The State Championship race included 561 racers from 61 teams. This is an annual pilgrimage of high school mountain bikers to test their skills. Racers qualify to compete based on their performance during the 4-race series in their respective North or South conference. Individuals contests include Freshman, Sophomore, JV and Varsity categories for both males and females. Team results are a compilation of points across these eight fields.
The 2016 weekend was hosted by the Town of Eagle for the fourth consecutive year. Weekend events included a Friday welcome at the Dusty Boot. Saturday guests were treated to a guided trail ride sponsored by the Mountain Pedaler and a celebratory picnic, sponsored by the Roadhouse Hospitality Group, Tender Belly, and Alpine Bank. Locals devoted many days grooming the Haymaker trail to ensure conditions were top-notch for the competition. Fans lined the spectator friendly corkscrew as racers railed the berms and demonstrated intense focus amidst thundering cheers.
The weekend sock contest added a splash of color to the dry, dusty surface conditions. Ralston Valley displayed socks around their team tent. Compass Montessori's superhero theme earned them first place in the team sock competition. Ryan Taylor, Chatfield Varsity racer snagged the individual title with his ice cream cone "body sock".
Ralston Valley rocked the socks!
State Championships is bittersweet for many seniors as they close this chapter of their high school career. Several grandparents and relatives attended the event to commemorate this finale. Senior Legacy JV rider from Rocky Mountain, Keagan Macrae's grandmother is an avid fan. She was a maverick competitor in off-road motorsports, mountain biking, BMX, and introduced her children and grandchildren to snowboarding. She exclaimed, "I love this scene and will miss it." Douglas County Freshman, Chris Anderson celebrated his 33rd place finish with his grandfather who is an avid mountain biker and loyal fan of Yeti Cycles.
The annual picnic acknowledges 16 individuals or organizations that contribute to the vibrant community in outstanding ways. A completed list of award recipients is HERE. A weekend highlight was the announcement that the Denver Area Hometown Toyota Dealers Association committed to being the 2017 presenting sponsor of the Colorado League race series. Deck Hughes, President of the association, addressed the crowd. Toyota models complete with Rocky Mounts racks and Yeti bikes were on site for people to inspect. Kate Rau Executive Director commented, "We are ecstatic that this group of Toyota Dealers believes in the positive impact of our mission of fostering healthy habits in youth, strengthening family bonds, and developing resilient communities from the saddle of a mountain bike. It is an ideal partnership. Their support will allow the program to sustain quality while providing more opportunities for teams to expand across the region."
Toyota joined the Colorado Leagues as 2017 presenting sponsor.
Roger Ryburn, South Coach of Year and Garrison Hayes, Male Exceptional Student Athlete.
The Division 1 team competition was dominated by the North. Boulder High raced to its 6th State Championship title in 7 years. Fairview earned Silver for 6 of 7 years. Hometown team Battle Mountain took the Bronze. Golden was 4th and Animas was 5th among the 23 teams.
The South teams were prominent in the Division 2 team competition. VSSA landed the Gold, Durango took the Silver, and Grand Junction brought home the Bronze. Fountain Valley had their best finish of the season in 4th and Poudre placed 5th. Douglas County was a mere 3 points behind Poudre of the 44 Division 2 teams.
The Varsity male race started in the heat of the day with a field of 49 racers. Slav Uglyar, Summit, ranked 4th rank in the North Conference was absent due to an injury sustained earlier in the week. The anticipation was high with Will McBryde, East and Nolan Jenkins, Independent on the start line in their respective conference Leaders' jersey. Ross Ellwood, Boulder clocked the fastest time for lap 1 of 4 and was a serious contender after winning the North Conference race 2 weeks prior. Ellwood was in the lead with the Jenkins brothers, Levi Gavette, CRMS and Keiran Eagan, Durango revving up for a very competitive race. A chase pack was 15 seconds back with McBryde, Reade Warner, Golden, Ethan Wright, Fairview, and Drew Sotebeer, Rock Canyon. It was anyone's title to earn over the course of 25 miles. Ellwood was mysteriously missing and was the last rider through on lap 2 as he ran in with a broken chain. He quickly got a new bike at the Feed Zone and finished the race in 42nd. This was a disappointing end to his excellent tenure at Boulder High.
Gavette and the Jenkins brothers engaged in their usual cat and mouse and created a gap. Eagan, Warner, Wright, and Sotebeer were joined by Isaac Nagel-Brice, Boulder and Ethan Moyer, Steamboat. Wright dropped out after limping through lap 3 due to an aggravated hip. Nic Jenkins, Fountain Valley crossed the finish .37 seconds ahead of his younger brother Nolan. Gavette was 3rd, Eagan 4th, and Warner 5th. The grit displayed by the entire field was evident as they rolled in dusty, thirsty, and thoroughly drained.
