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Race Report: More Than 700 Racers Contend with Thin Air

September 16, 2015

Kurt Freiburg and Ally Faller

Leadville, Colo. - The Colorado High School Cycling League second race for 2015 was the familiar high altitude setting of the Colorado Mountain College, Timberline campus in Leadville where 738 racers challenged their legs and lungs. New teams were in more of a groove knowing the race weekend routine. Veteran Colorado League members were pumped to be back in Leadville's rarefied air as it boasts the highest elevation of any city in the United States.

Last season when the Hayes family raced in Leadville, they devised a way to give back to the local community that hosts cycling events. Eagle Scout candidate, Garrison Hayes, third year student athlete with Cherry Creek composite initiated a food drive where over 400 items were collected that will support dozens of families in Lake County. Hayes's altruistic leadership actively demonstrates the core principle of service encouraged by the Colorado League coaches.

While the race in Cloud City had almost cloudless weather all weekend, it still lived up to its name with the starting line at a lofty 10,152 feet above sea level. With a long climb right off the start, it was easy to remember exactly how little oxygen there is above ten thousand feet, but as soon as the single track began, the lack of air ceased to matter. Flowing and rolling through aspens and pines, the single track heart of the Leadville race is unique in its beauty. The open meadow sections tend to be a bit surprising as racers burst from the trees, but offer some of the best views around. Returning to the trees offers rolling glades, which begin trending upwards, culminating in a steeper, more rocky climb out of the valley. The final technical descent is through a tight and dark pine forest, down a loose and rocky slope, and into slippery, wide u-turns. A new addition to the course was a long run into a short, steep, and loose climb out onto the finishing uphill straight. This provided an interesting new challenge for riders, with some making the hill on the first try, and some needing several attempts. Overall, Leadville provided a wonderfully exciting course for both downhill oriented riders, and superb climbers.

Southern Divisions

Kenny Boots, South JV Rock Canyon, races to through the aspen for a win.

Kenny Boots, South JV Rock Canyon, races to through the aspen for a win.

Animas maintained the top position for the day and overall in the Southern Conference Division 1. Team standings for the day were a repeat of race 1 with Salida and Columbine in second and third among 10 Division 1 teams. Durango moved into the lead in team overall points in Division 2 over the Green Mountain team. Crested Butte and Rock Canyon were new to the podium for the day in Division 2 with a mere 57 points between Silver and Bronze. Less than 150 points spans the overall D2 Team results between Crested Butte 3rd, HIghlander Composite 4th, and Fountain Valley 5th.

Division 1 South Race #2 Team Results Race 1:

1. Animas - 5033 pts.

2. Salida - 4853 pts.

3. Columbine- 4418 pts.

Division 1 South Team Results Overall:

1. Animas - 10,014 pts.

2. Salida - 9632 pts.

3. Columbine- 9100 pts.

Division 2 South Team Results Race 2:

1. Durango - 2630 pts.

2. Crested Butte - 2384 pts

3. Rock Canyon - 2327 pts.

Division 2 South Team Results Overall:

1. Durango - 5076 pts.

2. Green Mountain- 4792 pts.

3. Crested Butte - 4577 pts.

Saturday's South Conference race included a total of 376 racers representing 10 Division 1 teams and 24 division 2 teams. With the rotating start schedule of categories the Freshman boys were the first off the start line at 9:00 a.m. with the Varsity and JV Boys following.

Varsity South

JV North Girls off the start. Blanca Lobato-Roberts (3053) and Isabella Olsson (3045) Independent Middle Park.  Photo by Leslie Farnsworth-Lee. Photo by Leslie Farnsworth-Lee.

JV North Girls off the start. Blanca Lobato-Roberts (3053) and Isabella Olsson (3045) Independent Middle Park.

The south conference varsity boys provided plenty of action. Henry Nadell (CRMS) tried an attack on the opening long climb, then created a gap on the technical downhill to set up a “perfect” race. The extra lap added this weekend did not affect Nadell much, as his fourth and final lap was under 27 minutes on the way to his second straight win. Behind him, a pack of 5 riders came through within a few seconds of each other on the first lap. Nic Jenkins of Fountain Valley survived a crash which dropped him back to 8th, and fought back to claim second, one better than in Frisco. Bryce Gordon from Durango had to deal with a leaky tire but still took third, a huge improvement on his 13th in Frisco.

