Action County: Drew Hauser
Drew Hauser recently depleted his entire bank account, but the local U.S. Telemark Ski Team member doesn’t seem to mind.”A summer’s worth of earnings gone in two weeks,” Hauser said a week after returning from the Telemark World Championships in Thyon, Switzerland. “But I’m absolutely OK with it. If I was going to spend it on anything, that’s what I wanted to use it for.”Hauser, a Summit High School senior, made his trip especially worthwhile by landing on three junior podiums – giant slalom (second), sprint classic (third) and combined (third). In the overall standings, which include racers of all ages, Hauser’s best finish was ninth in the sprint classic. A week before traveling to worlds, Hauser competed at the World Cup finals in Obereck, Germany, where he took 15th in GS, 22nd in the sprint and 23rd in the classic (there was no junior category).”It was awesome,” the 17-year-old said of his first experience at the world championships. “There were a lot more competitors there than at last year’s World Cup Finals in North America because European countries couldn’t afford to send their entire teams. … We’re all self-funded, so whoever makes it, makes it.”
Although Hauser has equipment-only sponsorships at this point, he is actively seeking greater support to help get him to as many future World Cup races as possible. The Telemark World Championships take place bi-annually.Hauser credited a relaxed approach for his strong results in Switzerland. “When I was younger, I raced USSA Smart Wools and I was the only telemarker,” said Hauser, who tried freeheeling for the first time as a fourth-grader. “I was starting 125th all the time, so my points were horrible. But I had no pressure in those races since I was only competing against myself. I think I was able to keep that mentality at worlds – although the race was bigger, it didn’t feel bigger.”The self-proclaimed Deadhead was named to the U.S. Telemark B Team when he was 16 and became an A-teamer a year later.Hauser, whose teammates are spread out as far as Montana, Idaho, Washington and Massachusetts, is the only Coloradan on the A Team.
“That’s kind of the problem – we don’t get to train together because everyone’s on their own program, except for the contingency that’s coming out of Whitefish,” he said. “It was great to be reacquainted with everyone at nationals in Steamboat before we went to Europe. That’s basically the only place where our camaraderie is built – at the races themselves.”Hauser also skied all four years on the Summit High School alpine ski team, which forced him to lock down his heels on race days.”It’s the best – I get to train as hard as I want on my pins three nights a week,” he said. “Then on Friday when we load the bus, I’m borrowing random equipment from my friends and slapping it on the morning of the race. It’s fun because I get to alpine for the whole day and there’s no pressure for me to perform.”Future plans
“I want take it as far as it can go,” said Hauser when asked about his aspirations . “College will always be there, so now it’s me versus my mom to try to get next year off. Skiing is cool. It’s something I like to do and it keeps me focused. …”Hopefully next year I can go to CMC, take classes this summer and fall, then have a light spring semester if anything, so I can be gone training and competing. …”As soon as I get done with racing, Warren Miller big-mountain skiing would be awesome because I know I’m good enough to do any of that. …”I’m hoping telemarking will be in 2014 Olympics. If it’s in Salzburg, Austria, we’ll have a lot of support to get in.”
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