2016 Colorado League Season Award Recipients
Everybody associated with the Colorado League is a champion in their own right! The Colorado League established Season Awards in 2010 to recognize those who made outstanding contributions to our mission and who embody NICA's 5 Core Principles of developing strong minds, bodies, and characters, in an environment that is inclusive and equal.
There are countless student-athletes, volunteers, and partners who shine! These inspirational stories represent the positive impacts provided by the dedicated members of this passionate, close-knit community. We are grateful to all who contribute to establishing and sustaining the magic of the dirt revolution.
Coach of the Year - North and South
Acknowledges a head coach whose qualities as a leader and motivator embodies NICA’s mission to provide student-athletes with the coaching and camaraderie to help them achieve both competitive and non-competitive goals in a safe and enjoyable manner.
Andy Clark, North Coach of the Year
Andy Clark, Ciclismo Youth Foundation - North Coach
Andy joined the dirt revolution in 2010 coaching the Fort Collins team and was integral in establishing Ciclismo Youth Foundation. He is a NICA certified skills trainer, presents at Coaches Summits, volunteers countless hours organizing four north area teams and constantly recruits coaches and riders. His knowledge as a former pro road racer and effusive stoke for the sport keeps the focus on fun and fitness.
Roger Ryburn, South Coach of the Year
Roger Ryburn, Highlands Ranch Cycling - South Coach
Roger was exposed to high school mountain biking in 2011 when his son Audie raced with Green Mountain Composite. Roger and wife Julie supported the growth of the Colorado League as weekend volunteers and started Highlands Ranch Cycling (HRC). HRC coordinates four high school teams. Roger also serves as the Colorado League, Treasurer. He plans adventurous excursions and is admired for establishing an inclusive, family team culture. His exuberant attention to every racer, humor, and dedication brings out the awesomeness in ALL.
All-Star Team - North and South
Acknowledges a team that displays exceptional leadership skills, extraordinary sportsmanship, a commitment to their coaches, athletes, and volunteers; provides service to their communities, and consistently goes above and beyond assisting with race production.
Columbine, All-Star Team - South
The Columbine team is rowdy, loud, and proud. They are known for costumes, won the team chant contest, cheer for all the racers, and assist with weekend race production. Head Coaches Jason Webb and Matt Pruett recruited many other Columbine school staff to support the program. Team members show up to races and practices even when injured. The Rebel Alliance is definitely a spirited force.
Stargate Academy, All-Star Team - North
James Flanagan, Kristin and Jeff Seger lead the small and mighty Stargate team. This is their second year and they doubled in size. Jeff Seger stated, "We may not have qualified anyone for states this year but we absolutely have already "won" as a result of just being a part of it all." They consistently provide race weekend volunteers and laid a solid foundation where students become proud members of an athletic team.
Exceptional Student-Athlete - Male and Female
Honors exemplary student athletes whose personal standards and achievements are a model to others. They demonstrate outstanding leadership, sportsmanship, academic performance and volunteerism in their team, school, and community.
Garrison Hayes, Exceptional Male Student-Athlete.
Garrison Hayes, Cherry Creek Composite
Garrison Hayes is a multi-sport para-athlete, bone-cancer survivor, motivational speaker, Eagle Scout, and stellar student. His accomplishments and volunteers are numerous. He encouraged his siblings Teran and Brayton to join high school mountain biking and organized a food drive for Lake County in tandem with the Leadville race. Most importantly his drive, humility, compassion for others, and infinite courage are truly exceptional.
Molly Madden, Fairview
Molly Madden is an honor student, Varsity athlete, and team captain for 3 years. She is a shining example of leadership. She volunteers as a tutor, helps at a local food pantry, participates in trail-building projects, and mentors those new to the sport. She cultivates a positive sporting behavior, sends well wishes to injured athletes, and provides valuable input to the coaching staff. She is a fundamental component to the strength and depth of the Fairview squad which has more females score than any other team in the League.
Most Improved Athlete - Male and Female
Recognizes student-athletes who worked hard to develop their skills, demonstrated consistent improvement and achieved many accomplishments during their tenure.
Taylor Bright shows her skills at State Championships in Eagle.
Taylor Bright, Kelly Walsh - CAMBYR
Taylor Bright first race was mid-season of 2014 at Peaceful Valley as a Sophomore. Brand new to the sport, she came across the finish last on the verge of going into a full asthma attack. Her coaches swept her away to the medical tent. We thought she was never coming back. She returned to race again and steadily improved with the support of her team, especially Kit-Kat Gruner. She completed the 2016 season 9th overall JV North and 20th at State Championships. Her tenacity and commitment to improvement are exemplary.
Cheyenne Mendoza accepts his award with his parents.
Cheyenne Mendoza, Leadville
In 2013, new to the U.S., Cheyenne shyly asked Coach Stacy Kelly to join the mountain bike team. He showed up to practice in work boots and a questionable mountain bike. He placed 39th of 50th as a Freshman. In 2016, he petitioned to race Varsity and finished 11th overall in the South Conference. His family rides regularly and helps with race production. He is an honor student, and a member of the jazz band and computer club. He is a quiet, confident, role model.
