September 21 Colorado League Opens Season with Record Numbers Incredible turnout for the first race of the 2011 season Contact: Kate Rau 720.272.92

September 21

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Fans watch as JV boys sprint to the finish. Jacobo Jimenez, Boulder High beats Joe Hopfe, Independent-Woodland Park. Photo by Carrie Dittmer.

Colorado League Opens Season with Record Numbers

Incredible turnout for the first race of the 2011 season

Contact: Kate Rau 720.272.9282
[email protected]

Photo highlights with captions here. (Please credit respective photographers.)

NATHROP, Colo. — A record number of 255 student athletes hit the Chalk Creek racecourse on the McMurry Ranch in Nathrop, Colorado, for the first race of the 2011 Colorado High School Mountain Bike season on Sunday, September 18. The 255 competitors from 28 teams nearly doubled the highest-attended race of the inaugural 2010 season and showcased what is the strongest field of riders in Colorado High School racing history.

The racers, which included 38 girls rode a fast, spectator-friendly course that climbed from the ranch’s flat grazing area, narrowed to singletrack, and wound along a picturesque plateau beneath Mount Princeton, a 14,000-foot peak. Kate Rau, Colorado League Director, credited the marked increase in riders to, “Many bike shops generously hosting outreach events this summer which provided a way for local community members to rally around forming new teams. Several existing teams doubled in size. This rapid growth is due to the incredible efforts of passionate coaches, and the fact that Colorado is a cycling-mad state!”

Yannick Eckmann of Boulder High School won the Boy’s Varsity event, beating Zane Godby of Monarch High School by 3 seconds. Eckmann finished 16th in the elite men’s category of the Cross Vegas cyclocross race on September 14, and raced in Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park Cyclocross on September 17. “My focus is mainly on road racing and cyclocross,” says Eckmann. “I haven’t been out for a mountain bike race in a long time. But I promised my coach that because I was home I’d come out for the team. This has been a great experience and a lot of fun. It’s excellent to see so many people supporting high school mountain biking.”

Eckmann is a senior who wishes he had more time to spend racing with his peers and classmates. He added that Sunday’s race was more challenging than he had anticipated.
“It hurt a little,” he said, smiling. “I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard.”

Course setter Herschel Goldberg said that the Chalk Creek course is a perfect venue for first-time riders, of which there were close to 100 this season. “On the five-mile lap there are only three spots that are particularly challenging,” said Goldberg. “What we do, both to keep it exciting for spectators and to push riders at the end, is finish the course on an uphill. With a climb near the end, it’s possible for riders to gain two or even three places by digging in and fighting for the finish.”

Dominique Fenichell, also of Boulder High School, finished first in the Varsity Girls division, while McCauley Smith took third in the Girls Junior Varsity division.

Smith, 15, began racing with the Boulder Junior Cycling club when she was seven, and comes from what she calls a “mountain biking family.” She also races cyclocross, and hopes racing will lead to a college scholarship.

Her favorite thing about the Chalk Creek course was where it dropped off the plateau in a steep downhill and then wound along Chalk Creek through a stand of shady cottonwoods.
Her father, Hunter Smith, called mountain biking a great family sport that gets kids out into beautiful environments.

Smith’s aunt, who cheered her from the finish line, also likes the kind of people mountain biking attracts, saying, “You select the people you want to spend time with. People who love mountain biking are generally more laid back and not as interested in the rat race. I think those are good qualities to pass on to your kids.”

Kelsay Lundberg, of Salida High School, took first in the Freshman Girls division. Lundberg beat her nearest competitor by four minutes. She has been riding since she was very young with her mom and brother. She says she prefers mountain biking to other sports because she likes being outdoors and the camaraderie riding brings her.

Coach Steve Noel, the father of Fairview High School student Justin Noel, said, “The best thing about all of this is what it develops in kids. Mountain biking teaches them that although something hurts, or takes endurance, or gets uncomfortable, they can still do it. It takes full involvement — physical, mental, and emotional — in a way that you don’t get with sports that leave some players on the bench. With mountain biking, there is no bench. These are lessons they can take forward into their lives.”

The next race in the four-race series is October 2 at Snowmountain Ranch, Grany.

