The Frisco Bay Invitational launched the 7th season of the Colorado High School Cycling League race series. The throngs of dirt devotees included 881 high school student-athletes from Casper, WY to Taos, NM from 65 teams. All were eager to push their limits on the picturesque 6.3-mile course based out of the Frisco Adventure Park. The Dillon Lake donut effect kept looming thunderstorms at bay on Saturday. Sunday temperatures were cooler as it rained on and off throughout the South Conference races. The JV male race enjoyed lots of sunshine then a fierce thunderstorm entered the area causing the South Freshman male race to be cut short.
View of storm rolling in during Freshman south conference race.
The weekend was chock full of festivities with a team culture sculpture contest sponsored by Tender Belly. As racers and coaches checked results, they were greeted with tasty bacon samples. Cheyenne, WY takes home the bacon for the North Conference Culture Sculpture contest. Middle Park, created their team banner onsite. Buena Vista won the South Conference contest using trash found on course from the Saturday race.
Several new teams experienced the community vibe of high school mountain biking. Compass Montessori, Longmont, Kelly Walsh, Middle Park, Natrona County, Prospect Ridge Academy, and 27J Adams/Weld joined the North conference. The South conference expanded with Arapahoe, Colorado Springs School, High Desert Composite, Manitou Springs, and Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning (RMSEL).
Sibling recruitment was a dominant theme. Roman Molnar, convinced his younger twin sisters, Julia and Abigal to join the fun. They raced for Green Mountain who took the gold in the South Division 2 team contest. Three Francones, Sarah, Cooper, and Lucy, race for East High catapulting that team to the North Division 1 ranks.
North conference power house teams and cross town rivals, Boulder and Fairview started the season with a historic 1-point differential. The Fairview Knights kicked off the season with a Gold, Boulder took the silver, and hometown Summit Tigers placed 3rd in the Division 1 Team category.
Division 2 team, Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy (VSSA) took the Gold with points from the Seabury siblings scoring for Varsity male and Freshman female categories. Katja Freeburn moved to VSSA from her former South Conference Durango team and earned the Varsity female Leaders’ jersey over the dominant North racer, Ezra Smith who took 2nd. Younger sister Jazlynn Smith, took home a silver for the JV females behind Tea Wright of Fairview. The sibling theme continues. Tea is the younger sister of Varsity racer Ethan Wright.
Fossil Ridge earned Silver with strong male and female JV racers. Natrona County, WY placed third in the team category with Kit-Kat Gruner, Varsity female, as the top points earner.
The South conference Varsity male race pace was intensified with the addition of guest racer Peter Selliers, Caribbean National Champion who dropped in to push the pace. The Jenkins brothers, Nic (Fountain Valley School) and Nolan (Independent), took 1st and 3rd respectively while Keiran Eagan of Animas kept the siblings apart with 2nd.
The JV female race was exciting as Hannah Frei, Cheyenne Mountain and Cole Schield, Mountain Vista tied for 5th going into lap 2. Schield pulled off 6th despite a crash that broke her rear shifter. She raced most of lap 2 with one gear. Her derailleur failed she was unable to pedal as she approached the last few bermed switchbacks. She ran to the finish and stated, “I run track so I was able to keep moving.”
Cobe Freeburn was greeted at the finish by his older sister Katja at his first high school race as a Freshman at Durango. Cobe took 3rd to boost Durango to second place in the Division 2 South team standings. Another pair of siblings, Lucas and Maddie Jo Robbins contributed to Durango's points.
The Colorado League announced the 2nd Chance CPR First Aid scholarship fund sponsored by Dave Taylor of Mountain Island Construction. Dave survived a cardiac arrest while on a mountain bike ride. This is a result of Amy Dickerson, Maureen Taylor, and Bruce Burrows performing CPR for 15 minutes on the trail before Flight to Life arrived. The full story is HERE. Coaches and riders can request funds to attend CPR and First Aid classes.
Colorado Mountain College in Leadville hosts the next race weekend September 10th (South Conference) and 11th (North Conference).