Ezra, Tai-lee Smith crush the field at U.S. MTB Nationals, plus 2017 Penn Gulch Grind results
MTB siblings Tai-lee, Jazlyn and Ezra Smith clean up at U.S. Nationals
These Summit County Smiths are fierce.
In its first team trip to the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals, held this year at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia from July 18-23, the Summit Nordic Ski Club brought home one championship title and five podiums.
The SNSC rout was led by a trio of local sisters: eldest Ezra Smith with two silvers, middle kid Jazlyn Smith with one fourth-place finish and youngest Tai-Lee Smith with a gold in the U-14 cross-country race, where she finished two minutes ahead of her closest competition.
Also making the podium were brothers Lasse Konecny (fifth) and Nico Konecny (third).
Here’s a full recap from SNSC head coach Olof Hedberg:
SNSC had a fantastic showing at U.S. Nationals in mountain biking at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.
The week started out with a bit off a mishap. Ezra Smith was in a clear lead in female U-18 short track, as a bad crash happened in the chasing peloton. To get EMTs out on the course and secure the safety of all racers, the field was instructed to dismount, (but) racers obeyed the instructions differently and Ezra lost her lead. A clear victory turned into a still very impressive, but disappointing, second place. As a coach I couldn’t be more proud of her showing true sportsmanship, and also showing more care about the safety of her fellow competitors than winning a national championship.
Still, there where other strong performances that day. Lasse Konecny sprinted his way onto the podium (five deep) at fifth place in a race where less than one inch separated three competitors. This was Lasse’s first time to step up to podium at U.S. nationals.
Ezra’s sister, Jazlyn, did a great showing at the girl’s enduro race and finished fourth, even though she had a high-speed crash that cracked her helmet. (She’s) incredibly strong to finish and ride into fourth after that.
But it was Saturday’s cross-country event where we really shined. SNSC was lead by Tai-Lee Smith, who biked away from the rest of the girl’s U-14 field, taking the win with two minutes — a winning margin that is almost unheard off.
Her older sister, Ezra, was, as always, a top contender, but didn’t have the legs in the finish, riding to another impressive second place.
In the boy’s U-12 division, Nico Konecny rode into a fantastic third-place finish. Nico, who won the U-10 national championship last year, was a first-year U-12 racer this summer and had a great race in this older age category.
Just outside of the podium we found Lasse Konecny (sixth), Viola Koning (eighth) and Jazlyn Smith (eighth).
Pennsylvania Gulch Grind | Summit Mountain Challenge No. 4, Breckenridge
The fourth event in the summer-long Summit Mountain Challenge series, held in Breckenridge on July 19. The course was split between a brief climb on Boreas Pass Road and a long, creek-filled descent though the titular Pennsylvania Gulch. The event drew roughly 100 riders of all ages for courses ranging from 4.5 to 14.5 miles.
For complete results, see MavSports.com.
Pro open men, overall
1. Jeff Cheever, Avout Racing — 1:07:59
2. Yuki Ikeda, Topeak-Ergon — 1:10:14
3. Tim Faia — 1:12:26
Pro open women, overall
1. Natalie Raborn, YetiBeti — 1:29:12
Expert men, 19-39
1. Dominic Baker — 1:09:43
2. Henry Boyd, Summit Endurance Academy — 1:11:10
3. Thomas Messerschmitt, Avalance/Relish/Twist — 1:13:39
Sport men, 35-49
1. Jeff Lifgren, Wilderness Sports — 1:19:44
2. Lou Laurina — 1:21:49
3. Ivan Uglyar — 1:22:36
Sport women, overall
1. Amy Beresford — 57:01
2. Leah Canfield – 57:12
3. Courtney Shelden, Tokyo Joes — 57:53
Junior boys, 13-15
1. Gil Blackburn, Sun Logic — 54:02
2. Will Wasserman, Wilderness Sports Jr. — 56:51
3. Caleb White, Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant — 56:53
Junior girls, 13-15
1. Samantha Hessel, Team Breck — 1:10:20
2. Alice Wescott, Wilderness Sports Jr. — 1:12:18
3. Cassidy Gillis, Absolute Bikes — 1:16:13
Adventure racing duo joins national championship team, crush it in Granby
Olof and Whitney Hedberg are now members of the top-ranked adventure racing team in North America.
In mid-July, Team Adventure Medical Kits welcomed the two Summit Nordic Ski Club coaches into the fold, just in time to train for upcoming world and national championships. The Hedbergs earned the team’s blessing (and respect) after beating a two-man AMK team at the Teton Ogre adventure race from June 24-25 and will continue to compete leading up to the Adventure Racing World Series World Championships this August in Wyoming.
The Hedbergs joined AMK for the first time July 22-23 at the Never Summer 24-hour Adventure Race in Granby — and proved why they’re a smart addition to the top American team.
“We basically took the lead about 15 minutes into the race, and from then (on) there was no looking back,” Olof Hedberg said after the event. “By no means a perfect race or anything from us, but we had enough margin the entire time.”
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