Varsity Boys - South: 4 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Henry Nadell (024) CRMS 1:47:26

2. Nic Jenkins (030) Fountain Valley 1:50:50

3. Bryce Gordon (008) 1:50:53

Varsity Boys - South: Overall 2 of 4 races:

1. Henry Nadell (024) CRMS - 1150 pts

2. Nic Jenkins (030) Fountain Valley - 1121 pts

3. Grant McCormick (026) Green Mountain - 1140 pts

Eight fast young women headed out in the first wave of the girl’s race, with amazing support from their teammates. They needed it for the 3 laps in the mid-day heat. In a repeat of the opener in Frisco, Salida’s Harper Powell set the pace at the front, and applied her own pressure to lead every lap, finishing the first lap in under 30 minutes to put her first minute into the field. She gained another minute by her final lap and collected her 5th win in her last five Colorado League races. Katja Freeburn from Durango enjoyed the rolling course on her way to second, and was the first to congratulate Harper. Grand Junction’s Marta Morris improved on her 6th from Frisco to grab the 3rd podium spot after a close race with Animas’s Camryn Sippy.

Varsity Girls - South: 3 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Harper Powell (114) Salida 1:34:35

2. Katja Freeburn (106) Durango 1:36:39

3. Marta Morris (110) Grand Junction 1:40:32

Varsity Girls - South: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Harper Powell (114) Salida - 1150 pts

2. Katja Freeburn (106) Durango - 1130 pts

3. Camryn Sippy (102) Animas - 1103 pts

Junior Varsity South

The close competition in Varsity was repeated in the JV Boys where only 1 second separated the top 4 riders, with 2 others in a close chase. Rock Canyon’s Kenny Boots was not feeling fresh early on, but eventually found his climbing legs and attacked on the third lap to earn his first-ever League win. Independent 9th grader from Colorado Springs School and current USAC U14 National Champ, Nolan Jenkins, bettered his 4th in Frisco with a Silver. Boots’s teammate Drew Sotebeer claimed another 3rd place. Frisco winner Alex Campbell, wearing the Leader's jersey for Green Mountain had major mechanical issues, soldiered on with a 30 minute penalty for a bike switch to avoid a DNF. The top of this category is in close competition with Jenkins and Sotebeer tied for 2nd overall.

JV Boys - South: 3 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Kenny Boots (2274) Rock Canyon 1:22:33

2. Nolan Jenkins (2122) Independent, Colorado Springs School - 1:24:02

3. Drew Sotebeer (2276) Rock Canyon 1:25:47

JV Boys - South: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Kenny Boots (2274) - 1070 points

2. Nolan Jenkins (2122) Independent, Colorado Springs School - 1042 TIE

2. Drew Sotebeer (2276) Rock Canyon - 1042 pts.

Maya Zarlingo from Animas and Birgit Morris from Grand Junction quickly distanced themselves at the front of the girls JV race. Maya used the extra energy she got from all her supporters, creating a 1 minute gap for her first win this season, finishing with happy tears. Birgit continued on for an excellent 2nd, crediting the switch to a new hardtail bike for the improvement from her 4th in Frisco. Highlander’s Sarah Lease recovered from a crash to earn her second third place, while Frisco winner Carolyn Graven from Evergreen also crashed early on but fought back for 4th. With the win, Zarrlingo takes over the leader jersey. Carolyn Graven moves to 2nd overall with Morris and Lease tied for 3rd oveall.

