The Chalk Creek Stampede was the conference series championship. The McMurry ranch is the majestic, historic setting where the family has hosted 22 bike races, including the inaugural Colorado League race in 2010. A total of 838 high school student-athletes churned through this course in an effort to earn a spot to compete at the State Championships where the top student-athletes from both conferences will race in Eagle October 23rd.
The South conference race started with the Buena Vista High School Pep Band performing the National Anthem. Harper Powell, reigning Varsity female South champion, sang on Sunday morning the day after she defended her title. Buena Vista, Coach Taf McMurry, and the McMurry family ensured the course was in tip-top shape. Locals from the Buena Vista and Salida teams filled the many volunteer positions for the weekend. The race crew was extremely grateful that several members of the Buena Vista team helped until the last piece of race equipment was loaded.
The weekend noisemaker contest amplified the energy at the series finale as fans lined the start and finish areas with a cacophony of creative sounds from cowbells to a handmade kazoo crafted from a seat post. Katie Davis of Columbine took home a pile of goodies and the Douglas County, Castle View teams earned a box of Maxxis tires for their active, innovative participation for the South. Summit and East rose to the top for the most inventive sound devices for the North.
East and Summit podium in the noisemaker competition.
The classic 6.3-mile course includes rocky climbs, challenging sand sections, sage plateaus and a technical descent into Chalk Creek. Then racers leapfrog for position on the open final stretch to the finish. Many racers and teams accomplished their best performances last weekend. Hannah Frei, Cheyenne Mountain JV racer logged a negative split earning a 6th place for the day and overall standings. She exclaimed, "I love this course! I could ride it all day long."
For several riders, this was their only race of the season which gave them a taste for the zeal and appeal of the scene. The female waves started the action with the brisk, bright morning air accentuated by the smell of fresh Tender Belly bacon wafting from the results tent.
Alumni, Heidi Livan, former VSSA team member and Sam Furness, Golden volunteered as sweeps for the Varsity categories. Heidi was the lucky winner of the volunteer of the day raffle. Sam was pleasantly surprised at how many more female athletes were racing since he graduated in 2014 and was impressed by the number of competitors who were relatively new to the sport. Three siblings in the Kienitz family raced and pre-rode the course with their 82-year old grandfather on Sunday.
Lucas Robbins, Durango (#020) leads the Varsity South chase group.
Animas battled back to first for the South D1 teams with strong performances from their JV female squad including Sadie Schafer (1st), Alma Wolf (3rd) and Ce Compton (4th). CRMS earned silver, and local Salida took the bronze. Cheyenne Mountain eked out 4th by 1 point over Crested Butte. The overall South team results were consistent with the top 3 teams while Crested Butte moved to 4th and Cheyenne Mountain placed 5th out of the 12 teams in this division.
Durango surpassed Green Mountain by a scant 7 points in the South D2 team competition. Grand Junction was third with Glenwood Springs a mere 40 points back in 4th for the day. A total of 28 D2 teams competed in the South conference. Top overall series standings included Durango, Green Mountain, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs and Douglas County. The closest overall team competition was between High Desert Composite and Colorado Springs School with 1 point between 24th and 25th.
Boulder earned gold for both the day and the North overall D1 team standings. Fairview was 73 points behind and maintained their second place overall rank. Golden and Summit were 3rd and 4th for the day's race. Summit took 3rd for the series and Golden tied with Battle Mountain for 4th.
VSSA undefeated in the D2 team category remained on top for the series. Fossil Ridge earned 2nd and Compass Montessori was 3rd for the day and in overall North conference D2 team standings.
Spencer White, Golden cruising along Chalk Creek.
Hayden Cole, Evergreen, JV Legacy focused.
Harper Powell, Salida, maintained her leader's jersey rolling into the State Championship undefeated in the South Varsity female field. Camryn Sippy, Animas cranked out a silver with Maddie Jo Robbins, Durango in 3rd. Exciting sprints between Hallie Whittington, Salida, and Emi Bauer, CRMS decided 4th and 5th. Bailey Richards, Bear Creek worked hard for her 7th place finish, passing Carolyn Graven, Evergreen by 1 second.