Volunteer Service Award
Honors an exceptional volunteer with 2+ years of commitment. They demonstrate the values of the organization, are exemplary in their level of commitment, and are dedicated to the mission.
Scott Hartman, Volunteer Service Award Winner.
Scott Hartman, Buena Vista
Scott Hartman volunteered in 2010 at the very first Colorado League race. He was hooked and continues to volunteer for venue set-up and takedown and is a knowledgeable course marshal. He has adopted the Buena Vista team and gives every racer a bracelet handcrafted from a bike spoke as a symbol of their "tribe". Scott's gentle wisdom and gracious generosity permeate the community. His heart and commitment to service are indelible.
Trailblazers are a student-athlete, coach, or community member who has persevered through challenging circumstances, overcame adversity and is a positive role-model.
Taos Comp mountain bike team.
Field Institute of Taos
The Field Institute of Taos runs the Taos Composite High School mountain bike team. They organize youth from a large rural area centered in Taos, NM. The tight-knit community experienced several devastating losses this season that strengthened their bonds. Susie Fiore is at the helm. Her husband Sean Cassily and a dedicated crew of coaches are resolute in their commitment to support area youth with adventure-based opportunities. Their cheery zeal and allegiance to the core values of teamwork are admirable.
Joseph Wintergerst, Cheyenne Mountain Varsity racer, Trailblazer Award Recipient.
Joseph Wintergerst, Cheyenne Mountain
Joseph learned to mountain bike in 2013 while living in Mexico. His dream of becoming an Olympian was born. He and his father moved to Colorado Springs with extremely limited resources. In 2015, he joined the Cheyenne Mountain team and became a team captain. He quickly gained respect with his jovial nature, work ethic, and increasing speed. He petitioned to race Varsity in 2016 and placed 9th overall in the South conference and 17th at State Championships. His discipline, passion, and infectious smile will take him far.
Outstanding Partner Award
Recognizes an individual or organization whose outstanding partnership is integral to the success of the Colorado League's race series.
Linda Guerette, Photographer, Outstanding Partner Recipient.
Linda Guerette, Photographer
Linda manages the talented cadre of photographers who generously share their talent and time to capture the action and exuberance of race weekends. She shoots videos, interacts on social media, develops methods to improve documenting the stories, and assists with race production. Her images are outstanding expressions of the holistic mission of facilitating the development of youth, families, and community from the saddle of a mountain bike. She contributes to many other events including the Bailey HUNDO. We are extremely grateful for her creative imagery.
Dave Taylor and Amy Dickinson announce the 2nd Chance fund.
Dave and Maureen Taylor, Mountain Island Construction
Dave and Maureen Taylor stepped up as sponsors of the Colorado League the minute their eldest daughter Willow participated on the Boulder High team. They volunteer during race weekends, help feed the massive Boulder team and support the Nederland team. Dave survived a heart attack while mountain biking. Maureen and Amy Dickinson effectively administered CPR in the field. They established the 2nd Chance fund to provide first aid and CPR training for League members starting in 2017. We are very fortunate to be a benefactor of the Taylors' selfless, dynamic energy and indebted to Amy for her calm, effective skills!
Out of the Saddle Awards
Acknowledges individuals who are integral to the success of the Colorado League. Their years of commitment, dedication, expertise, and enthusiasm go above and beyond to make a difference in the organization.
Taf McMurry, Buena Vista
Taf McMurry and family have graciously hosted 5 races in the past 7 years. Every year she enhances the race course and ensures that the experience is top-notch. Since 2010, she tirelessly leads the Buena Vista team, offers her time at Coaches Summits, served on the petition committee, and contributed to Colorado League strategic planning sessions. She exudes an upbeat attitude, is a staunch advocate of the program, and is a respected mentor.
Merrihew Family, East High
The Merrihew family moved to Colorado in 2012. Josh the eldest son joined the East High team as a sophomore. Cheri and Steve immediately stepped up and volunteered every weekend and supported the expansion of the East team. Steve took the helm as Chief Referee in 2015 after a year of training by Andy Neuman. Cheri's humor and organizational acumen is a perfect fit for the integral position of Volunteer Coordinator. She confidently took the lead when Shawna Lanham retired. Charlie Merrihew assists with race production and races with East High. Josh often attends races when he is not busy at college. We are indebted to the loyal professionalism provided by the very merry Merrihews.
Rich Vincent, 7220 Laramie
Rich has devoted countless hours to the 7220 Laramie team and the Colorado League since 2010. He served on the Wyoming Council on Physical Fitness, was the Laramie Enduro race director for a decade, is very involved with IMBA, and spearheads a number of cycling initiatives. He finds innovative ways to support coaches and racers to ensure that they are able to attend trainings and races. He coordinates the annual Stone Temple and Granite Girls Mountain bike camps with Todd Thibideau. Rich volunteers every race weekend with course setting, race venue set up, and course marshaling. He epitomizes the definition of SERVICE.