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Mountain bike team gets strong start

Steamboat Springs mountain biker Zach Mikkelson works his way up a hill in Frisco during the first high school mountain bike race of the season. Steamboat's team is the largest this year that it's ever been
Courtesy

2015 Steamboat high school mountain bike schedule

Aug. 29 Frisco

Sept. 12 Leadville

Sept. 26 Eagle

Oct. 10 Nathrop

Oct. 25 State championship, Eagle

— The reaction of the newcomers, coach Blair Seymour said, was, “That was really tiring, but that was fun.”

That’s exactly what she was hoping riders would take away from their involvement with the Steamboat Springs high school mountain bike team, and it’s a message that’s caught on. The team is nearly twice the size it was a year ago, and Sunday, it kicked off its season with a race in Frisco, logging numerous high finishes.

“They raced within their ability and were able to perform really well,” Seymour said.



Those results helped the team place fourth overall in Division 1, which the program moved into this season when its enrollment soared over the Division 1-Division 2 dividing-line number of 16 riders.

On Sunday, Simon Zink, Jett Seymour and Koby Vargas helped lead the way, riding in the elite varsity division. Zink was 12th, Seymour 16th and Vargas 22nd.



Evan Barbier was tops in the JV boys race, finishing fifth. Ethan Moyer was sixth, Zach Mikkelson 15th and Peter Rosenthal 26th.

Cole Sias was third and Josie Seibel 12th in the girls sophomore race, and among sophomore boys, Elijah Vargas was seventh, Sven Tate 12th, Sam Frackowiak 23rd, Grant Pohlman 25th and Mac Skov 40th.

Trey Seymour was third, Bennett Gamber 13th, John Foster Jr. 19th, Chase High 25th, Matthew Kempers 34th, Dane Freckleton 45th and Jake Olson 55th in the freshmen boys race. Margaret Dickson was fourth and Reilly Mewborn seventh in the freshmen girls race.

The fact that there were that many racers marks one early-season victory for the program, which runs through the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and is not officially affiliated with the high school. Last year, the team had 14 riders, including one girl, and this year, it has 24 on its roster, with four girls.

That same growth has been seen in the entire statewide sports of high school mountain bike racing. A year ago, there were about 600 racers. This year there are 800.

“The word is getting out,” Blair Seymour said, considering her team’s explosive growth. “Kids look forward to it, and a lot of the programs here at the club have been more adaptable, so we have cross country skiers and Alpine skiers.”

The team is back in action Sept. 12 with a trip to Leadville.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9


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