The South Varsity male race was another game of cat and mouse with Nolan Jenkins, Independent, current points leader, his brother Nic, Fountain Valley, Levi Gavette, CRMS, Keiran Eagen, Animas and Drew Sotebeer, Rock Canyon pushing the pace every lap. The Jenkins and Gavette pulled away while Eagan and Sotebeer lead a chase group. At the end of 4 laps, Nolan Jenkins kept his Leader's jersey barely beating his brother Nic who beat Gavette by 4 seconds.
Katja Freeburn, VSSA and Madelynn Gerritsen, Golden continued to push one another in the Varsity female North category. Sarah Smith, Battle Mountain rode to 3rd and finished the series in 2nd. Fairview teammates Molly Madden and Tea Wright tied for 4th in the overall points. The depth of the Fairview female Varsity squad will be a force in the State Championship competition.
With 26 Varsity males off the start, the North race was bound to be exciting. A roaring train of 13 riders rolled through like a herd of wild mustang on lap 1. Series Leader Will McBryde, East had lots of company with Ross Ellwood, Boulder, Ethan Wright, Fairview, Slav Uglyar, Summit, Sam Brown, VSSA and a slew of racers buzzing through the course in under 25 minutes. During laps 2 and 3 the powerful swarm fractured with Reade Warner, Golden, and Ethan Moyer, Steamboat settling into a blistering pace with Wright, Ellwood and McBryde. Ellwood and McBryde switched positions often while Warner and Wright hovered. Ultimately, Ellwood pounced forcefully on the last flat half mile and took 1st. McBryde placed 2nd for the first time this season. Warner was 3rd and Wright 4th. Moyer and Rainer Barth, Boulder sprinted for 5th and 6th. Evan Barbier, Steamboat, and Spencer White battled for 7th and 8th. Uglyar initiated a surging sprint barely catching, Wyatt Moehring, Battle Mountain, and Christopher Seabury, VSSA across the line rounded out the top 12 of the field. This race demonstrated the incredible depth of this field and was an invigorating prelude to the State Championships contest.
Zoe Livran, VSSA, JV rider poses with her Legacy belt buckle.
Lucca Trapani, JV Glenwood Springs beats Scott Jirouw, Cheyenne Mountain by 6 seconds.
The JV South female winner of the day was Sadie Schafer, Animas with Madelynn Townsend, Salida in 2nd maintaining her leader's jersey for the series. Ce Compton, Animas, Alma Wolf, Animas and Samantha Soriano, Columbine completed the top five spots for the day. One of the many close finishes was between Kaycee Daniels, Castle View, 7th, and Madeline Tokarski, Chatfield, 8th. Madelynn Townsend goes home with the Leader's jersey with Compton, Schafer, Wolf and Soriano as the overall top 5 point earners for the season.
Camden Gillis, Salida continued his 2-year winning streak and will be seeded next to Talus Lantz, Boulder for a repeat Championship showdown in Eagle. Lucca Trapani, Glenwood Springs, was within less than a minute of Gillis for 2nd in the South JV contest. Cheyenne Mountain racer Scott Jirous had his best finish of the season in 3rd. Ian Catto, CRMS, Clark Willis, Grand Junction, and Ian Eldridge Crested Butte worked closely to place 4th. 5th and 6th for the day. Willis moves to 2nd for the season. Marshall Graybill, CRMS, who did not race in Nathrop moved to 3rd in the overall standings.
Consecutive wins for Petra Schmidtmann, Nederland moved her past Jazlynn Smith, Summit to earn the overall series Leader's jersey. Smith placed 2nd for the day and for the series. Zoe Livran, VSSA took 3rd commented that Camille Lamarque, Fairview made her work really hard. Lamarque was 4th with Willow Taylor, Boulder placing 5th her top finish of the season.
The North JV male contest was less predictable than the South. Riley Sheehan, Boulder was seeded in 37th and topped the podium while usual suspects Talus Lantz, Boulder, Trey Seymour, Steamboat, Quinn Reece, Boulder, and Griffin Vickles, Compass Montessori raced for 2nd through 5th. Lantz held onto the Leader's jersey with Vickles 2nd and Seymour 3rd for the series standings.
Kaycee Daniels, (3082) JV Castle View and Katie Davis, (3008) Columbine ride along Chalk Creek.
