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Champion log rollers in town

Melinda Mawdsley

— Reigning world champion log roller Elizabeth Hoeschler and her three siblings will host a log-rolling demonstration and clinic this weekend in Steamboat Springs.

The clinic is from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Bald Eagle Water Ski Lake east of town on U.S. Highway 40. The Hoeschler family has strong ties to Steamboat and is being hosted by the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

“I’m psyched to bring my sport to Steamboat,” Elizabeth Hoeschler said. “I had some exciting times as a kid, ski racing at Howelsen Hill during the Junior Olympics. It’s a perfect athletic club to introduce log rolling to.”

Joining Elizabeth Hoeschler, 21, in Steamboat this weekend are her sisters Katie, 23, Abby, 17, and their brother, William, 13. All are champion log rollers.

Elizabeth won her first world championship in July, defeating her sister Katie in the finals. The pair also won a silver and bronze, respectively, at ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games this summer.

Abby won this year’s World Broom Running Championships, an event in which athletes run a course of eight logs tied end to end. She took silver in the Great Outdoor Games this year in the same event after winning it in 2003.

The Hoeschlers will be representing the U.S. Log Rolling Association.

“We’re thrilled to bring this exciting sport to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club,” said Jay Hoeschler, a founding member of U.S. Log Rolling and the log rollers’ father. “We encourage kids and adults to come and see what it’s all about. With a little nurturing of the program, Steamboat Springs could have a great competitive sport for youth in the summer.”

Jay Hoeschler was a member of the University of Colorado’s ski team along with his friends Jamie and Jeff Temple of Steamboat. Hoeschler’s family has a long tradition in ski racing. His brother Jake Hoeschler was a member of the U.S. Ski Team with Moose Barrows, also of Steamboat.

The Hoeschlers view log rolling as the perfect cross-training sport for ski racers because of the agility and balance required in both. Bode Miller, an Olympic medallist and world champion ski racer, spent a summer in Wisconsin learning how to log roll.

“Needless to say, Bode was pretty good,” said Jody Hoeschler, seven-time log rolling champion and mother of the children. “I’ve never seen anyone learn faster.”

Rick DeVos, executive director of the SSWSC, said the exhibition would last about an hour and that he is thrilled to welcome the Hoeschlers to the Yampa Valley.

“I know they are using log rolling as a cross-training for winter athletics,” DeVos said. “We’re looking at it as should we be utilizing log rolling as a piece of our dry land training?”

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com


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