Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs telemark ski racer Jeffrey Gay reached one of his biggest goals this week, and he still has at least four months before he’s back on snow.
“I was really happy when I learned that I had made the A team,” Gay said Tuesday. “It had been a goal of mine to make that team all last season.”
Gay was one of 12 Steamboat skiers who recently learned they had been named to the U.S. Telemark Ski Association’s national team for the 2010-11 season. Gay previously had been a member of the B team.
“Twelve of the 18 athletes on the team are from Steamboat Springs,” Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach Chad Bowdre said. “That’s absolutely fantastic.”
In addition to Gay, four veteran skiers were named to the A team, including Lorin Paley, Erika Walters, Shane Anderson and Charlie Dresen.
Madi McKinstry was named to the B team, and Annecy Hillmuth, Elizabeth Klemer, Katie Ross, Zoe Taylor, Tanner Visnick and Rick Walters were named to the development team.
Anderson is a native of Cody, Wyo., but also considers Steamboat Springs home. He works as a coach with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and also competes in regional, national and international events. Last season, Anderson made the World Cup podium at events in Steamboat Springs and Keystone.
“Shane does an excellent job of balancing competition with his ability to coach,” Bowdre said.
Paley also had several top finishes on the World Cup, including second-place finishes in Steamboat Springs and Spain. She also had two third-place finishes on the World Cup tour last season.
Walters also will stay on the A team thanks to her strong results last season. Walters won a pair of national titles at the 2010 National Championships and placed second overall at that event.
Dresen also had a strong season, placing third at the nationals in the overall competition (less than a fraction of a second out of second place) and enjoyed several top-15 finishes on the World Cup.
Dresen left the team six years ago to pursue other interests in his life. But when the national championships came to Steamboat Springs in 2008, Dresen put on his skis and gave the sport another shot. His results earned him a spot on the 2009-10 national team, and he returned to competition last winter.
While being named to the national team is a huge honor for these skiers, Dresen said the venture means committing the time, energy and money necessary to be successful.
He already is looking forward to the World Championships.
“It sounds like a pretty good excuse to travel to Norway,” he said.