Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tele skiers compete, act zany

Hawaiian Nationals draw a serious crowd


The 2006 Hawaiian National Telemark Championships were, by all standards, a monstrous success. Over 160 racers from ten states converged on Lower Hemingway this past Saturday for festivities of epic proportions, at least by Ketchum standards.

"Everything came together, from the weather, to having the Greyhawk chair running," said Race Director Danny Walton.

The fastest racer in two runs on the dual giant slalom course was John King, whose combined time of 73.93 seconds was nearly three seconds faster than his next closest runner up, Deter Peterson, who clocked in at 76.91. The third fastest overall time was set by King's sister, Jen King (77.25 seconds), who was also the fastest woman of the day. Josh Solly was the fastest male snowboarder, while the quickest female shredder was Thia Konig.

The highlight of Hawaiian Nationals, for many, came when the tandem teams had the chance to perform their very tricky synchronized knee-dropping ballet. With 19 pairs attempting the forbidden tele-tango, there was no shortage of entertainment for spectators. Buck Cobb, formerly of Ketchum, played a bugle throughout the tandem race, signaling each teams' status: faltering, triumphant or dead in the corn.

Matt Filoon and Jessica Soime were, by far, the most formidable tandem team. They smoked the competition with a time of 82.73 seconds. The two yoga practitioners proved flexibility and strength are key elements in tandem free-heel skiing; the married couple's blistering pace was, amazingly, over seven seconds faster than the fastest snowboarder (Josh Solly, 89.47) and within the top 15 fastest single mens' times. Mollie Holt and Jen King had the next best tandem time at 94.20 seconds. These top two finishers nailed the technique and finished far beyond the rest of the field.

Hawaiian Nationals was a day of flamboyant dress and costumed eccentricity. Bizarre became the norm as cigarette-smoking nuns rubbed elbows with a team of Shriners, the Easter Bunny and a near naked man in a Speedo swimsuit. For braving the cold all day in nothing more than spandex briefs, Jason Hayes earned the best costume award.

After the races, the pack of racers and several dozen tagalongs gathered on top of Baldy for a parade down Upper College, Flying Squirrel and Lower Warm Springs. The group organized as tricks were thrown off the top of Squirrel and then regrouped with surprising efficiency for the rarely seen human slalom on Lower Warm Springs. As skiers and boarders lined up, the train snaked through the human gates from the base of the Flying Squirrel lift clear to Warm Springs Creek. By the time all was said and done, deep slalom ruts, visible from the base of the mountain, had been carved into the late spring corn.

After weeks and months of organizing the event—including securing special guest Glen Plake through the RSN Network—Walton was more than pleased with the outcome of the 26th Hawaiian Nationals. "I was super psyched with how it turned out," he said.

Several participants and onlookers spoke of the quality of the day's events.

Hank Warneck, a season-long telemark racer, clarified: "Saturday reminded me of the good things about Ketchum, about the good spirit."

Full Results with combined times:

Elite Men's Telemark: 1—John King, 73.93; 2—Deter Peterson, 76.91; 3—Joel Nylander, 77.33; 4—Joel Mallett, 78.07, 5—Tyler Chandler, 79.66; 6—Erik Lisk, 80.02; 7—Lance Levy, 80.40; 8—Buck Cobb, 80.56; 9—Todd Falk, 82.37; 10—Christopher Cook, 82.67.

Elite Women's Telemark: 1—Jen King, 77.25; 2—Mollie Holt, 84.79; 3—Gretchen Flint, 86.46; 4—Katie Raffetto, 88.53; 5—Lisa Hall, 92.24; 6—Gelden Peter, 92.32; 7—Jessica Dunn, 99.80; 8—Abi Holt, 100.68; 9—Katie Hayes, 110.10.

Sport Men's Telemark: 1—Eric Nordseth, 79.59; 2—Bob Marcuiko, 79.91; 3—John Kearney, 80.65; 4—Will Hovey, 84.14; 5—Jason Hayes, 84.54, 6—Chad, 85.15, 7—Sean Murphy, 85.64; 8—Freddy, 87.29; 9—Willie Resko, 87.58; 10—Tyler Davis, 88.20.

Sport Women's Telemark: 1—Kelly Lewis, 88.87; 2—Lauren Klick, 92.70; 3—Paulette Philipot, 93.54; 4—Joselin Matkins, 98.89; 5—Megan Stevenson, 99.92; 6—Tess O'Sullivan, 101.06; 7—Camile Bourret, 101.84; 8—Becky, 102.37; 9—CMH, 104.71; 10—Julie McGregor, 109.04.

Men's Snowboarding: 1—Josh Solly, 89.47; 2—Mike Connelly, 90.70; 3—Bruce Smith, 90.78; 4—Chris Verrill, 92.43; 5—Guy Robins, 94.39; 6—Chase Josey, 94.62; 7—Jim Slanetz, 95.05; 8—Evan Lawlen, 96.29; 9—Tim Ball, 98.46; 10—Burnie, 101.04.

Women's Snowboarding: 1—Thia Konig, 100.06; 2—Robin Shaw, 108.16; 3—Shana Sosienski, 114.03; 4—Amy Jonas, 114.68; 5—Michele Hyde, 129.97.

Tandem Telemark Teams: 1—Matt Filoon and Jessica Soime, 82.73; 2—Jen King and Mollie Holt, 94.20; Team What, 102.57.

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