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Columbine Cheering

Columbine, D1 South 2nd place team, cheers on racers.

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Boulder D1, North 1st place team celebrates at finish line.

High School Mountain Bike Racers Exude True Grit and Team Spirit

Colorado League Frisco Bay Invitational Race #1 Report

by Kate Rau
Contact: Kate Rau, Colorado League Director, kate@coloradomtb.org, 720.272.9282

North Results
South Results
Photos

The 8th season of the Colorado High School Cycling League race series opened with the Frisco Bay Invitational. A swarm of 1,032 student-athletes convened at the Frisco Adventure Park to test their singletrack skills on a 6.3-mile course. Over 70 teams traveled from around the region, including points as far north as Casper, WY and south to Taos, NM. The energy was electric as fans cheered on the inspiring racers who pushed their limits under the late summer sunshine.

The nervous anticipation of new racers as they oriented to the boisterous atmosphere was palpable and the veteran riders were anxious to get the season underway. Several new teams experienced the rowdy, caring, camaraderie emblematic of high school mountain biking. Eagle Valley and Centaurus expanded the North Conference slate of teams. New teams in the south included Heritage, Palisade, Ponderosa, Regis Jesuit, and Rio Grande Composite (Alamosa and Monte Vista).

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Lilo Andrade, Freshman, Battle Mountain races to 9th for the day.

Matthew Mulholland

Matthew Mulholland, Varsity Legacy, Thunder Ridge, rolls with gusto to 10th.

The weekend was chock full of festivities with a team chant contest while spectators engaged with various sponsors and partners including the 2017 presenting sponsor Your Hometown Toyota Stores. Middle Park eeked out the team cheer contest with the Casper teams close behind for the North competition. In the South, the Castle Rock and Douglas County team jingle, included photos of Coach Mark Neel, earned them a stock of goodies from Justin's Nut Butter.

There are countless stories of racers overcoming challenges to participate. Many created and accomplished personal goals. For example, Kaleena Davis, JV, Ralston Valley was ecstatic about her performance as she exceeded her personal goal of shaving 10 minutes off her 2016 Frisco race time. Avery Fichera, JV, Estes Park clocked a 34-minute first lap and finished 126th as he finished with 27.5-inch tube in his 29-inch tire. Megan Bertrand, JV, Lakewood, displayed incredible grit as she brushed off a hard fall and resolutely decided she was going finish. Shade Bouchey, JV, Taos was determined to finish after repairing his flat once, as later he took advantage of neutral support to fix it a second time.

Teran Hayes

Teran Hayes, JV, Cherry Creek Composite was thrilled by her effort.

Zeke Cramer Corner

Zeke Cramer, JV, Estes Park Legacy corners his Dad's bike as his broke 30 minutes before the start.

Many grandparents savored watching their offspring push their limits as sibling recruitment continues to be a common theme. The Green Mountain team has the Molnar quadruplets, the Forney twins, and the Campbell brothers all contributing to the team's Division 2 second place podium. East High has three Francone siblings, Conifer has three Turner brothers, and Steamboat Springs has three Seibel sisters. Numerous teams have enlisted siblings to join the fun which certainly makes it easier for the family schedule.

Kailela wtih Grandparents

Kailea Barth, Fairview, Varsity celebrates 4th place with her grandmother and aunt.

Podium Puppy

Graham Tuohy-Gaydos, 2nd place Freshman Green Mountain shares his new puppy.

North Conference power house teams Boulder, Fairview, and Battle Mountain were the top three point earners in Division 1 with less than 100 points separating them. The Fairview Knights success was carried by their female racers representing 7 of the 10 top point earners. Battle Mountain had 6 Varsity riders contribute to their Bronze trophy.

Division 2 team, Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy (VSSA) took the Gold. Hometown team Summit was 28 points behind and earned 2nd place due in large part to their strong female squad. Fossil Ridge took the Bronze with Natrona County a mere 22 points behind. The point spreads among D2 teams was extremely close as Middle Park beat Fort Collins by 3 points.

The North Varsity boys race was full of excitement with Ethan Moyer, Steamboat and Ethan Wright, Fairview setting a blistering pace at the start. Both had mechanical issues yet soldiered on. The race evolved with a sprint finish between Sam Brown, VSSA and Wyatt Moehring, Battle Mountain. The field was tight with less than 15 seconds between positions 4th through 9th. Legacy racer Thomas Johann, Longmont finished 6th in that bunch and said Frisco is his favorite course.

Madelyn Gerritsen, Golden started off her season on top welcoming the competition from Tea Wright, Fairview. Wright clocked the fastest female lap time of the day. This Varsity female field will evolve throughout the season as many riders were within 20-seconds of one another. Fairview has 5 in the 15-person field and Boulder has 4 making this category one to watch.

The north JV boys race was a nail biter with Eli Smith, VSSA, Bjorn Riley, Boulder and Ryan Stowers, Boulder pushing one another for 3 laps. The north Sophomore girls demonstrated some great racing with Taylor Johnson, Centaurus, beating Wren Taylor, Boulder by 0.06 seconds.

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Lillian Bisantz, Sophomore, Animas enjoying the ride!

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Cole Rees, Soph, Cheyenned, WY tackles a hill.

South Conference teams rolled into a dusty churned up course on Sunday. Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) took the Gold with Animas in 2nd by 2 points over Columbine in the Division 1 competition. It is notable that Columbine had 7 girls and Animas had 6 girls contribute to their teams' success.

The Division 2 team competition is packed with 30 teams. Durango, Green Mountain and Highlander Composite from the Colorado Springs area were the top three. Glenwood Springs was 4th with only 2 points behind Highlander.

The Varsity boys race showed the depth of talent in the field. The top three racers Nolan Jenkins - Palmer Ridge, Zac Richardson, Douglas County, and Levi Gavette, CRMS took off and created a 30-second gap ahead of a large chase group. Legacy racers Drew Sotebeer, Rock Canyon, and Clark Willis, Grand Junction were intrepid as they persevered through mechanicals to finish.

Maddie Jo Robbins, Durango was on fire in the Varsity girls South race. Emi Bauer, CRMS, and Maya Zarlingo, Animas worked together for 2nd and 3rd with Madelyn Townsend, Salida in hot pursuit for 4th.

Cobe Freeburn, Durango won the JV boys while George Poggemeyer, Chatfield, 2nd place, and Ryan Campbell, Green Mountain, 6th place exerted some major power as they started in the B wave.

Watching freshman girls Ainsley Haggert, Animas and Abbey Shephard, Durango battle for 4th and 5th with a .001 of a second gap, followed by a hug and high five at the finish exemplifies how much heart racers put into their efforts.

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Jack Odron, Freshman, East climbs hill with focus.

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Kate Oldham, JV, CRMS races to 5th and contributes to the CRMS D1 team win.

The race expo was buzzing where spectators and participants played corn hole, checked out the latest offerings from Primal Wear, learned about the new lights and cyclometers from Cateye, purchased sunglasses from Optic Nerve, and spoke to representatives from Western State Colorado University and the Check-In Foundation. Absolute Bikes mechanic, Scott Banks, was cranking out repairs to keep racers rolling.

Race #2 is Sunday, September 10th when the South Conference races at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville. The North Conference races at Emerald Mountain in Steamboat Springs.

Toyota
Boulder Girls bike

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 10 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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