JV Girls - South: 2 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Maya Zarlingo (3004) Animas 1:07:08

2. Birgit Morris (3026) Grand Junction 1:08:07

3. Sarah Lease (3028) Highlander Comp 1:10:11

JV Girls - South: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Maya Zarlingo (3004) Animas - 1070 pts

2. Carolyn Graven (3044) Evergreen - 1052 pts

3. Birgit Morris (3026) Grand Junction - 1042 pts

3. Sarah Lease (3028) Highlander Comp - 1042 pts

Sophomore South

Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) rider Levi Gavette put together two blistering and nearly identical laps to take his first-ever Gold in the last race of the day. Douglas County’s Zac Richardson moved up one from his third in Frisco. James Bivens from Crested Butte kept the throttle pinned on his second lap to just get by Valor Christian’s Everett Durbin for third. Frisco winner Ryan Taylor from Chatfield had an off day, battling stomach issues, but still finished mid-pack. Zac takes over the leader’s jersey for South Sophomore Boys.

Sophomore Boys - South: 2 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Levi Gavette (4070) CRMS - 56:34

2. Zac Richardson (4082) Douglas County 58:17

3. James Bivens (4058) Crested Butte 58:26

Sophomore Boys - South: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Zac Richardson (4082) Douglas County - 971 pts

2. Levi Gavette (4070) CRMS - 964 pts

3. Clark Willis (4116) Grand Junction - 946 pts

Emi Bauer from CRMS pushed through a “painful” race, including a dropped chain, to take her second win of the season in Leadville. In fact, the entire podium looked the same as in Frisco, with Barbara Edwards from Douglas County earning her second Silver, and Shannon Carrol of Green Mountain receiving another Bronze medal to add to her collection.

Sophomore Girls - South: 2 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Emi Bauer (504) CRMS 1:14:23

2. Barbara Edwards (506) Douglas County 1:15:31

3. Shannon Carroll (512) Green Mountain 1:17:59

Sophomore Girls - South: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Emi Bauer (504) CRMS 1:14:23 - Overall Points Leader

2. Barbara Edwards (506) Douglas County 1:15:31

3. Shannon Carroll (512) Green Mountain 1:17:59

Freshman South

The Freshman Boys opened up the weekend’s racing, and enjoyed one more lap than at the opener in Frisco. Salida’s Camden Gillis not only liked the longer race, he upped the speed as well to pocket another win. Tanner Perkins from Crested Butte kept Camden in sight for a close second, after his 8th in Frisco. Benon Gattis from the Gunnison Cowboys also enjoyed the extra lap and took third.

Freshman Boys - South: 2 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Camden Gillis (6106) Salida 56:15

2. Tanner Perkins (6052) Crested Butte 56:30

3. Benon Gattis (6156) Gunnison 58:49

Freshman Boys - South: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Camden Gillis (6106) Salida - 1000

2. Benon Gattis (6156) Gunnison - 971

3. Jack Rotter (6116) Columbine - 953

The rookie girls’ field put on an excellent display of teamwork, with the top 4 girls working together the entire race and enjoying their extra lap this time around. Animas’ Sadie Shafer earned her second win of the season, while Columbine’s Samantha Soriano and Animas’ Alma Wolf traded podium spots with Samantha second this time. Animas took 3 of the top 4 spots with Cecelia Compton in 4th.

Freshman Girls - South: 2 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Sadie Schafer (706) Animas 1:11:35

2. Samantha Soriano (722) Columbine 1:11:36

3. Alma Wolf (704) Animas 1:11:37

Freshman Girls - South: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Sadie Schafer (706) Animas - 1000

2. Alma Wolf (704) Animas - 971

2. Samantha Soriano (722) - 971

Northern Division

The North Conference teams and riders tackled the course which was well worn from the Saturday south races. They south riders happily provided the north with strategic tips about the course, especially the steep short punch at the end.

Boulder High moved ahead of Fairview in a very close battle for Division 1 North supremacy, with Battle Mountain nipping at the heels of Fairview. The podium for the day in Division 2 replicated race 1 in Frisco. The Summit Tigers kept their lead over Denver’s East High barely keeping VSSA off the silver podium for overall.

Division 1 North Team Results Race 2:

1. Boulder - 5246 pts.

2. Fairview - 5042 pts.

3. Battle Mountain (Eagle County) - 4935 pts.

Division 1 North Team Results Overall:

1. Boulder - 10,386 pts.

2. Fairview - 10,292 pts.

3. Battle Mountain (Eagle County) - 9986 pts.

Division 2 North Team Results Race 2:

1. Summit - 2513 pts.

2. East High School - 2373 pts.

3. Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (VSSA) - 2290 pts.

