It was a brutally cold, yet sunny morning at the Boy Scout camp in Peaceful Valley near Elbert when the Summit High mountain biking team took to the 5.3-mile course.
The sophomore girls started first, with Claire Vandeyacht finishing second out of 15 racers. Taeler McCrerey recovered after her front wheel came off to take third place, and Christa Gutzel shook off the cold to take eighth.
It was a mixed single- and double-track through little glens and grassy meadows, past crazy rock formations and noisy cows. SHS senior and mountain bike team co-captain, Wade Rosko, said that some of the course was like "being on safari."
The freshmen and sophomores completed two laps, while the junior varsity squad raced three. Fred Newcomer, who leads team practices, described the course as being "in perfect shape. The cold temps and precipitation made the dirt perfect for traction and high speeds."
In the freshmen girls' division, Meagan Collins was staged in fifth place and braved through bouts of shivering to finish in the same position of 10 girls.
Henry Trowbridge and Derek Hill raced in the sophomore boys' division 1 category against 39 other racers, with Trowbridge finishing first - again - and Hill placing 26th.
Connor Hintgen, Wyatt LaFrankie, Marcus Sandberg and Logan Ramsay raced in the freshmen boys' D1 category of 45 racers and placed 15th, 21st and 40th, respectively. Ramsay was forced to bow out of the race after crashing and breaking his helmet in Lap 2. Hintgen rode particularly hard, pushing himself in the race to climb up five places.
The junior varsity division 1 boys saw Liam McDonnell taking third of 57. Cameron Bobb met his goal of finishing the race in 1 hour, 15 minutes, taking 18th place. Wade Rosko finished 25th after a "strong, clean race," assistant coach Marla Dyer-Biggin said.
"I was really impressed with how well the team did," Rosko said. "We had several top 10s and I feel that everyone was happy with their finish. I can't wait to see how we do in Fruita."
Newcomer summarized the great day, "Our racers took advantage of the course conditions and had a blast on this ultra-fast course. These kids are so strong. They are putting all the pieces together and producing great results."
Race 4, the North Fruita Desert Classic, is on Oct. 21.
"The state championship course will be longer, at nearly seven miles, and will test the Tiger strength and endurance," Dyer-Biggin said. "Everyone qualifies to race and we are hoping for a strong Tiger showing, especially at such a great venue as Fruita."