The Granby Ranch Round Up was the third race of the 2016 series. A total of 879 high school student-athletes tested their lungs and legs. Creative team songs and cheers were heard throughout the weekend while campers gathered around the bonfire provided by, Granby Ranch. The local Middle Park team does not have school on Fridays and they eagerly provided a majority of the volunteers for setting up for the weekend event.
Most North conference racers were able to pre-ride the new course before snow and freezing rain frosted the ski area on Friday night. Some riders were on course when early winter conditions enveloped the area. Many struggled to return to the base with caked tires and muddy shoes. The line at the bike wash, provided by Granby Ranch, was long and entertaining while riders recounted stories of their adventurous journey at dusk.
The precipitation and cold temperatures warranted a one hour race delay on Saturday. This allowed the trails to absorb the much needed moisture, resulting in stellar race conditions. The Fraser Valley was ablaze with peak fall aspen colors and the white snow enhanced the natural beauty of the area.
The inclement weather failed to dampen the day’s competition whether on the course or in the base area for the best team cheer. Sunday was warm, sunny, and dry as the South conference frolicked under and a bright, blue sky that highlighted the vibrant autumn foliage. Teammates pushed one another as several individual and team standings shifted.
Nico Alvarez-Glantz, Boulder and teammate Daniel Gibson one of 3 sustained climbs.
The new 5-mile course includes a stiff 750 feet altitude gain, the most of any Colorado League course to date. The start is a very steep hill with a grade of 8 to 12% that requires a massive power output to gain position onto a series of switchbacks that ascend for the first 0.6 miles. It meanders through aspen groves, lodgepole forests, and sagebrush with several bridge crossings. A stunning technical descent on the Fraser Canyon trail starts at 1.6 miles. Followed by a mid-course, sustained climb through red clay and sagebrush with a breathtaking view of the Fraser River. Racers climb to a rewarding, crowd pleasing, final descent into the base area. Several female competitors commented that they loved the bridges and Nate Stryker of Ridgway Comp, stated that the Granby Ranch course was his favorite this season.
Middle Park performed an upbeat team cheer about their high altitude, 2-wheeled adventures and upbeat attitudes that earned them a supply of Maxxis tires, Tender Belly bacon, and goodies from RockyMounts. The Natrona/Kelly Walsh teams from Casper, WY sang a ballad about their various excursions and Kit-Kat Gruner played the ukulele. Columbine performed a raucous weekend chant and periodically competed with Taos providing ample encouragement as racers climbed out of the base area to singletrack.
Positive sporting behavior continues to permeate the weekends as spectators comment on the encouragement offered by riders such as Varsity racers Will McBryde, East, and Dylan Wood, Green Mountain. Nico Glantz-Alvaro, Boulder JV racer impressed those on the sidelines as he cheered on those he passed. This welcoming attitude is fostered by all the amazing coaches and allows novice and veteran student-athletes to shine regardless of when they cross the finish line.
JV South start, Ian Eldridge, Crested Butte in front of the chase pack.
Fairview’s winning streak came to a halt as Boulder took the Division 1 team win at Granby Ranch. Fairview was 2nd and Golden 3rd. Boulder moved into the overall Division 1 team with 53 points over Fairview. Only 341 points separate 3rd place Summit and 6th place Steamboat. Battle Mountain is 4th and Golden 5th. The overall conference team contests will be suspenseful for the 11 Division 1 North teams.
VSSA took the gold for the third consecutive weekend in the Division 2 competition. Poudre earned silver for the day, a repeat of their performance in Leadville as they maintain 2nd overall. Natrona County added another 3rd place finish to their season. Compass Montessori earned 4th place with Loveland only 8 points back in 5th. The competition for 3rd through 6th in the Division 2 team standings parallels the close contests in Division 1.
