Father, son represent in Telemark Championships
Telemark skiing must run in the family.
Fourteen-year-old Drew Hauser put his telemark skills to the test with his father, Tory, last week, and won a gold medal in the classic race of the U.S. National Telemark Championship held at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Idaho.
The Summit County duo was among three Colorado participants in the annual event. They competed against a field that was represented predominantly by the Northwest.
Drew bested a trio of Montana natives in the classic race, which features a long course of giant slalom gates featuring several telemark-specific elements.
“I had a strong skate,” Drew said about the uphill portion of the course found in any telemark classic race. “I fell just before the skate but I was able to punch it.”
Drew said that unpredictable weather and heavy snow added challenges to the event.
“The fog could roll in really fast, so I was always looking out for that,” he said.
Not only did Drew have to ski the course faster than his competitors, he also had to make sure his telemark form was dialed, as each turn is judged in a telemark competition. In addition, a jump was featured in the middle of the course where Drew was judged on distance and his landing.
Completing the array of features was the reipplekke, a feature where competitors had to ski uphill in a 360-degree turn.
Drew also performed well in the giant slalom, finishing second behind Brett Stein of Wayland, Mass.
Drew’s father, Summit High School alpine skiing coach Tory Hauser, also participated in the event, finishing eighth in the slalom and narrowly missing a top-10 finish in the slalom after breaking his binding during one of his runs.
According to Tory, this is Drew’s fourth year participating in the championships.
Tory has raced for the last 19 years, and skied as an elite this year for the first time since 1997.
“I was a little disappointed because you always want to do better, but that’s the case for everybody but the one guy who winds up on top,” Tory said. “It’s always been fun and that’s why I’ve kept doing it for so long, as it’s a good group of friends.”
The championships feature four events in various disciplines specific to telemark skiers, and is independent of Nat Ross’ U.S. Telemark Nationals, which is a park and pipe event held on Copper Mountain.
But Tory plans on bringing another telemark event to Summit County. Tory said this week that he plans to promote a one-day telemark competition next season.
For several years in the early 1990s, Tory promoted a series in the county and believes the resurgence in freeheel skiing’s popularity could help bring more competitions into Summit County.
The event would likely include a giant slalom and a sprint classic, a shorter version of the event which Drew won in Idaho, Tory said.
Tory has begun dialogue with Copper Mountain about holding the event and is waiting on the release of next season’s national and international telemark schedules.
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