Alejandra Godina, Salida raced to first and reclaimed the overall the Leader's jersey for the South Sophomore girls. Ava Maddocks, Castle View finished 2nd for the day and finishes the series in 2nd place overall. Emma Dukesherer, Bear Creek started the day in the Leader's jersey and finished 3rd for the day and 3rd for the series. Sabrina Morgan, Lakewood was 4th and Sara Bauermeister, Columbine raced to 5th. The competition was tight for 12th through 16th with Iliana Gruntorad, Castle View, and Jade Fell, Salida sprinting to the line.
Rory Devin, Chatfield remains undefeated as the South Sophomore leader and Caleb Neel, Green Mountain earns another silver. Lexter Lovejoy, Cheyenne Mountain sprinted past Bryce Bonner, Green Mountain for 3rd, Lovejoy's best finish of the season. Nate Stryker, Ridgway Comp was 2 seconds back in 5th. Overall series standings include Devin, Neel, Stryker, Tanner Oman, Ridgway Comp and Bonner.
Despite a crash and a 6th place finish for the day, Grace Karoly holds onto the Leader's jersey heading into the State Championships. Grace von Mettenheim, Boulder, took home a gold for the day, her best for the year and she jumped from 5th to 3rd in the overall standings. The battle of the day was between Ava Martinez, Monarch and Mazie Neill, Golden. An infinitesimal 0.003 second between Martinez and Neill was recorded and verified via camera. Thanks to RaceRite timing for their outstanding technology and service that provides definitive results to these motivated student-athletes. Martinez and Gaja Wilson, Batte Mountain end the series in a tie for 4th and Alyssa Feinberg, Fairview is 2nd overall.
North Sophomore Nathan Pawlak, Fairview and Cameron Wolfe, VSSA repeat a 1st and 2nd place finish from Granby. Maxwell Story, Fairview rises to 3rd with his best performance of the year. Tyler Scholl, Middle Park is 4th and Adam Pickett, Natrona County is 5th. Pawlak, Wolfe, Scholl, Pickett and David Sanders-Kulesza, Battle Mountain are the top 5 point earners for the North series.
Chase High, Sophomore Steamboat.
Juniper Cortapassi, Taos Freshman.
Lizzy Barsness, Glenwood Springs keeps her Leader’s jersey for the series with her third gold of the year in the South conference. Kate Oldham, CRMS lands 2nd her best for the year and Paige Hauptmann, Ridgway takes the bronze. Hauptmann ends the series in second. Clara Coffey, Chatfield raced to 4th and Mia Brygger, Grand Junction, 5th by less than 1 second ahead of Sage Davis, Durango.
Freshman South Leader Dillon Turner, Conifer Platte Canyon Comp, barely beat Cobe Freeburn, Durango at the line. Riley Amos, Animas took 3rd. Turner's victory put him back in the overall lead for the series. Amos is 2nd and Freeburn is 3rd for the South series. Dylan Alagna, Crested Butte raced to 4th, his best for the season. Miles Willis, Grand Junction completed the top 5 for the day.
In the North, Madigan Munro, Boulder raced to 1st for the day her best in the series. Sharon Seabury took 2nd and Anika Boyer was 3rd for the day. Sharon Seabury, VSSA maintains her overall lead. Munro advanced to 2nd and Berit Frischholz, VSSA earned 3rd place in the series. Opal Koning, Summit was 1 second behind Boyer in 4th. This Freshman girls squad will certainly be exciting to watch at State Championships.
Zane Worrell, VSSA surged off the start for his second win of the series and earned the Leader's jersey by 1 point over Bjorn Riley, Boulder who held it for 3 North conference races and took silver for the day. Boulder racers Dakota Cline and Aiden Keller were 3rd and 4th. William Greig, Longmont rounded out the top 5 at Chalk Creek.
The top competitors from both conferences head to Eagle for the State Championships on October 23rd. A list of student-athletes who qualified to compete in the Championship race is published HERE. The weekend will include a welcome FAC at the Dusty Boot Friday, October 21st, a celebratory picnic on Saturday, Oct 22rd and guided rides to explore the vast trail system in Eagle. Weekend details are HERE.
Overall D1 North Team Podium: Boulder 1st, Fairview 2nd, and Summit 3rd.