Animas was upset by CRMS in the South Division 1 competition and Salida placed 3rd by a narrow 120-point margin. Even closer was between 4th place Crested Butte and 5th place Cheyenne Mountain a mere 30 point spread. The top 5 overall Division 1 South teams are Animas, CRMS, Salida, Crested Butte, and Cheyenne Mountain.
Durango remains undefeated in the Division 2 team competition. Grand Junction beat Green Mountain by 87 points. Glenwood Springs missed 3rd place for the day by a scant 3 points. The Division 2 team overall standings are close between 2nd through 5th. Green Mountain, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs and Douglas County will battle it out at race #4.
Will McBryde, East Varsity North Leader.
Darby Howard, Middle Park, JV North and Battle Mountain teammates Nidia Valeria Fernandez (#3069) and Jacqueline Alvarez Cruz (#3049).
Racers seemed energized by the crisp mountain air and the Varsity North male field rocketed up the first descent and Will McBryde, East churned to the singletrack section slightly in front of a chase pack including Ethan Wright, Fairview; Cassidy Dzekciorius-Bailey, Boulder; Sam Brown, VSSA; and Ethan Moyer, Steamboat. Nolan Herzog, VSSA gained ground after lap one of three, with two sub 23-minute lap times. McBryde held on to the series Leader’s jersey with his third win of the season. Wright, Brown, Herzog and Moyer rounded out the top 5 for the North Varsity. Dzekciorius-Bailey earned 6th and congratulated McBryde at the finish saying, “Man that was tough and you are definitely the fastest guy out there.” The overall standings shifted with Wright in 2nd, Moyer advanced to 3rd with 8 points ahead of Slav Uglyar, Summit now in 4th. Brown moved from 8th to 5th with 3 points behind Uglyar.
The Varsity South race started with Levi Gavette, CRMS powering to the top of the singletrack on lap 1. Once on the double track traverse, current series Leader Nolan Jenkins, Independent; Nic Jenkins, Fountain Valley; Kieran Eagan, Animas; and Kenny Boots, Rock Canyon, swarmed Gavette. Boots, once again clocked the fastest lap of the weekend with a blistering 21:11 and earned gold for the day. Nolan Jenkins barely beat his older brother Nic to stay in the lead for the series. Eagan rode to 4th and Gavette was 5th. The closest race of the field was between legacy riders Jimmy Pope, Animas and Perrin Kileen, Durango as Pope imperceptibly crossed the finish ahead of Kileen.
Overall standings for the South Varsity males are very close. Nolan Jenkins is 1st, Gavette hangs on to 2nd for the series with Eagan 1 point behind in 3rd and Zac Richardson, Douglas County is 4th. James Bivens, Crested Butte and Cheyenne Mendoza, Leadville are tied for 8th with a mere 2 points separating them from Joseph Wintergerst, Cheyenne Mountain. This line up guarantees another impressive race for the conference finals.
The Varsity South female field continues to be dominated by series Leader Harper Powell. This week Maddie Jo Robbins, Animas and Camryn Sippy, Durango switched positions with Robbins 2nd and Sippy 3rd. Emi Bauer, CRMS and Carolyn Graven were consistent repeating their previous race standings in 4th and 5th. Sippy heads into the Conference finals in 2nd place overall. Only 7 points are between Bauer in 3rd and Graven in 4th.
Katja Freeburn, VSSA wins the North Varsity female race with Madelynn Gerritsen, Golden hot on her wheel for 2nd. Tea Wright, Fairview rode to 3rd and Camryn Kercher sprinted past Sarah Smith, Battle Mountain to earn 4th for the day. Freeburn is the series leader with a tie for 2nd between Smith and Molly Madden, Fairview. Kit-Kat Gruner, Natrona County and Grace Westfall, Rocky Mountain are tied for 8th in the overall standings. Race #4 overall conference series will certainly be suspenseful, especially if Ezra Smith, Summit returns to the start line.
Nolan Jenkins, Varsity South Leader and Kenny Boots, Rock Canyon celebrate at the finish line.
