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Emma Dukesherer Puddle

Emma Dukescherer, JV, Bear Creek, makes a splash racing to 20th for the day and overall.

Mountain Bikers Churn Out Hot Laps at Conference Championships

Colorado League Chalk Creek Stampede Race Report #4

by Michelle Jensen and Kate Rau
Contact:
Michelle Jensen
Kate Rau

South Results
North Results
Photos

The Chalk Creek Stampede, Conference Championships was the 28th mountain bike race hosted by the McMurry Land and Livestock Ranch. Mount Princeton provided a majestic backdrop for 672 South Conference racers and 470 North Conference for a total of 1,142 competitors, including 47 newcomers.

The cacophony of handcrafted noisemakers added to the high spirits. Teams and riders were motivated to nudge their points higher for the series overall standings. The more serious contenders were vying to qualify for the State Championships in Eagle the weekend of October 21st and 22nd. Each day began with a National Anthem performance. Saturday, started off with a lively rendition by 13 band members from the Buena Vista and Cheyenne Mountain teams who joined forces under conductor Marti Bott. Sunday, Columbine racer Cadel Nixon belted out a soulful version with intentional measured pacing.

The course gained 520 feet of altitude per lap as riders cranked up above up the ranch grazing area via a double-track and meandering singletrack ending with a punchy pitch before reaching a picturesque plateau. Some rocky sections offered intermediate challenges and a technical descent down to Chalk Creek. The return was a mix of fast, flowy twisty singletrack and double-track where racers went full-throttle to the finish. Special thanks to Taf, Ken and Brett McMurry and the local Buena Vista racing team for preparing the venue. Many riders said this was their favorite course.

Summit Noismakers

Team Summit noisemakers.

Slingshot South

South Slingshot winners Sofia Forney, Green Mountain and Sam Blakeslee, Aspen.

The raucous weekend contest included creative innovations of handcrafted noisemakers. South conference rider Ethan Graves, Castle Rock stood out with his handmade PVC didgeridoo. The three teams from Grand Valley were the loudest taking home some Justin's Nut Butter and Squirt lube product. Taos assembled dreamcatchers from bike rims and Regis Jesuit crafted custom bells.

North team Summit member Miles Reid wore overalls complete with bells while playing a tambourine, cymbals, and a wheel complete with squeaky donuts to cheer on Varsity legacy teammate Henry Boyd aka "Donuts". Compass Montessori topped the team contest with tennis rackets, modified pool noodles, interactive wheels, and much more.

The prominent Slingshot jerseys were earned by South JV racers Sofia Forney, Green Mountain and Sam Blakeslee Aspen. North Slingshots went to Petra Schmitdmann, Varsity, Nederland and Golden Freshman, Liam Fletcher.

Girls Celebrate

Maddie Jo Robbins, Varsity, Durango celebrates another victory.

Sam Schnieder Colin Mace

Varsity Legacy racers Colin Mace, Fruita Monument and Sam Schneider, Mountain Vista.

Several racers celebrated with their coaches the triumphant joy of completing their first race ever. For many, the Conference Championships marks the end of a chapter. Several seniors and Legacy riders were bittersweet and nostalgic about ending their Colorado League career. Legacy riders who have participated since their Freshman year reflected upon the positive impact of their mountain bike team. One Senior said, "These four years have flown by and I plan to continue to race mountain bikes and downhill in college."

Volunteer Coordinator, Cheri Merrihew, commented, "This was a momentous race day for me. My son, Charlie, a Legacy rider for East, finished his last race today. I was overwhelmed with emotion watching him start for the last time. I was surprised at how sad I was to see the end of this part of our involvement with the League."

Jacob Legacy Belt Buckle

Jacob Barsness, Varsity, Glenwood Springs made a tire belt for his legacy belt buckle.

Varsity Boys Stage

Ethan Wright, Varsity, Fairview in staging with many other legacy racers.

South Conference

Of the 14 South Division 1 teams, CRMS squeaked past Animas by a mere 135 points and Salida earned 3rd for the day. Siblings Camden and Cassidy Gillis both contributed to Salida's podium finish. Overall, CRMS and Animas maintained their positions with Crested Butte taking the bronze by a mere 4 points over Columbine.

The South Division 2 team competition includes 32 teams. Durango rode to 1st with Green Mountain in 2nd and newcomer to the podium was Douglas County. Barb Edwards, Varsity, Legacy racer of Douglas County cranked 3rd for her first podium finish of the season. Overall for the series, Durango and Green Mountain took 1st and 2nd while Glenwood Springs earned 3rd.

