An Xperience unlike any other
ASPEN – On the eve of the Winter X Games last week Lindsey Telling, 15, sat in her freshmen geometry class at Battle Mountain and considered how close she had come to making it to Aspen.At a Winter X women’s boardercross qualifier January 15 at Sugar Bowl Resort in Lake Tahoe, Calif., Telling finished a hard-to-swallow second to Aspen’s Jordan Karlinski, also 15, in a photo finish.Telling’s board crossed the finish line first in the final heat but judges ruled that Karlinski’s body was the first to cross, thus giving the Aspen racer the sole automatic berth out of the qualifier. The heartbreak for Telling was intense.”We crossed the line together,” she said. “Some said I won, others said Jordan did. I was pretty bummed.””Even a cameraman at the bottom said he had it on film that (Lindsey) won,” said Nathan Park, Telling’s head boardercross coach at Ski and Snowboard Club. “It came down to the finish-line judges. That’s boardercross. It was an awesome race and both girls rode great.”Since she finished as the runner-up, Telling was named as an alternate to the final field of 18 invited to Aspen. She held on to the possibility that someone would pass up their invite and she would get to compete, but after nearly two weeks of waiting her hope was wearing thin.Then, in the middle of class on Wednesday, her cell phone rang. The caller ID showed that it was SSCV head snowboard director Ben Boyd.
Telling skipped out the door of the classroom, answered the phone to hear the words she had been pining for ever since coming up short in Sugar Bowl, and then prepared herself for the opportunity of a lifetime.”I don’t think she could believe it,” Boyd said. “The smile hasn’t come off her face yet.”On the cuspAfter taking such an emotionally trying route to X – a spot on the map of sports where stars can be created over night – Telling was intent on making the most of her chance.In practice runs before Friday’s individual time trials, which would narrow the field down from 18 to 12, she said she felt confident about her chances of making it into the semifinals.During the time trial run, however, she finished thirteenth in 1 minute, 7.96 seconds – one spot out of the semifinal field.”All my practice runs were so much better,” Telling said. “I really don’t know what happened in my time trial. Nerves probably.”
She was upbeat about the whole experience afterward. “It was really awesome,” she said.” There were so many people there and all these people were coming up to me and being like, ‘Are you pro?’ The most memorable thing is definitely the course, because it was so gnarly. It was really scary when you first looked at it.”Next upTelling, who is a member of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association’s junior all American team, has more high-profile opportunities coming her way this month. She will fly to Italy on February 27 to compete against an international field of juniors at the Trofeo International Race.She will also continue to compete on the Rocky Mountain Snowboard Tour in boardercross, slopestyle and halfpipe.She already has designs on making it back to the X Games next year.
“I’m definitely going back,” she said.Whatever happens, the 15-year-old up-and-comer has definitely made her community and her coaches proud.”The word spread really fast,” Telling said. “I still have people coming up to me and congratulating me. So many people know about it.”Added Boyd, ” It is a great pat on the back for her and basically shows the rest of the nation what we have known for a long time in the club – that she is one of the most talented female riders in the country. The whole club, and especially our program and all our athletes could not be more proud of her.”Staff Writer Nate Peterson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at email@example.com.Vail Colorado