993, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1984, 1983 and 1981.
The championship is the 517th for the Pac-12 and the league’s fourth this season, joining Colorado cross country, Stanford volleyball and USC water polo. The RMISA ski conference has won 58 of 67 NCAA skiing championships held.
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The Miners ended up on the wrong side of a close game on senior night but are still fighting for playoff seeding.