2017 Colorado League Season Award Recipients Everybody associated with the Colorado League is a champion in their own right! The Colorado League esta


2017 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.

Coach Boyer

Coach Ben Boyer, North Coach of the Year

Ben Boyer, Boulder High - North Coach

Coach Boyer immediately jumped on board in 2010 to foster the joy of mountain biking. He manages the largest team, tirelessly advocates for his student-athletes to be acknowledged and respected by the administration as the team consistently podiums.

He knows every team member individually and develops a strong team culture with a multitude of skills and backgrounds. He shares his knowledge with peers at Coaches Summits. His dynamism has attracted a solid group of loyal, talented coaches critical to managing their swarm of purple with a concerted effort to recruit female coaches as role models. One of his iconic phrases is "Finish it, baby!"

Coach Mark Neel

Mark Neel, South Coach of the Year

Coach Mark Neel, Castle Rock Crankers - South Coach

Coach Mark Neel learned of high school mountain biking in 2010 when a shop employee, Angel Huerta, convinced him to start a team. He recruited 7 riders. In 2011, he was integral to hosting the State Championship race at Ridgeline where his team helped shovel snow allowing the race to occur after 2 weather delays.

He has expanded the program representing 2 high schools where he applies humorous discipline focused on academics and personal goals. As a trusted mentor, he supports expansive personal growth of 18 student-athletes and the development of many quality competitors. Several alumni return to coach and remain a member of the "family". His teams are loud and proud and exhibit the mantra, "Use your head and have fun!"

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.

Lakewood HS Team Photo

Lakewood Tigers - South Team of the Year

Lakewood, All-Star Team - South

The Lakewood team led by Eric Graham, focuses on the adventure and beauty of the great outdoors while committed to establishing solid skills and self-confidence in first-time riders. The more accomplished team members graciously welcome and guide new members. He graciously mentors other teams and has assembled a very engaged parent volunteer base, contributing 129 hours to race production and 54 hours to trail work in 2017. The Tigers exhibit spirited camaraderie, have gained official acknowledgment from school administrators, and participate in several community events throughout the year.


Fairview Knights - North Team of the Year

Fairview, All-Star Team - North

From a humble beginning with 2 riders in 2010, the Fairview Knights have evolved into a strong team with 55 student-athletes and the most dominant female squad in the league. Steve and Portia Noel successfully passed the reins to Andy Feeney and Sheryl Paulson in 2017. For the past 4 years, the team commits to an annual trail work day and logged 140 hours this season. They actively participate in weekend contests and contributed 179 hours to race weekends. They produce team race reports acknowledging the depth of their team members and actively seek guest pros to share knowledge at practices. They convinced the Fairview Principal and Athletic Director to witness their dynamic competence at the 2017 State Championships and won the Division 1 team competition.

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.

Ethan Moyer

Ethan Moyer, Exceptional Male Student-Athlete.

Ethan Moyer, Steamboat Springs

Ethan Moyer, started racing his Freshman year where he immediately achieved competitive success. This spurred an insatiable passion for the sport resulting in a renewed commitment to academics. He generously coaches younger riders in the summer and became a respected leader on the team. He is an accomplished musician, qualified for state competition in the Science Olympiad, is active in the Eco Club, and volunteers at local races and trail building events. Other athletic pursuits include cyclocross and skate skiing. He was a powerful voice in front of the Steamboat Springs City Council meeting advocating for a Colorado League race. He exhibited true sportsmanship, humility, and perseverance in his quest for earning the North Conference overall Leader's jersey after overcoming several setbacks.

Sara Bauermeister

Sara Bauermeister, Columbine

Sara is integral to fostering the renowned vivacious team spirit at Columbine. She was one of the youngest Varsity letter recipients as a Sophomore and is a team captain as a Junior. Peer competitors often commend her consistent words of encouragement while on the race course and instilling confidence in others. She maintains 4.54 GPA attending several AP classes and leads the Unity Action group that is dedicated to local, national, and global volunteerism and awareness. Sara is a shining example of sharing her energetic aptitude to making the world a better place.

