CRMS telemarkers put on clinic at the U.S. Nationals
Telemark skiers from the Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) literally schooled the competition at the 2004 U.S. Telemark National Championships last Friday and Saturday at Copper Mountain.
CRMS students Jack Tolan, Andrew Still-Baxter and Cody Smith finished 1-2-4 in the men’s slopestyle contest, open division. While all three skiers could have entered as “juniors,” as the division debuted at the event this year, all three chose to compete in the elite open division.
After all, Tolan, a CRMS junior from Glenwood Springs, had won the men’s slopestyle crown last year. And Still-Baxter and Smith, seniors from Carbondale, and Tolan all appeared in the ski film, “CORE: Total Telemark III,” this year.
Tolan laid down the run to beat on the first of his three runs, linking up four features on the course (ever-so-stylie) for a score of 8.65.
Still-Baxter finished second with a come-from-behind third-run score of 8.08. Smith almost made it a CRMS sweep of the podium, but came up just short of Seth Steffen’s first-run score of 8.00.
Steffen, who hails from Big Sky, Mont., earned the bronze medal with his run, while Smith had to settle for fourth with a score of 7.50.
“These kids are just killing it,” Copper Mountain Freeride Team member Ben Dolenc told the Summit Daily News. “It’s so good to see.”
Dolenc finished 16th in the slopestyle competition.
Additionally, in the men’s big air contest, Tolan, Still-Baxter and Smith finished third, sixth and ninth, respectively.
In 1994, CRMS became the first high school in the country to field a telemark ski team. This year, the Carbondale college-preparatory school sent 17 competitors to U.S. Nationals at Copper ” more than one-third of the weekend’s total 45 competitors.
In junior men’s slopestyle, CRMS gave up first place to Matthew Heiserman ” but CRMS students Jimmie Cotton, Morgan McInvaille, Wicks Walker, Matt Cahn and Zach Lueders grabbed second through sixth places, respectively.
In men’s tele-cross, the CRMS team competed only among other juniors. So except for fourth-place finisher David Brokering (a former CRMS student), the school swept all other spots. Smith was first, followed by Walker, Tolan, Brokering, McInvaille, Spencer Schachter, Still-Baxter, Ned Perry, and, in a three-way tie for ninth, Cotton, Forbes Fisher and Cahn. Lueders placed first among youth.
In girls’ tele-cross, CRMS students pulled in 2-3-4. Ali Wade, who recently captured the junior world freestyle kayaking title at the Pre-World Championships in Australia, was second, followed by Kaelin Kiesel and Vallee Noone in third and fourth, respectively.
Let’s make some skiing predictions. I made my X Games snowboarding predictions a day earlier and remain only mildly lukewarm in terms of confidence, but maybe I’ll feel better about the skiers.