Summit Tigers mountain bike team places 3rd in Granby
Lasse Konecny, Marin Ward lead Tigers with top-2 finishes
The Summit Tigers Mountain Bike Team raced in the Granby Ranch Roundup on Sunday, Oct. 10, as it competed against formidable teams that it will see at the state championship meet Oct. 23.
At the regional meet in Granby, competitors raced two distances depending on grade level. Freshmen and sophomores as well as junior varsity athletes raced 12 miles. Varsity athletes tested their limits over 18 miles.
In the varsity girls competition, senior Marin Ward led the way for the Tigers. Ward coasted to the finish line in second place, completing the 18-mile course in 1 hour, 31 minutes and 18 seconds.
Ward was followed by teammate and fellow senior Victoria Uglyar, who finished in sixth with a time of 1:35:22. Senior Samantha Hessel rounded out the varsity girls race for the Tigers with a ninth-place finish.
In the varsity boys race, senior Lasse Konecny captured the gold medal in the 18-mile race by finishing seconds in front of Eagle Valley’s Landon Stovall in a time of 1:08:06.
Sophomore Nico Konecny made sure his brother didn’t get all the glory, and he went home with the honor of placing first in the junior varsity boys race at the meet. He finished the 12-mile course in a time of 49:56:14, a full four minutes in front of second place.
Despite being one of the smallest teams at the weekend meet and in the Division 1 classification, the Tigers were able to finish third overall with 6,532 points. The Tigers finished behind Boulder and Golden in the team results.
Tigers head coach Jeff Cospolich said he was blown away by the performances the team had at the meet, making 17 Tigers riders eligible to compete at the state meet in Durango with the possibility of more getting the opportunity to go if other state qualifiers choose not to partake.
Cospolich likes to believe his team is “small but mighty” as it faces off against big teams like Boulder and Golden.
“Some of these teams we are competing against are 100 racers strong, so they get the luxury of picking from the top of the crop and racing 50 to 60 competitors,” Cospolich said. “We, on the other hand, race our 20 or so racers and are still able to punch above our weight.”
Cospolich said he contributes the continued success to the way he and his other coaches have chosen to structure the program. He said he has worked hard to create a program that mixes inclusivity with a more laid back training regime.
“One of my first goals is to create lifelong cyclists who like to have fun while competing,” Cospolich said. “There are so many stories of skiers, snowboarders and cyclists who are great at the high school level but then fall out of love with the sport due to the rigors of the training. We want our kids to enjoy life as well as their sport.”
Going into the state meet in Durango, Cospolich’s only expectation is that everyone goes out and enjoys their ride while competing against some of the state’s best mountain bikers.
“I want the team to go out there and try to achieve some of the goals they set for themselves earlier in the season all while remembering to have fun,” he said.
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