Far West solid in FIS races at Sugar Bowl
Ski racers from five Western Region divisions vied for top finishes under sunny skies at Sugar Bowl for the Western Region FIS (International Ski Federation) Finals from March 15-18.
Twelve of the 24 possible podium finishes went to Far West skiers, 11 of whom race for the Sugar Bowl Ski Team.
On Thursday, Caitlin Robb of the Sugar Bowl Academy (SBA) nailed her first FIS Giant Slalom win, with SBA teammate Abby Gould placing third. In the men’s GS, Mark Engel and Kyle Smaine, both from Sugar Bowl, finished second and third, respectively.
In Friday’s GS event, Ann-Britt Hakansson of the Squaw Valley Ski Team and Gould were second and third, while Engel took top honors in the men’s GS with a rock-solid run and teammate Smaine took third.
On Saturday, Gould stepped it up a notch by winning gold in the slalom race, with Sugar Bowl’s Gabrielle Anthony right on her heels in second. The men’s slalom was swept by skiers from the Intermountain Division, leaving the Far West men hungry for the final slaloms on Sunday.
Sunday, Engel came back with a victory in the men’s slalom with a combined time more than two seconds faster than the rest of the pack. After the first run of the women’s slalom, the top three times belonged to Sugar Bowl women, but all three failed to finish their second runs, leaving room for Sugar Bowl’s Gabrielle Hall to take home a third-place medal.
Aaron Atkins, Head Coach and Director of Competition for the Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation, said, “Thanks to the Sugar Bowl Race Department, we had four of the best days of racing action we’ve seen all year, and it was great to see Sugar Bowl’s athletes peaking during championship season. I’m really looking forward to the continued success of our athletes in the remainder of the championship season.”
All in all it was a spectacular weekend of racing for Far West athletes. Stay tuned as racing action continues March 29-April 1 with the Far West J 4/5 Championships, again hosted by Sugar Bowl.
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North Tahoe senior Etienne Bordes had a standout day on the track in Colfax, capturing a pair of first-place finishes as athletes from nine other schools competed at Friday’s invitational.