Most Improved Athlete - Female and Male

Recognizes student-athletes who worked hard to develop their skills, demonstrated consistent improvement and achieved many accomplishments during their tenure.

Barb Edwards Nathrop Carson K

Barbara Edwards shows her skills at South Conference Championships in Nathrop. Photo Carson Kennedy.

Barbara Edwards, Douglas County

Barbara Edwards joined the team as an eager 7th grader. As a Freshman she finished mid-pack. She consistently improved in the increasingly competitive JV category. She rose steadily in the ranks despite several injuries and a family tragedy. She earned a spot in Varsity as a Senior due to her diligent commitment to training. She is a straight A student and finished 3rd at the South Conference Championships. Despite her diminutive stature she is a solid, gracious competitor who cheers on all participants, and is an animated team captain.

Christian Moden

Christian Moden at State Championships, Eagle.

Christian Moden, Cheyenne Mountain

Christian finished his first race 56th out of 69 competitors as a Freshman. With disciplined training, he petitioned to race Varsity as a Senior Legacy rider. He finished 31st overall among the 44 South Conference Varsity field improving every race. He competed at State Championships placing 58th in the very competitive field of 66. He is a team captain, takes AP classes, and plays the trumpet. He initiated a collaborative performance of the National Anthem with the Buena Vista band. As a gesture of school solidarity, he organized the mountain bike team to lead out the cross-country running team at the State meet.

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.

Steve Kate

Steve Bussey, Volunteer Service Award Winner.

Steve Bussey, East High

Steve Bussey started volunteering in 2010 as he was navigating how to establish a team in the Denver Public Schools. He founded the East High team in 2012 effectively overcoming challenges associated with an urban school with limited trail access. He continues to lead the team while taking time off work every race weekend to mark the race course, serve as a course marshal, and set up and take down the race venue. Steve initiated an inclusive, welcoming orientation specifically for girls coordinating with many high school teams, parents, coaches, pros, and mechanics. Steve and his wife Becky, are committed, competent, and selfless volunteers that keep our events humming.

Trailblazer Award

Trailblazers are a student-athlete, coach, or community member who has persevered through challenging circumstances, overcame adversity and is a positive role-model.

April Paige

April Paige, Check-In Foundation

April Paige founded the Check-In Foundation in 2016 after the devastating loss of her brother Dustin and Clay Watson (partner) and former Colorado League race crew member. The Check-In Foundation is a tool to help navigate the process of healing. It aims to serve as a reminder to check in with one another, to reach out, to educate, and to create awareness of the signs of CTE and mental health symptoms.

April facilitated discussions and cycling skill sessions with many teams including Lakewood, Thunder Ridge, Rock Canyon, Mountain Vista, Valor Christian, Arapahoe, and Chatfield. She presented at the Coach Summit and attended races in 2017. She relishes the opportunity to connect with teams and families.

Suicide is a taboo topic in society, and there are parallels between action sports, CTE, head concussions, and suicide rates. The organization offers a safe place to find support without the fear of shame or embarrassment. We look forward to expanding the reach of April's bold mission and embrace this courageous, compassionate trailblazer!

Martha Reidel

Martha Reidel, Boulder High Sophomore racer, Trailblazer Award Recipient.

Martha Riedel, Boulder High

Martha joined the Boulder High team as a Freshman. She is a cancer survivor, an avid advocate, and outstanding role model. She generously offers support and encouragement to other youth confronted with the challenges of cancer. She continues to overcome monumental challenges with quiet modesty. She actively raises money for organizations that assist those fighting the illness. She competes with the utmost determination and grace while always finding joy in the ride!

Hannah Frei

Hannah Frei, Cheyenne Mountain Varsity racer, Trailblazer Award Recipient.

