SSWSC lands 2 skiers on national tele A team
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Steamboat Springs – Ken Recker, the telemark skiing coach for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, said there may be telemark clubs in Norway that are comparable to the SSWSC. Those clubs, he said, might even produce better athletes.
“But not for long,” he said.
At the rate Steamboat is producing elite telemark skiers, he may be right. The city can make a strong claim as the center of telemark skiing in the United States, and that claim got a boost heading into the new season.
Steamboat was chosen to host the U.S. Telemark National Championships in town Feb. 26 through March 1, 2009.
“It’s a positive for the sport and for the kids,” Recker said. “It was an honor to be chosen.”
Steamboat also left a large stamp on the national telemark teams, landing two skiers on the A team and three on the B squad.
That honor came as a surprise for 16-year old Steamboat Springs High School student Lorin Paley.
Paley has been active with the SSWSC’s telemark efforts since they started four full seasons ago. She’s been successful, too, using a second-place finish at last year’s U.S. Nationals in Idaho and a fifth-place showing at the World Cup finals in Vermont to catapult herself onto the national scene.
Still, she was somewhat surprised when she realized exactly how far she had climbed – all the way to the A team.
“I didn’t think I would get on the A team, because I’m the youngest person on it,” she said. “It was great to see a lot of hard work pay off.”
Reaching the A team will give her a chance at a lot of new experience. She will hit more camps than she has in the past and focus her workouts more on winning than simply staying close in tele races.
That’s not all, though. Her travel plans this season include first-time trips to Austria and Slovenia to race.
Paley is far from the only sign that Steamboat’s tele programs are on the right track. At 16, she’s the youngest skier on the A team by three years. Her SSHS classmate, Erika Walters, is on the B team, however, as is Paley’s 17-year-old brother, Ben Paley.
“Erika is right there with her,” Recker said. “Between the two of them, we have an absolute worldwide powerhouse on the women’s side. These kids could be the top two in the world, there’s so much potential between the two of them.”
Steamboat’s Shane Anderson also made the A team after winning last year’s U.S. Nationals event. Recker will join Ben Paley and Walters on the B team.