Sabrina Morgan, Lakewood, Sophomore South enjoys the sunshine.
The JV North males were the first to hit the new course during the weekend and cruised on tacky fresh dirt. Talus Lantz, Boulder was the first up the climb and broke the tie for the Leader’s jersey with Griffin Vickles, Compass Montessori who took 3rd. Nolan Brunner, Boulder was 2nd. Riley Sheehan, Boulder started in the B wave and his time earned him 4th in front of Blake Bathum, VSSA. Sheehan missed race #1 of the series and now is tied with Justin Wolnak, Golden for 40th. Overall standings remain consistent with Lantz, Vickles, Brunner, Bathum and Trey Seymour, Steamboat holding the top 5 positions. The points spread is very tight among 19th through 22nd with a tie between Tate Whitney, Boulder and Daniel Huck, Battle Mountain and only 1 point between Boulder teammates Nico Alvaro-Glantz and Van Boylan.
Camden Gillis, Salida remains undefeated since 2015 and is the 2016 JV South series Leader. Clark Willis, Grand Junction was 1:04 back in 2nd. Jacob Barsness, Glenwood Springs held off 4th place finisher Ian Catto, CRMS by only 1 second to earn 3rd. Crested Butte racer Ian Eldridge was 3 seconds back for 5th. Marshal Graybill, CRMS is 2nd behind Gills in the JV South male overall series standings. Willis is 3rd and only 1 point separates Eldridge and Barsness, as they are 4th and 5th. Gillis is a dual sport athlete and will likely play soccer for Salida next race leaving lots of opportunity for the JV South male field to mix it up.
Friendly rivalries were common during the weekend and provided some exciting sprints at the finish. Leadville teammates, Brayhan Reveles and Cain Gipson pushed one another in the JV competition where Reveles eked out a 15th place. Isaac Nagel-Brice, Boulder was thrilled that he finally beat Varsity teammate Rainer Barth as the two battled for 9th and 10th.
Madelynn Townsend, Salida earned another JV gold medal. Ce Compton, Animas earned the series Leader’s jersey for her 2nd place finish. Samantha Soriano, Columbine raced to 3rd place and Alma Wolf, Animas placed 4th. A burst of navy blue cruised across the line when three Columbine riders gleefully sprinted to 5th, Claudia Bauermeister; 6th, Eden Saylor, and 7th, Katie Davis. The top series standings include Compton, Wolf, Hannah Frei, Cheyenne Mountain, Davis, Saylor and Maysa Flom, Dakota Ridge is in 6th with only 1 point behind Saylor.
Petra Schmidtmann, Nederland took 1st over Jazlyn Smith, Summit. Camille Lamarque, Fairview and Zoe Livran, VSSA battled for position with Larmarque taking 3rd and Livran, 4th. Sophia Finoff, Silver Creek placed 5th. Margaret Dickson, Steamboat narrowly beat Sarah Francone, East as the two came in 6th and 7th. Smith maintains the series Leader’s jersey. Schmidtmann is in 2nd place followed by Dickson, Lamarque and Livran for the top 5 overall.
Whitton Feer of CRMS.
Elizabeth McInroy, Ralston Valley, JV North tackles the descent.
North Sophomore Nathan Pawlak, Fairview takes the win after being 2nd in Leadville to David Sanders-Kulesza, Battle Mountain. Cameron Wolfe, VSSA is 2nd his highest placement for the season. Tyler Scholl, Middle Park takes 3rd on his home turf. Adam Pickett, Natrona County is 4th and Chase Seymour is 5th. Pawlak, stays in the Leader’s jersey for the series. Wolfe advances to 2nd, Pickett is 3rd, Sanders-Kulesza is 4th. Seymour is tied for 5th with Treden Bosch, Poudre in the overall standings.
