Steamboat Springs High School students Lorin Paley and Ben Paley met with Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and several other prominent state politicians Thursday, the first time either had rubbed elbows with the state's big wigs.
Things weren't "business as usual" for the politicians, either, as they recognized the Paleys among some of the nation's most talented telemark skiers.
Turns out, they all had a little learning to do when it comes to competitive telemark skiing.
"We taught them what all the different aspects of our sport are," Ben Paley said.
The Steamboat duo earned a trip to the governor's office thanks to top-tier performances this winter on the telemark skiing circuit.
Lorin Paley won two events and finished second overall in the U.S. Telemark National Championships in late February and early March in Steamboat Springs.
She also won two events in the Telemark Junior World Championships and again earned an overall second-place finish.
Ben Paley, meanwhile, was third overall at the National Championships.
The pair was joined in the visit by Silverthorne-based telemark skier Drew Hauser.
"These three young skiers have shown exceptional poise and remarkable skill to achieve this level of success," Ritter said in a statement. "All of Colorado is extremely proud of their performances on the world stage in Europe and at the National Championships. Congratulations to Drew, Lorin and Ben. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of their accomplishments in the years to come."
The Steamboat skiers also met state Sen. Al White and state Rep. Randy Baumgardner, and they presented Ritter with a Steamboat Ski Area jacket and a bag of SmartWool gifts.
"It was great. It was fun," Lorin Paley said. (Gov. Ritter) "is a really cool guy."
Sailors compete at Battle Mountain on Wednesday
The Steamboat Springs High School track team made the most of the window of nice weather between a rainy and miserable meet in Glenwood Springs on Saturday and a fresh blast of snow Thursday.
The team had several top performances at Wednesday's meet at Battle Mountain.
"It was a great meet for us," Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. "More than anything, it allowed our kids to get more repetitions, more starts and more handoffs. Those are the things we really needed."
Kimberley Heald won the girls 200-meter dash and was second in the 100.
Morgan Bessette, new to the track team after starting the season playing soccer, won the long jump and was third in the triple jump.
The boys 800-relay team also won its race. Because the timing was handheld, the performance won't help the team qualify for the state meet. Still, DeWolfe said that if it had been timed with electronic timing, it would have been fast enough to place the team among the state's top 18 and qualify it for the state meet.
"We still need to execute like that in another race, but it's good to see them do that," DeWolfe said. "For all of our kids, the meet was a real positive experience. They did a real nice job."
Tigers home track meet rescheduled for April 27
The Hayden Tiger Invitational, Hayden High School's only home track meet this season, was set for Thursday but was canceled in the face of a snowstorm. The meet was immediately rescheduled for April 27. It still will take place at the track at Moffat County High School in Craig, with the schedule remaining the same.
Field events will begin at 1 p.m. and running events at 1:30 p.m.
Soroco also had planned to attend the Hayden meet, but now the Rams will join part of the Tigers' team and the Steamboat Springs High School squad at a meet in Rifle on Saturday.
The other half of the Hayden team will compete Saturday at a meet in Meeker.
The Hayden Middle School home track meet is scheduled for Wednesday, starting at noon. It will take place on the dirt track in Hayden.