Division 2 North Team Results Overall:

1. Summit - 5054 pts.

2. East High School - 4724 pts.

3. Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (VSSA) - 4627 pts.

North Varsity

At the end of lap 1 of 4, the Varsity Boys’ race, 5 riders were packed into the sharp end of the field despite multiple attacks. In the next lap, Boulder’s Cassidy Dzekciorius-Bailey and East’s Will McBryde moved out front. As these two came into the Feed Zone at the start of lap 2,they jointly agreed to NOT attack and even shook hands across their handlebars to seal the pact. Their consistent lap times through the first 3 laps is evidence of the camaraderie and sportsmanship demonstrated by these young leaders.

Dzekciorious-Bailey managed to get a gap on the technical downhills, then McBryde clipped a tree on the last lap. This not only allowed Dzekciorious-Bailey to stretch his lead a little, but let an energized Quintin Cook from Battle Mountain go for second. Dzekciorious-Bailey wheelied across the line in celebration of the win and his big improvement from 11th in Frisco. Cook and Mcbryde followed, with Ralston Valley’s Logan Shreck right behind in 4th.

Varsity Boys - North: 4 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Cassidy Dzekciorius-Bailey (017) Boulder 1:49:47

2. Quintin Cook (005) Battle Mountain 1:50:47

3. Will McBryde (023) East 1:50:49

Varsity Boys - North: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Will McBryde (023) East - 1131 pts

2. Jack Tanner (033) Fairview - 1095

3. Logan Shreck (047) Ralston Valley - 1078

Summit Tiger Ezra Smith loved the Leadville course so much that she was unaware of her substantial lead which amounted to almost 7 minutes, the biggest winning margin of the season so far. Fairview’s Molly Madden captured another second place, but this took a bit more work as she made up two positions after the first lap. Boulder’s Lillie Bahrami earned an excellent 3rd for her team. The course was not kind to a few other fast women – Boulder’s Claire Carlin was second for two laps, but flatted on the final circuit, while Fairview’s Chantal Kershner suffered two flats and a broken valve stem in the first two laps. Kershner's last lap was her fastest.

Varsity Girls - North: 3 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Ezra Smith (121) Summit 57:34.45

2. Molly Madden (107) Fairview 1:01:54.99

3. Chantal Kershner (105) Fairview 1:02:04.15

Varsity Girls - North: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Ezra Smith (121) Summit - 1150 pts

2. Molly Madden (107) Fairview - 1130 pts

3. Lillie Bahrami (103) Fairview - 1103 pts

Boulder’s Ranier Barth and Steamboat’s Evan Barbier lead a pack of JV boys through the first 2 laps, but on the final lap Barth “got away by having more fun” on the twisty downhill sections through the trees. Barbier improved on his 5th in Frisco for second, and VSSA’s Nolan Herzog followed him in for the final step on the podium. Barbier’s Steamboat teammate Ethan Moyer had major bike problems just before the start of the race, and was lent pedals by Leadville Coach and course designer Bruce Kelly – a favor he repaid by finishing an excellent 4th place.

JV Boys - North: 3 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Rainer Barth (2045) Boulder 1:23:09 - Overall Points Leader

2. Evan Barbier (2141) Steamboat 1:23:50

3. Nolan Herzog (2277) VSSA 1:24:37

JV Boys - North: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Rainer Barth (2045) Boulder 1:23:09 - Overall Points Leader

2. Evan Barbier (2141) Steamboat 1:23:50

3. Nolan Herzog (2277) VSSA 1:24:37

Frisco winner Sarah Smith of Battle Mountain and Fairview’s Keilea Barth led the field of 39 JV girls in the first lap, but on the uphill of the second lap Boulder’s Alexa Warner worked her way between them. When Warner passed Barth the Fairview rider encouraged her Boulder competitor, with "Nice work, you've got this !" Smith continued to increase her lead through the singletrack to take first, while Warner and Barth held their podium spots.