The Varsity girls race was exciting. Maddie Jo Robbins, Durango remained undefeated for the series with Emi Baur, CRMS chasing. Only 12 seconds separated places 5th through 8th. Madelynn Townsend, Salida held off Samantha Soriano, Columbine; Maya Zarlingo, Animas, and Caroline Benney, Leadville. Maysa Flom, Dakota Ridge and Caroline Benney, Leadville tied for the 10th spot overall.

Seven Varsity boys were in a lead pack for the first 2 of 4 laps. Zac Richardson, Douglas County took his fourth gold. Legacy rider, Levi Gavette, finished the series in 2nd with teammate Ian Catto, racing for 3rd ahead of Camden Gillis, Salida and Lucca Trapani, Glenwood Springs. The Overall series standings were the same for these top riders with Gillis and Trapani tying for 4th. Matthew Mulholland, Thunder Ridge squeezed past Benon Gattis, Gunnison by 4 points in the overall ranks for 9th and 10th.

The top 5 JV girls were familiar to the podium with Ruth Holcomb maintaining her gold streak. Kennedy Scott, Rock Canyon, Lizzy Barsness, Glenwood Springs and Siena Muscianisi, Mountain Vista were within 41 seconds of one another for 2nd through 4th. Paige Hauptmann, Ridgway composite rode strong for 5th. Sofia Forney, Green Mountain 6th place for the day, felt confident on the technical downhills and Holcomb enjoyed the switchbacks and picturesque corners along the creekbed.

JV racer Elliot Vaughan, CRMS had his best race of the season with a silver behind overall leader Riley Amos, Animas. Ryan Campbell, Green Mountain powered to take Cobe Freeburn, Durango by only 13 seconds. Overall for the season, it was Amos, Freeburn, Campbell, Vaughan and George Poggemeyer, Chatfield in the top 5.

James Cobb JV CCC

James Cobb, JV, Cherry Creek Composite.

Katie Davis

Katie Davis, Varsity Legacy, Columbine.

Alec Goss Teller County

Alec Goss, JV, Teller County.

The Sophomore girls clapped for each other as names were called to the start line for the group became unified during the season. With 24 athletes racing for the title, Hannah Drummond, Highlander Composite showed that she was the strongest that day and the overall leader. Olivia Gordon, Crested Butte took second over Cheyenne Mountain’s Taegan Steinfort. These top 3 held their ranks for the overall with Jules Bursnall, Cheyenne Mountain and Ruby Brown Salida earning 4th and 5th.

There was a serious showdown between sophomore Isaac Sanders, Highlander Composite and Wheeler Feer, CRMS for 1st and 2nd. Thomas Oliver, Dakota Ridge was on their wheels for 3rd with Daniel Wegert, Cheyenne Mountain and Lance Weidemann rounding out the top 5 for the day. Feer collected 7 more points than Sanders in the series in the overall standings. Chris Anderson, Douglas County took the bronze with Oliver and Paul English, Grand Junction in 4th and 5th for the season.

Noel Forney, Green Mountian took her first gold in the Freshman girls South conference giving her a boost to complete the season 2nd overall behind leader Cassidy Hickey, Independent. Hickey had a mechanical and finished 14th for the day. Heidi Martin, Manitou Springs had a stellar day in 2nd for her first podium finish of the season. Chloe Combs, Highlander Composite and Abbey Shepard, Durango were 3rd and 4th. Overall for the series it was Hickey, Forney, Combs, Shepard and Ainsley Haggart, Animas in 5th.

Series points Leader Graham Tuohy-Gaydos was absent in the Freshman boys category leaving the door wide open for the overall rankings to change. The Freshman boys were on fire with Wiley Corra, Durango taking first by 3 seconds over Robbe Day, Evergreen who collected enough points to end the series 1st overall. Erik Novy, Glenwood Springs took 3rd, Cameron Roberts, Rio Grande Composite 4th, and Conrad Turner, Conifer was 5th.

Ethan Moyer

Ethan Moyer captures the lead for the series with a win.

527 Summit Pass

Sophomore, Elsa Bates, Summit makes a pass to take the lead.

North Conference

Fairview earned the Division 1 North team title overall after winning 3 of the 4 contests in the series. Boulder was only 200 points behind taking the silver for the day and overall. Golden collected a bronze, a first for them this season with 120 points more than Steamboat. Battle Mountain was 5th for the day and 3rd overall for the series.

Division 2 Summit took the gold. Natron County-WY raced strong for 2nd and VSSA raced to 3rd with only 19 points over Fossil Ridge. Overall team standings were the same with the top 4 teams.

