Tele racers ready for Keystone

by Bryce Evans
summit daily news
February 24, 2010

After an impressive showing over three days of racing in Steamboat Springs this week, the U.S. Telemark National Team is set to compete at Keystone Ski Resort in four official FIS World Cup races Thursday through Sunday.

And tonight, the Silverthorne Pavilion will host the opening ceremonies for the event, which will include a meet-and-greet with the athletes. The ceremonies start at 6.

The racers will be coming straight from three WC races at Steamboat’s Howelsen Hill Ski Area that wrapped up on Tuesday.

Although the races were all won by European skiers on both the men’s and women’s sides, some American free-healers made some noise with a pair of podium finishes.

Lorin Paley of Steamboat finished second in the event’s first race Sunday. Only 17 years old, Paley earned her second WC podium of the season in the sprint classic. She finished third in a WC competition in Norway earlier in the season, which marked the first time an American skier had finished in the top-3 of a WC telemark race since 2003.

On Tuesday, another local skier put the U.S. in podium position. Shane Anderson, originally from Wyoming and a current coach with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, finished third in the men’s sprint classic contest for the first men’s podium finish in almost seven years.

“It feels unbelievable,” Anderson said, according to a press release. “I never imagined it would happen. I’ve dreamed about it a lot and been close a time or two before. It was great to do this on my home hill.”

Silverthorne’s Drew Hauser, the reigning world junior and U.S. national champion, earned top-15 finishes in each race. The 20-year-old hadn’t competed in a single race all season and has had limited training this winter while attending school at the University of Nevada-Reno. Hauser’s father Tory — a former champion free-healer himself — said in an e-mail that he expects Drew to continue to improve all week as he gets used to racing again.

And this week’s competition at Keystone, his home mountain, will be one the younger Hauser has said he hopes to perform well in.

Thursday will mark the first time a World Cup telemark race will be held in Summit County.

Classic races will be held both Thursday and Friday, starting at 11 a.m. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be giant slalom races, with first runs beginning at 10 a.m. both days.

All races are on Keystone’s Go Devil run.