JV Girls - North: 2 laps Race 1 Results:

1. Sarah Smith (3075) Battle Mountain 1:08:49 - Overall Points Leader

2. Alexa Warner (3023) Boulder 1:10:24

3. Keilea Barth (3031) Fairview 1:10:57

JV Girls - North: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Sarah Smith (3075) - 1080 pts

2. Keilea Barth (3031) Fairview - 1051 pts

3. Alexa Warner (3023) Boulder - 1042 pts

Sophomore North

Battle Mountain’s Collin Wilson covered all of the early attacks, then made one of his own to take his second win of the season in Leadville. Similarly, Collin’s teammate Nathan Cook collected another second place, but he was pushed all the way by Loveland’s Guy Book. Book sprinted hard and missed out on second by only 2 tenths of a second!

Sophomore Boys - North: 2 laps Race 1 Results:

1. Collin Wilson (4005) Battle Mountain 57:13

2. Nathan Cook (4003) Battle Mountain 57:31.58

3. Guy Book (4105) Loveland 57:31.78

Sophomore Boys - North: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Collin Wilson (4005) Battle Mountain - 1000 pts

2. Nathan Cook (4003) Battle Mountain - 980 pts

3. Guy Book (4105) Loveland - 953 pts

Boulder High sophomore Mia Greene had fun mixing in with the JV girls, enjoying both the long first climb and technical sections, to repeat her Frisco win and keep the Leader’s jersey. Grace Hedlund from crosstown rival Fairview also repeated in second, while Mia’s Boulder teammate Willow Taylor pushed hard to gain 10 seconds on Sarah Francone of East. Taylor earned a Bronze medal on her birthday.

Sophomore Girls - North: 2 laps Race 1 Results:

1. Mia Greene (509) Boulder High 1:14:53

2. Grace Hedlund (513) Fairview 1:16:30

3. Willow Taylor (511) Steamboat 1:18:07

Sophomore Girls - Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Mia Greene (509) Boulder High - 1000

2. Grace Hedlund (513) Fairview - 980

3. Sara Francone (517) East - 944

Freshman North

Sunday’s opening Freshman Boys race was split into two waves, with the fastest riders from the Frisco race in the first wave. Boulder’s Nolan Stephenson took full advantage of his front row start to stay up front, easily handling the added second lap and taking a repeat win. Closing fast behind him was Golden’s Griffin Vickles, who used his enduro motorcycle racing skills on the rocky and loose course to finish only 6 seconds behind Nolan. Third went to Stephenson’s teammate Van Boylan. Another example of the generous community is when Fairview freshman Alden Soto raced to 12th on a bike offered to him by the father of competitor Jacob Seger of Stargate Academy after Alden’s bike broke in a pre-race warm up crash.

Freshman Boys - North: 2 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Nolan Stephenson (6011) Boulder 58:41

2. Griffin Vickles (6105) Golden 58:47

3. Van Boylan (6027) Boulder 59:56

Freshman Boys - North: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Nolan Stephenson (6011) Boulder - 1000

2. Trey Seymour (6169) Steamboat - 953

3. Talus Lantz (6031) Boulder - 938

Nederland’s only racer for the day, Petra Schmidtmann pushed the pace at the front of the Freshman Girls class, joined by Summit’s Jazlyn Smith. Smith took over pacemaking duties on the second lap and came across the line first. The first time doing a second lap didn’t work out too well for Schmidtmann, as a dropped chain and a crash meant she had to work her way back from fourth to earn another second place finish. Fairview’s Camille LaMarque actually went faster on the second lap, and finished only one second behind Schmidtmann.

Freshman Girls - North: 2 laps Race 2 Results:

1. Jazyln Smith (749) Summit 1:11:38

2. Petra Schmidtmann (701) Nederland 1:12:28

3. Camille LaMarque (717) Fairview 1:12:29

Freshman Girls - North: Overall 2 of 4 Races:

1. Jazyln Smith (749) Summit - 1000

2. Petra Schmidtmann (701) Nederland - 980

3. Abigael Carron (717) Boulder - 945

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