Varsity racer Sam Brown, VSSA clocked the fastest lap time racing to 2nd after Ethan Moyer, Steamboat pulled away on the second lap for the win. Brown, Ethan Wright, Fairview, Henry Boyd, Summit and Sam Pickett, Natrona County-WY worked together to close the gap on Moyer. Overall, Moyer moved from 7th to 1st with Brown and Wright tying for 2nd. Boyd raced to 4th with Pickett and Anthony Furness, Golden tying for 5th.

Petra Schmidtmann, Varsity, Nederland started in 12th and finished 2nd behind overall series winner Madelynn Gerritson, Golden. Fairview teammates Ada Urist and Kailea Barth raced for 3rd and 4th. Tea Wright, Fairview, self-proclaimed she had a “bad day” at Chalk Creek yet banked enough points to earn silver for the series and her teammate Barth earned the bronze overall.

The top JV girls were familiar to the podium with Tai-lee Smith, Summit taking the gold for the day and overall. Madigan Munro, Boulder and teammate Abigael Carron earned silver and bronze. Opal Konig, Summit and Olivia Cummins, Rocky Mountain rounded out the top 5 for the day. These top 5 were the same for overall.

The JV boys start was rowdy with trumpets blaring and noisemakers ringing for the largest field of the day. The top 4 competitors were in a bunch for 2 of the 3 laps. Bjorn Riley, Boulder and Eli Smith, Battle Mountain took 1st and 2nd after creating a gap between Boulder riders Aiden Keller and Ryan Stowers. Charlie Springer, Fairview beat John Weiler, Golden by 2 seconds for 5th and 6th. Overall, Riley maintained his lead with Smith earning the silver. Stowers was 3rd with a 15 point lead over Keller and Liam Clevenger, East was 5th for the series. Boulder's strong JV squad took 6 of the top 10 overall spots.

JV Patrick RVHS

Patrick Stolper, JV Legacy, Ralston Valley.

Gillane

Gillianne Jordan, JV Legacy, Poudre.

Sophomore girls winner for the day and overall for the series was Summit racer, Elsa Bates. Taylor Johnson, Centaurus and Wren Taylor, Boulder battled for 2nd and 3rd with a 3-second gap. Rounding out the top 5 for the day were Gigi Jensen, Boulder and Aislinn Wehrman, Summit. Wren Taylor took the silver for the series with Johnson taking the bronze.

Sophomore boys were awash in Boulder purple leading the pack with Max Kriedl, Cooper Lull, Graham Outlaw and Talus Lantz, taking the top 4 spots. Lantz was thrilled to celebrate his birthday racing. Kimo Sullivan, Middle Park took 5th. Overall Lull took the lead with Outlaw, Lantz, Kriedl, and Sullivan in 2nd through 5th.

The North Freshman girls raced two laps with points leader Emi Cooper, Steamboat just 16 seconds ahead of Elliote Muir, Boulder. Arianna Soto, Fairview raced to 3rd with Steamboat’s Eliza Fox taking 4th and Golden's Maggie O'Connell in 5th for the day. Overall, Cooper was triumphant with a gold followed by Muir, Soto, Fox and Bayli McSpadden, VSSA finishing 5th.

Freshman leader Liam Graves-Vanglider, Golden wore festive glitter framed glasses as he rolled up to the start line. He had a tough race after dropping his water bottle on lap 2. Cam Owens, Steamboat and Riley Cotton, Longmont had the closest contest of the day as Owens wheel hit the timing mat first. Aiden Berk, Golden was elated with his 3rd followed by Jonas Kahila, Ralston Valley, and Luke Elphingstone, Fairview rounding out the top 5 for the day. Graves-Vanglider held on to his overall lead despite a 14th place finish. Owens was 2nd followed by Elphingstone, Cotton, and Kahila.

The two conferences come together next weekend for the State Championships in Eagle where the team, individual, and sock contests will be action-packed. All teams and riders are welcome to attend the End of Season BBQ on Saturday, Oct. 21 sponsored by Roadhouse Hospitality, Town of Eagle, and the local Alpine Bank. Weekend event details are HERE.

Nate Stryker Ridgway

Nate Stryker, Varsity, Ridgway Composite.

Macy Sale

Freshman Macy Sale, Natrona County-WY.

Calendar

November 4th Annual Shift Primal Art Party Fundraiser, Denver, CO

2017 Race Schedule:
Race #1 August 26 (North) -27 (South) Frisco Peninsula
Race #2 - South September 10 - Colorado Mountain College, Leadville
Race #2 - North September 17 Emerald Mountain, Steamboat Springs
Race #3 September 23 (North) - 24 (South), Granby Ranch
Race #4 October 7 (South) - 8 (North) McMurry Ranch, Nathrop
Race #5 October 22 State Championships, Eagle

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