Hannah Frei, Cheyenne Mountain

Hannah was the only female on the team as a Sophomore. She raced Varsity her Senior year despite having Type 1 diabetes and a serious back injury. Her fortitude is remarkable. Throughout her tenure she avidly recruited other females, welcomed new riders, trained tirelessly, and rose as a respected team captain. She works at a local bike shop which is uncommon for an 18-year old female. She eagerly trains with people beyond her team encouraging them to reach their personal goals. Witnessing her blossom into a healthy role model and an enthusiastic ambassador is truly an honor.

Outstanding Partner Award

Recognizes an individual or organization whose outstanding partnership is integral to the success of the Colorado League's race series.

Primal Wear

Dave Edwards, President (middle), Primal Wear, Outstanding Partner Recipient.

Primal Wear, Sponsor

Primal Wear is a loyal sponsor of the Colorado League since 2010 and supports several other Leagues, Primal was integral to launching NICA National in 2009 and supported the organization directly for many years. Primal sponsors the the annual Colorado Bike Summit, Colorado Bike Expo, the Bailey HUNDO, Trips for Kids Denver Metro, the Cycle Effect and countless other non-profit organizations. They chose the Colorado League as a benefactor for the annual Shift Art Party November 4th.

Primal was presented the 2017 Interbike Innovation Award for Advocacy based on their exemplary role in getting more people on bikes, creating safer places to ride, and pioneering efforts to increase bicycle participation. We are extremely grateful and fortunate for their generosity beyond the Colorado League!

Grand Valley Youth Cycling

Members of Grand Valley Youth Cycling, Outstanding Partner.

Grand Valley Youth Cycling

The momentum created in the Grand Valley since 2011 has been incredible. This enthusiastic group nurtured 3 high school teams in the area, developed a middle school program and hosted a free summer weeknight race series. The actively participate in the annual Coach Summit, engage in community outreach, and have provided financial assistance to new teams. They established a Spring Girls Only day to encourage females to try the sport in a friendly, skills-based setting. The 3 Division 2 teams contributed 141 volunteer hours to race production this season.

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.

Blair Seymour

Blair Seymour, Steamboat Springs Out of the Saddle award recipient.

Blair Seymour, Steamboat Springs

Blair Seymour, was the spark that lit the Steamboat Springs high school mountain bike team in 2013. For 4 years, she led the charge to bring a Colorado League race to her hometown. She mobilized local advocates to support the event. Her drive, expertise, and relationships were integral to crafting a stellar race venue at Emerald Mountain. The team devoted many hours to trail construction, maintenance, and volunteers for the 2017 race.

Paul and Kristy Lillagore

Paul and Kristy Lillagore, Out of the Saddle award recipients.

Paul and Kristy Lillagore

Paul and Kristy dove headfirst into volunteering with race production in 2012 when their son Steven started competing as a Freshman with Ralston Valley. They have not missed a race in 5 years. They are the first to arrive on site at 6:00 AM greeting all with comic wit. Their commitment to safety and spectator experience has bolstered the professionalism of our race events. The Lillagores truly are exceptional!

Sara Ballantyne

Sara Ballantyne, Ridgway Composite

Sara was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1992 and the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 2014. As a pioneer woman in competitive cycling, she won 3 World Champion titles. In 2013, she single-handedly created the Ridgway Composite mountain bike team by garnering support from 6 communities in 3 counties across the northern San Juan mountains of rural southwest Colorado. The team is a stellar example of collaboration with more than 20 members. She was essential to developing a local bike park and 26 miles of trails in Ridgway.

Team Golden Pick Award, Boulder High

The Colorado League team that completed the most trail building hours between April 1, 201, and October 1, 2017, was awarded this new award sponsored by John Shipp of Roadhouse Hospitality Group, Boulder High team members contributed a total 344 hours of trail work during the 2017 season. Way to give back to the trails that are fundamental to the sport we all love!

Golden Pick Award - Boulder

Boulder High, Golden Pick Award recipients.

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