Steamboat mountain bikers represent well at home event |

Steamboat mountain bikers represent well at home event

Daniel Kempers competes in the varsity boys mountain bike race on Sunday, Sept.8, at Howelsen Hill.
Courtesy Blair Seymour

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Hosting the second of four high school mountain bike races ahead of the state championship next month, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Mountain Bike Team represented well. The team had 25 riders compete in the Showdown in the Boat on Howelsen Hill on Sunday, Sept. 8.

Caleb Haack won the freshman category, winning with a time of 53 minutes, 25.21 seconds.

“Caleb, he’s just a great kid. He truly loves biking and has enthusiasm, passion, is humble,” SSWSC Cycling Director Blair Seymour said. “He’s just a great kid and was really excited to be able to start near the beginning after his last race. He was seeded more towards the beginning, and he felt good and just went for it. That was cool to see.”

Not far behind Haack, Thomas Cooper earned eighth place with a time of 58:28.29.

In Jaxson Fryer’s first race, he had to accept a DNF, as he did not finish after suffering four flat tires. Competing at the junior varsity level, Fryer started 173 of 203 riders on Sunday. He worked his way up the pack, finishing 39th. Gunnar Gilbertson wasn’t far behind him, earning 42nd.

“He started in the last row, basically. For him to be able to jump that far ahead was really impressive,” Seymour said.

Samual Acosta-Pabley also bounced back. He couldn’t attend the first race in Frisco. Since a rider needs to participate in three of the four available mountain bike races to potentially qualify for state, Acosta-Pabley had to finish on Sunday to keep his chances alive.

A simple finish didn’t even come easy. On his first lap descent, the freshman racer crashed and broke his shifter. After carefully descending, he used his teammate’s bike to return to where he crashed to complete his lap. Rather than earn a DNF, he was “pulled,” still giving him a chance to qualify for the state race in Durango.

In the varsity boys race, Daniel Kempers placed 32nd.

Due to the squall that pounded downtown with rain that evening, all the girls races were cancelled, except for the varsity race, which concluded in time.

Steamboat had one biker at the girls varsity level in Eliza Fox.

Fox finished 23rd of 24 bikers, but she earned big points for the Steamboat team as a whole just for riding at the varsity level.

Among Division II teams, Steamboat took fifth of 14 teams with 3,497 points.

At the junior varsity level, Colten Casevecchia hit a personal goal.

In the first race of the season, Casevecchia, who is autistic and epileptic, set a goal for just one lap. Despite his coaches encouraging him to continue, he simply would not go further.

At his home course, aided by fellow JV rider Aaron Peterson, Casevecchia completed two laps.

“He doesn’t want to race. He’d rather just escort Colten around one-on-one,” Seymour said of Peterson. “Our goal for this race was to do two laps. Sure enough, he did two laps. That was really cool. I just love that inclusivity.”

Showdown in the Boat results
Sunday, Sept. 8, Howelsen Hill
Varsity girls:
1, Madigan Munro, Boulder, 1:24.20.78. 23, Eliza Fox, Steamboat, 1:53.44.51.
Varsity boys: 1, Ryan Campbell, Golden, 1:40.45.43. 
Junior varsity boys: 1, Vin Hludzinski, Boulder, 50:26.85. 39, Jaxson Fryer, Steamboat, 59:30.24. 42, Gunnar Gilbertson, Steamboat, 59:46.01. 85, Derek Pettigrew, Steamboat, 1:04.59.19. 99, Dylan Kuntz, Steamboat, 1:06.08.91. 160, Teale Carlsson, Steamboat, 42:45.
Sophomore boys: 1, Johnny Stanzione, boulder, 52:05.72. 15, Max Hamilton, Steamboat, 58:25.99. 29, Colvin Vickles, Steamboat, 1:01.55.55. 34, Keegan Millen, Steamboat, 1:02.51.01. 101, Rylee French, Steamboat, 1:14.01.2. 125, Damion Rhodes, Steamboat, 1:21.29.02.
Freshmen boys: 1, Caleb Haack, Steamboat, 53:25.21. 8, Thomas Cooper, Steamboat, 58:28.29. 80, Ian Haupt, Steamboat, 1:12.48.03. 175, Colten Casavecchia, Steamboat, 1:49.02.12.

To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.

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