SSWSC high school mountain bike team takes 7 podiums at home race
Steamboat Spring’s high school mountain bike team saw a season-record seven racers take the podium at the Showdown in the Boat mountain bike race on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Steamboat hosted hundreds of athletes from all over western Colorado in a race around Emerald Mountain for the third event of the Colorado High School Cycling Series.
The event is truly a spectacle to behold with live music, merchandise tents, and hundreds of fans of racers.
Steamboat’s head coach Paul Majors is especially impressed with the way these races operate.
“They really celebrate the winning racer as much as the last racer so it’s a space for everyone,” Majors said.
The day began with the freshman, sophomore and junior varsity races taking off first thing in the morning. Steamboat quickly earned its first four podiums of the day with Eva Minotto winning the freshman girls division and Anna Rhodes coming in right behind her for the silver medal.
The junior varsity girls would make up the other two podiums with freshman Mary Mclarnon and sophomore Abby Olson taking first and fourth respectively.
Not long after, freshman Ryan Montgomery would cross the finish line in fifth place for the freshman boys in just under an hour.
The remaining two Steamboat podiums were earned in the varsity boys race with brothers Aidan Haack, junior, and Caleb Haack, senior, taking third and fifth.
As they began their final lap, Aidan Haack was neck-and-neck with two other racers. The fans began to roar louder and louder in anticipation of a photo finish. It came down to the final quarter mile but Aidan took the bronze medal with a time of 1 hour, 13 minute and 37 seconds.
“The most exciting part is all of the people cheering you on and stuff,” Aidan said. “I’ve been racing both of those guys for a long time. We’ve gone back and forth so losing to them happens and sometimes I beat them and sometimes I don’t.”
Aidan’s brother Caleb also put on a show for his home crowd crossing the finish line in 1:14:47 for the final podium place.
Caleb was amped to get a podium in his final home race as a member of the high school mountain bike team and said it was difficult to race mid-day because of the hotter temperatures.
Regardless, Caleb was able to push through the discomfort and use his home course knowledge to his advantage.
“At the second half, where it’s kind of loose, we’re used to that because we have ridden that trail quite a bit,” Caleb said. “That gave me the advantage on the downhills but obviously those guys are strong so on the uphills it all comes down to the rider.”
Steamboat Springs High School earned second place for the event in Division 2 with Steamboat Mountain School taking third in Division III.
Majors was proud of what his team accomplished but was even more pleased with the maturity they displayed off the course.
“It’s amazing, not only performance-wise,” Majors said. “Our women this morning crushed it. They got four podiums, but they’ve all been running up and supporting each other and cheering at the finish line. When the races are finishing they go up and watch the finish. It has been great.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.