Telemark sprint classic event
Steamboat Springs Telemark skiers dominated a sprint classic event Friday at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat.
Steamboat Springs Brendan Durrum is only 12 years old, but he’s already an experienced Telemark ski racer.
Friday, he paused before explaining what he thought of his runs down Howelsen Hill, which he skied as a part of a national Telemark race in Steamboat Springs.
“My first run I could have done better,” he said.
After he tore through a giant slalom course and flew over a jump, his ski got caught in a pile of snow in a 360-degree turn at the bottom of the course.
He powered through that, however, and rushed to the finish line. His second run was better, and in the end, a few minor quibbles did nothing to diminish the excitement of the Denver-based racer.
“I was 7 the first time I tried Telemark, but really started racing when I was 8,” Durrum said. “I like that there is always competition. You get to be racing and competitive. You’re always out there having fun.”
He had plenty of competitors who agreed with him Friday afternoon as a long stream of Telemark skiers attacked Howelsen in a sprint classic event.
Steamboat skiers emerged as the dominant force in the event, which attracted mostly competitors from across the region.
Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club assistant coach Shane Anderson won the men’s division of the race, which is decided by a finisher’s time as well as scores awarded for Telemark turns and jumps.
He finished with 104.44 points.
Charlie Dresen was second with 106.55, and Jeffrey Gay was third with 108.07, ensuring an all-locals podium.
Steamboat’s Erika Walters, in town on break from Colorado School of Mines, won on the women’s side. She finished with 122.23 points, atop another podium full of Steamboat skiers.
Madi McKinstry was second with 126.18, and Zoe Taylor was third with 133.89.
“It was good, but it was cold,” Walters said. “I was happy with my runs. It was a lot like training. The upper part was difficult because it was really icy and was a big cranker, hard turn.”
The day was plenty successful for many of those who didn’t make the podium, too. In all, 23 racers took part, including many young Tele skiers.
“This is the future of our program and the sport. It was great to see they were out there,” Steamboat coach Ty Upson said. “After all this training, all fall, they actually finally came out and got to do it. All the hard work they’ve done, all the skate skiing, all the weights we’ve lifted and video we’ve watched, finally they got to do it, and that was great.”