Rory Devin, Chatfield remains undefeated as the South Sophomore leader. Caleb Neel earns another 2nd place in front of Nate Stryker, Ridgway Comp. Ryan Klotz worked his way to his best finish of the season in 4th beating Bryce Bonner, Green Mountain to the line by 1 second. Elliot Vaughan, CRMS clocked a 9th place finish in the B wave now in a tie for 53rd with Kaleb Hill, Grand Junction in the series standings. There is a tie for 11th between Ryan Garber, Chatfield and Zack Looney, Mountain Vista. Stryker is in 3rd overall with teammate Tanner Oman in 4th. No doubt these Sophomore racers will continue to push the pace during the conference overall at Chalk Creek.
The point’s leader has changed every race for the female Sophomore South field. Emma Dukesherer, Bear Creek earns the honor and will line up first next race. Ava Maddocks, Castle View finished 6th for the day and holds steady in 2nd place overall. Ripleigh Potts, Salida was absent at 2 and cranked to a 2nd place finish in Granby. Sara Bauermeister, Columbine rode strong to 3rd with Marion Chater, Crested Butte and Hallie Farmer, Rock Canyon rounding out the top 5 for the day. In overall standings, Bauermeister moves to 3rd with Julia Molnar, Green Mountain out for the season with an injury. Alejandra Godina, Salida drops to 4th after placing 17th for the day with a mechanical. Abigail Fennell, Cherry Creek Comp advances to 5th. She and teammate Teran Hayes sang the National Anthem earlier that morning.
Grace Karoly, Summit maintained her lead with her second win of the season. Gaja Wilson, Battle Mountain rides strong to take 2nd and she Reilly Mewborn, Steamboat are tied in the overall series. Mewborn was 3rd for the day. Alyssa Feinberg, Fairview is 3rd overall after a 10th place finish in Granby. Mazie Neill, Golden eked past Nicoline West, Boulder. Neill’s 4th place helped Golden earn their first spot on the podium for the season.
Gavin Thornton, Monarch, Freshman North, powers up above the Fraser River.
Hannah Frei, Cheyenne Mountain Comp, JV confidently rides a bridge.
Lizzy Barsness, Glenwood Springs regained her Leader’s jersey in race #3 as Kennedy Scott, Rock Canyon slips to 3rd overall in the South Freshman female field. Clara Coffey, Chatfield earned a silver for the day and breaks the tie with Sage Davis, Durango in the overall standings. Paige Hauptmann races to 3rd and is 2nd overall going into the conference finals.
Sharon Seabury, VSSA continues her winning streak and teammate Berit Frischholz came in 2nd while Madigan Munro, Boulder took 3rd for the day. Munro is 3rd overall behind Frischholz and only 2 points separate Opal Koning, Summit in 4th and Annika Boyer, Boulder in 5th heading into race #4.
Bjorn Riley, Boulder North Freshman Leader came in 2nd behind Zane Worrell, VSSA. Nathan Mead, Cheyenne, WY and Dakota Cline, Boulder followed Riley. William Greig, Longmont rounded out the top 5 on the new course. Riley remains the series Leader with Worrell, Cline, Greig and Mead as ranked 2nd through 5th for the series.
Freshman South Leader Dillon Turner, Conifer Platte Canyon Comp, undefeated for the season, bolted off the start and had a gap on the field heading into the singletrack. His effort compounded by a stomach bug reduced him to pulling over several times resulting in a 25th place finish. Riley Amos, Animas took the win earning the overall Leader’s jersey after 3 races. Miles Willis, Grand Junction and Cobe Freeburn, Durango placed 2nd and 3rd for the day. Turner slips to 6th while Freeburn is 2nd, Willis is 3rd and Simon Donnaway, Animas is now ranked 4th overall.
The conference series competition continues at Chalk Creek on the McMurry Ranch for race #4 October 8th and 9th. Weekend details are HERE. The overall team and individual conference standings will be decided there and racers will strive to qualify to compete at the State Championships in Eagle on October 23rd.