Local girls Marvin, Murphy advance to All-American derby
DILLON – They are soap box derby families, just like football families or baseball families or cycling families. Usually it goes like this: Younger sibling follows older sibling, sometimes years later, down the famous soap box race course on Lake Dillon Drive. With dad in the pits acting as the mechanic and mom on the sidelines acting as the No. 1 fan, the budding racers chase their dream of earning a trip to the storied All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio.Saturday, at the 12th annual Dillon derby, a pair of Silverthorne girls hit the jackpot – and now they will follow their older siblings’ leads to Akron.Molly Murphy, 11, and Hayley Marvin, 14, won the stock and super stock titles, respectively, to earn a berth in the All-American derby July 21.For Murphy, the victory means her family will make the trip to Ohio for a third straight year, after her older sister Elizabeth advanced to nationals the past two summers.
For Marvin, her berth at the All-American derby comes five years after her older brother Chris made the second of his two trips to Akron. Like Elizabeth Murphy, Chris Marvin won both the stock and super stock divisions in his time as a racer at Dillon, thus using up his eligibility to compete in the derby.The most dramatic victory on Saturday belonged to Marvin, who beat 10-year-old Silverthorne upstart Albert Bouchard – brother of two more Dillon alumni, Kimberly and Bobby – by just .003 seconds in the final.”I was scared,” Marvin said. “I didn’t think it would happen.”Her strategy in the two-race final, of course, came from a supportive family member: dad.”My dad told me to just kind of run it however I wanted to and I just kinda let it go,” said Marvin, who has been racing at Dillon for five or six years (she wasn’t sure). “I didn’t really steer it. I just let it go however the track went.”In an ode to how important this event is to the kids who race in it, Albert Bouchard said he was actually “happy” he took second.
“Because now I don’t have to go to Akron and if I did, I wouldn’t get to race again (at Dillon),” he said.Although Bouchard is young and small (63 pounds) for his division, which is open to kids up to 17 years old and 150 pounds, he uses his sister Bobby’s car, a super stock model.”I missed my soccer tournament and my baseball game today,” he said, noting it was worth it nonetheless “because this was fun.”The same went for Murphy, who beat runner-up Shane Evans, 11, of Centennial in two straight do-or-die races to take the stock title.Murphy, who was swarmed by a group of shrieking children at the finish, said she didn’t think a victory was possible because Evans had beaten her earlier in the day.Using strategy imparted by her father, however, she “stayed positive” and won by .083 seconds in the two-race final (best combined time wins).
Evans was trying to match his older brother Conor’s trip to Akron in 2005.The rest of the stock top five was rounded out by Dillon’s Nick Arbuckle (third place), Keystone’s Cameron Wallace (fourth) and Josh Gregory of Breckenridge (fifth).The super stock top five included Montana’s Liz Tomaschko (third), Danielle Hoeckelberg of Littleton (fourth) and Steamboat’s Morgan Mertz (fifth).This year marks the ninth in 12 Dillon derbies that at least one Summit racer has advanced to Akron, joining such All-American derby alumni as Heisman winner Paul Hornung, the late Johnny Carson and 1983 Indy 500 champ Tom Sneva.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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