Colorado Rocky Mountain School tele team performs well
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Last week, the Colorado Rocky Mountain School telemark skiing team went to test its skills against the best in the country at the Telemark Extreme Nationals in Crested Butte.
The skiers flew off cliffs, defied gravity and competed against a field of 100 others trying to outshine them.
After two days of being judged on the combination of their line, control, fluidity and aggressiveness, CRMS proved it belonged right at the top with four top-10 finishes.
Luke Lubchenko and Kelsey Lewis led the way by each placing second in their respective divisions “quite a feat considering they skied technical lines with names like Body Bag and Dead End Chutes. Lubchenko, a junior from Glenwood Springs, was runner-up in the junior men’s division (under 18), while Lewis, a sophomore from Basalt, skied to the same finish in the junior women’s division.
Both performances blew CRMS teleskiing coach Kayo Ogilby away.
“Luke is a super strong skier. We hoped he would do this well,” Ogilby said. “After how well Kelsey did in Taos the weekend before, we knew she could probably do a line that very few, or none, of the other women could do.”
CRMS senior Jake Sakson, who won the junior men’s division in 2007, competed in the adult division this year and still was one for the best. He scored a 100 to take fourth overall and missed second place by only three points.
Sakson will now being going on to compete in the first ever World Telemark Freeskiing Championships at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska this weekend.
Carbondale junior Hayden Kennedy rounded out CRMS’ scores, by taking 10th in the men’s division. His second run was so well executed, it bumped Kennedy up from 19th to 10th.
“Hayden is a brilliant skier but this was only his second big mountain competition, so we didn’t know how we was going to do, but we were excited and he did great,” Ogilby said.
Sakson and Kennedy were the two highest-finishing high school competitors in the event.
CRMS’ recent success is just the latest in the 2007-08 season. Earlier in March, the CRMS skiers competed in the Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships in Taos, N.M.
In the junior men’s division, Amon Barker placed third, while Lewis and Molly Holmes placed fourth and fifth respectively in the junior women’s division. Lewis landed the fourth spot after braving a front flip off a cliff jump.
Sakson and Kennedy were in action in the men’s division, but just missed qualifying for finals. With the exception of Barker, all of CRMS’ skiers skied telemark in the competition while most of their opponents were on traditional skis. CRMS also could have scored higher had the athletes not had to leave the competition early to get back to school.
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