Abbreviated Preliminary Results

Place - Name - Plate Number - School

Varsity Girls
1 Boulder -Dominque Fenichell - 006 - Boulder High School
2 Colorado Springs - Laurel Rathburn - 002 - Cheyenne Mountain Composite
3 Durango - India Waller - 007 - Durango Composite
4 Golden - Arianna Dittmer - 005 - Golden High School
5 Salida - Sage Kitson - 004 - Salida High School

Varsity Boys
1 Boulder - Yannick Eckmann - 035 - Boulder High School
2 Lousiville - Zane Godby - 037 - Monarch High School
3 Vail - Christian Kloser - 039 - Vail Valley Composite
4 Salida - Garrett Lundberg - 041 - Salida High School
5 Boulder - Justin Noel - 043 - Fairview High School

JV Girls
1 Boulder - Ksenia Lepikhina - 107 - Fairview High School
2 Bayfield - Robin Austin - 117 - Durango Composite
3 Boulder - McCauley Smith - 114 - Boulder High School
4 Evergreen - Kylie Van Hoessen - 121 - Evergreen Composite
5 Louisville - Rachel Harris - 104 - Monarch High School

JV Boys Division 1
1 Boulder - Michael Dessau - 210 - Boulder High School
2 Boulder - Garrett Gerchar - 218 - Boulder High School
3 Colorado Springs - Kyle Bloesser - 203 - Independent - Doherty High School
4 Laramie - Collin Dickinson - 211- 7220 Racing
5 Boulder - Max Neuman - 242 - Fairview High School

JV Boys Division 2
1 Castle Pines - Audie Ryburn - 324 - Green Mountain Composite
2 Eagle - Clayton Davis - 344 - Vail Valley Composite
3 Arvada - Parker Lehman - 320 - Ralston Valley High School
4 Buena Vista - Jake Boucher - 307 - Buena Vista Composite
5 Gunnison - Taren Reinecke - 336 - Gunnison High School

Sophomore Girls
1 Lakewood - Maggie Cleaver - 403 - Evergreen Composite
2 Littleton - Erin Quinn - 409 - Evergreen Composite
3 Lakewood - Caroline Hardy - 406 - Independent - Lakewood High School
4 Edwards - Clare Baker - 401 - Vail Valley Composite
5 Evergreen - Bella Walz - 413 - Evergreen Composite

Sophomore Boys Division 1
1 Boulder - Maxx Chance - 504 - Fairview High School
2 Salida - Jake Kastner - 515 - Salida High School
3 Boulder - Ian McPherson - 523 - Faiview Composite
4 Laramie - Schuyler Vercuateren - 531 - 7220 Racing
5 Evergreen - Nial Irwin - 512 - Evergeen Composite

Sophomore Boys Division 2
1 Bellevue - Zack Jensen - 611 - Poudre High School
2 Carbondale - Cormac McGeough - 615 - Colorado Rocky Mountain School
3 Vail - John Bailey - 602 - Vail Valley Composite
4 Carbondale - Riley Ames - 601 - Colorado Rocky Mountain School
5 Durango - Connor Yates - 633 - Durango Composite

Freshman Girls
1 Salida - Kelsay Lundberg - 706 - Salida High School
2 Carbondale - Evelina Sutro - 709 - Colorado Rocky Mountain School
3 Durango - Sierra Trout - 710 - Durango Composite
4 Golden - Rae Lemon - 705 - Golden High School
5 Salida - Hannah Sites - 708 - Salida High School

Freshman Boys Division 1
1 Boulder - Adin Baird - 803 - Boulder High School
2 Boulder - Chris Key - 814 - Fairview High School
3 Golden - Sam Furness - 810 - Independent - Lakewood High School
4 Boulder - Bruce Kruetzer - 816 - Fairview High School
5 Laramie - Tilden Zars - 828 - 7220 Racing

Freshman Boys Division 2
1 Aravada - Henry Chapman - 902 - Ralston Valley High School
2 Colorado Springs - Trevor Von Boeck - 930 - Cheyenne Mountain Composite
3 Dillon - Joel Sawyer - 924 - Summit Composite
4 Fort Collins - Brannan Fix - 927 - Poudre High School
5 Edwards - Jackson Shanley - 927 - Vail Valley Composite

About the Colorado High School Cycling League
The Colorado High School Cycling League promotes personal development and teamwork through bicycle racing, and encourages the formation of teams at public and private high schools. With the cooperation of local race promoters and our sponsors, the League organizes a first class series of races designed for high school aged riders. The League makes high school racing the easiest route for youth to get involved in the challenging and exciting world of competitive cycling. The Colorado League is generously supported by donors and sponsors including founding national sponsor, Specialized Bicycle Components, as well as Easton Foundations, SRAM, Trek Bicycles, Clif Bar and Co., Primal Wear, Shimano, GU Sports, Kinetic, Maxxis, Osprey Packs, Pearl Izumi, Wheat Ridge Cyclery, Yeti Cycles, mix1, adidas Eyewear, CamelBak, Crank Brothers, Dirt Rag, Feedback Sports, Fort Lewis College, Fox Racing Shox, Mellow Johnny's, Mountain Bike Action, QBP, Ritchey Designs, WTB, and Yakima. For more information on the League, visit link name or contact Kate Rau at [email protected], Tel. (720) 272-9282.

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