The Varsity female field included 25 racers and faced similar challenges. Harper Powell, Salida, and Katja Freeburn, VSSA were happy to see one another for in 2015 they raced in the same conference. Powell and Freeburn immediately put a gap between them and the remainder of the field. Camryn Sippy, Animas and Maddie Jo Robbins, Durango kept pace trying to keep the leaders in sight. Madelynn Gerritsen, Golden was in 5th. Sarah Smith, Battle Mountain was in the mix and three Fairview racers worked together to close the gap. Powell beat Freeburn by less than 2 minutes the closest race for Powell this season. Robbins, Sippy, and Gerritsen rounded out the top five. Kit-Kat Gruner was feeling strong and confident on this familiar course. She was hoping for a top 10 finish. Her front wheel t-boned in a soft section sandy section on lap 1. She crashed hard and her handlebar end plug impaled her thigh. She removed it from her leg and bravely persevered walking some sections and pedaling up hills with one leg. Determined to earn points for Natrona County team, the team captain finished the race. Similar to Ellwood, Gruner did not anticipate her last race with her school team to have such an agonizing finish.
Grace Westfall, Varsity, Rocky Mountain, leads Birgit Morris, Grand Junction.
Drew Sotebeer, Nic Jenkins, Nolan Jenkins, Keiran Eagan, and Levi Gavette. Celebrate a great season of racing.
Hapere Powell, Varsity, Salida earns a State Championship title.
Camden Gillis, Salida and Talus Lantz, Boulder lined up on the start line as in 2016, their respective the conference champions. Gillis and Lantz remained up front for the 3 laps with Clark Willis, Grand Junction and Riley Sheehan, Boulder never far behind. Sheehan caught Willis on lap 2 and rode to 3rd. Willis held on for 4th. A covey of Boulder Panthers were in the chase group including Nolan Brunner, Quinn Reece and Jared Scott. Ian Catto, CRMS, and Crested Butte riders Ian Eldridge and Tanner Perkins completed the top ten JV males for the day. Gillis remains undefeated since his first race in 2015 and Lantz was less than a minute back. Lots of close racing occurred in the middle of the 146 person field.
The JV female conference leaders are Petra Schmidtmann, Nederland and Madelynn Townsend, Salida. A total fo 54 competitors were in this category. Jazylnn Smith, Summit clocked the fastest first lap with Schmidtmann and Sadie Schafer, Steamboat hovering within 1 second. Margaret Dickson, Steamboat, Ce Compton, Durango and Samantha Soriano, Columbine and Townsend comprised a strong chase pack. Schmidtmann rode to her second State Championship title with Schafer, 2nd, Smith 3rd, Compton 4th and Soriano 5th.
The Sophomore male field included 101 racers split into 2 start waves. Wearing the Leaders' jerseys were Cory Devin, Chatfield for the South and Nathan Pawlak, Fairview for the North. Pawlak was off the front and never looked back with Tyler Scholl, Middle Park on his wheel and Adam Pickett, Natrona County was a close 3rd. A herd of chasers included Maxwell Story, Fairview, Elliott Vaughan, CRMS, Nolan Ales, Cheyenne Mountain, David Sanders-Kulesza, Battle Mountain and Lexter Lovejoy, Cheyenne Mountain. Treden Bosch, Poudre moved up on lap 2 to finish in 5th behind Story who held onto 4th by 1 second.
The Conference leader for the Sophomore females included Grace Karoly, Summit for the North and Alejandra Godina, Salida for the South. Local Battle Mountain racer Gaja Wilson laid down the fastest first lap and earned her first State Championship title. Karoly raced to 2nd, Ava Martinez, Monarch had a negative split on lap 2 and earned a bronze. Godina finished 4th. Alyssa Feinberg, Fairview, Grace Von Mettenheim, Boulder and Mazie Neill, Golden sprinted to the finish in tight succession for 5th, 6th, and 7th.
Keaton Kramer, Sophomore Castle View.
Gaja Wilson, Battle Mountain, Sophomore State Champion.
The Freshman female field included 47 racers almost double from 2015. Sharon Seabury of VSSA was the North Conference Champion and Lizzy Barsness, Glenwood Springs the South. Seabury and teammate Berit Frischholz were neck and neck the entire race. Seabury barely outsprinted Firschholz at the finish. Madigan Munro, Boulder was 3rd, Isabella Sargent, Battle Mountain 4th and Opal Konig, Summit was 5th. Barness was the top South competitor in this contest in 8th.
North Conference champion Zane Worrell, VSSA and South Conference champion Dillon Turner, Conifer Platte Composite lined up for the Freshman male division. Bjorn Riley, Boulder and Riley Amos, Animas completed the front line. Worrell, Cobe Freeburn, Durango, Riley and Dakota Cline, Boulder set a blistering pace at the start. Turner caught Amos on lap 2. Worrell won the State title with Riley taking the Silver, Freeburn earned a Bronze. Cline finished 4th, Turner 5th and Amos was 6th.
Gabe Frizzell, Freshman, High Desert Composite
Kobe, Mike, and Katja Freeburn celebrate their season accomplishments.
Alyssa Keirn, Rocky Mountain Freshman.
The 2016 season is in the books with a total of 1,076 athletes participating from 67 teams. We are extremely fortunate to have a solid, fun loving crew of riders, coaches, families, and supporters. The 2017 race dates are posted on the calendar HERE.