Steamboat mountain bike team takes 2nd at state, earns spirit award
DURANGO — The Steamboat Springs High School mountain bike team finished second among Division 2 teams at the state mountain bike race in Durango last weekend, but they might be more proud of winning the team spirit award.
The high school mountain bike state championships might be the only state competition in Colorado that has a theme that every athlete participates in regardless of what jersey they wear. The 2021 theme was disco, inspiring peace signs, Afro wigs and vibrant costumes, such as bell bottoms and go-go boots.
The Steamboat riders didn’t limit themselves to just costumes, though, embracing the theme all weekend. The team gathering area was decked out, and athletes brought speakers and danced across the venue. Caroline Landers even dressed as a disco ball, ensuring there was a party wherever she went.
“For the very last varsity race, what we did is we ended up getting our dance party and went all the way over with our final varsity riders with us and did kind of a soul train dance party,” coach Sasha Nations said. “Everyone danced through the line, and the very last people to go through were the cyclists for their race as they gathered into the staging area. We gave them a good sendoff.”
Considering the level the team went to, it wasn’t a shock they won the spirit award. It also wasn’t surprising the team earned second as a team. The cyclists won every regular season race and regionals. At state, they encountered mostly new opponents but kept on riding strong.
“What we do is we try to set these riders up for success,” Nations said. “No, we weren’t very surprised. We felt like our riders did great. We prepared them properly.”
Varsity boys Caleb Haack and Thomas Cooper rode the energy to 27th- and 34th-place finishes, respectively.
The Steamboat bikers also accompanied a young man who has a disability on his shorter course. All the Steamboat girls and Haack, who rode a mini bike in costume, rode behind the racer and accompanied him on his route.
Freshman and junior varsity racers competed Saturday, and sophomore and varsity races were Sunday.
Aidan Haack took second in the junior varsity race, while teammate Curtis Zanni was 11th. In the freshman race, Michael Sullivan made a strong bid for the slingshot award, which is given to the athlete that passes the most opponents during a race. Sullivan passed a whopping 50 riders over the course of his race.
Landers led the Steamboat women, earning 45th in the junior varsity race ahead of teammate Aidan Kerrigan, who took 59th. Jesse Weaver earned eighth in the freshman race.
“Just watching the racers, seeing the racers and how hard they tried and pedaled. To see Aidan Kerrigan, who as she comes across, she’s so excited she finished. They put so much effort out into these races. To see how excited they are, how much fun they had and keep coming back. Every athlete has a stand-out moment in my mind,” Nations said.
Div. 2: 1. VSSA 4,688. 2. Steamboat Springs 3,937. 3. Eagle Valley 3,799.
Varsity: 1. Liam Baartman, Fairview, 1:16.06.04. 2. Johnny Stanzione, Boulder, 1:16.06.94. 3. Ivan Sippy, Durango, 1:16.07.26. 27. Caleb Haack, SS, 1:22.43. 34. Thomas Cooper, SS, 1:23.28.75.
Junior varsity: 1. Nico Konecny, Summit, 50:21.42. 2. Aidan Haack, SS, 51:41.25. 3. Benjamin Bravman, Golden, 52:15.85. 11. Curtis Zanni, SS, 53:41.01.
Sophomore: 1. Eli Deboom, Boulder, 53:09.75. 2. Liam Bezek, Durango, 53:09.87. 3. Emil Kjellsen, Golden, 53:40.04. 18. Primo Famiglietti, SS, 55:58.22. 88. Jace Rabesa, SS, 1:03.28.67.
Freshman: 1. Jake McDill, Rocky Mountain, 55:11.73. 2. Canyon Cherney, Colorado Rocky, 55:21.02. 3. Carter Kirkpatrick, Fairview, 55:47.63. 101. Michael Sullivan, SS, 1:08.18.33.
Varsity: 1. Bailey Cioppa, Durango, 1:29.33.34. 2. Chloe Lutgring, Glenwood Springs, 1:30.13.44. 3. Isa Naschold, Laramie, 1:30.18.55.
Junior varsity: 1. Sage Hummon, Golden, 1:00.05.46. 2. Rose Horning, Leadville, 1:01.36.72. 3. Riley Huston, Golden, 1:03.11.51. 45. Caroline Landers, SS, 1:12.03.81. 59. Aidan Kerrigan, SS, 1:16.12.34. 96. Madeline Rochon, SS, 1:31.48.73.
Sophomore: 1. Haydn Hludzinski, Boulder, 1:03.40.46. 2. Raegan Agrimson, Air Academy, 1:03.48.87. 3. Samantha Meskin, Glenwood Springs, 1:04.44.51. 16. Liz Lipscomb, SS, 1:11.51.4.
Freshman: 1. Lucy Perkins, VSSA, 1:00.55.8. 2. Scarlett Hardie, Grand Junction, 1:04.03.91. 3. Sofia Harcek, Golden, 1:04.23.31. 8. Jesse Weaver, SS, 1:07.00.17.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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