Local skiers come just short of Telemark title in nationals

Eric Lamb, foreground, and David Hobbs race down Howelsen Hill on Sunday during the dual slalom race, a part of the U.S. Telemark National Championships, which wrapped up its four-day stay in Steamboat Springs with the light-hearted dual slalom.   — Photo by Joel Reichenberger

— There was plenty of goofing around Sunday during the dual slalom event at Howelsen Hill that wrapped up the U.S. Telemark National Championships.

Steamboat’s Ben Paley and several other skiers donned pink bathrobes for their runs. A pair of skiers dressed as Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Executive Director Rick DeVos, complete with long black coat and moustache.

Skier Peter Thrane wrapped his arms and legs in tin foil to form a sort of armor.

The last event of the four-day long nationals competition was all business for several racers, however.

Both the men’s and women’s national champion was decided by a tiebreaker.

Silverthorne skier Drew Hau­ser edged out Steamboat’s Shane Anderson to win the men’s title.

Kelsey Schmid-Sommers, of Whitefish, Mont., meanwhile, squeaked past Steamboat Springs High School student Lorin Paley to claim the women’s championship.

“Of course it’s always good to win, but it was great to have that kind of competition,” Paley said. “It’s awesome that we skied as great as we did.”

Paley, second last year as well, couldn’t have come much closer to taking one step up the podium.

ShKarl Geisler, left, prepares to cut around a gate as he attempts to catch up with Chris Henry on Sunday during the dual slalom event during the final day of the U.S. Telemark National Championships. Photo by Joel Reichenbergere won two events and was second in two others, the same as Schmid-Sommer.

To break the tie, organizers had to add up all the times from both competitors for the entire weekend. Only then did Schmid-Sommer win, thanks to a two-second overall lead.

“I skied great. She skied great. Breaking ties is just tough to do,” Paley said. “I got some wins in there.”

Anderson, meanwhile, lost out because of a fall on his first run of the competition. He didn’t finish the Telemark giant slalom on Thursday. Despite winning Friday’s Telemark classic race and Saturday’s sprint classic, he fell behind Hauser.

Steamboat skiers accounted for plenty of other strong finishes.

Erica Walters, leaving today for Norway for a stint on the Telemark World Cup circuit, was fourth on the women’s side.

Ben Paley was third for the men, ahead of Steamboat skier Charlie Dresen.

“The best Telemark racers were here in town this weekend, and we were all throwing it down the mountain,” Anderson said. “It was fun that there was a group at the top every time, always challenging everyone.”

Women’s elite:

1. Kelsey Schmid-Sommer
2. Lorin Paley
3. Suzanne Pattinson
4. Erika Walters
5. Jeanine Mackie

Men’s elite:
1. Drew Hauser
2. Shane Anderson
3. Ben Paley
4. Charlie Dresen
5. Peter McMahon

J1 boys:
1. Scott Powers
2. Aiden Rohde
3. Brett Gordon
4. Keegan Burger
5. Erik Powers

J2 boys:
1. Robi Powers
2. Rick Walters
3. Tanner Visnick
4. Brendan Durrum
5. Tanner Heil

J3 boys:
1. Hill Fitzgerald
2. Teague Burger
3. Wyatt Gray

J1 girls:
1. Katie Ross
2  Francesca Pavillard Cain

J2 girls:
1. Annecy Hillmuth
2. Zoe Taylor
3. Carolyn Walters

J3 girls:
1. Tatum Burger
2. Paula Cooper
3. Hadley McGee

1. George Clark
2. Peter Thrane
3. James Holton
4. Birk Larsen
5. Josh Smullin