Summit mountain bike team places 5th at state championship race in Glenwood Springs |

Summit mountain bike team places 5th at state championship race in Glenwood Springs

Nico Konecny wins state title in the varsity boys race

Nico Konecny competes in the 2022 varsity boys mountain biking state race in Glenwood Springs on Saturday, Oct. 22. Konecny fought his way to a first place finish to be crowned state champion. Konecny helped the team to place fifth overall in the Division 2 team rankings.
Drew Cavin/Colorado High School Cycling League

Editor’s Note: The story has been changed to correct the number of athletes that raced at the state championship race.

After placing 10th in Division 1 of the 2021 state mountain biking championships, the Summit Tigers mountain bike team place fifth overall at the 2022 Colorado Cycling League’s mountain biking state championships in Glenwood Springs.

The races were originally scheduled to take place across two days but got moved to just Saturday, Oct. 22, because of moisture and snow that moved into the area on Sunday. 

The Summit mountain bike team sent 17 athletes to the championship event and competed against 29 other teams in Division 2 of the Colorado High School Cycling League. 

Despite racing a challenging and technical course, the team rose to the occasion, earning several podium finishes and ultimately landing high in the team rankings.

Leading the way for Summit was junior Nico Konecny who put his fitness and expertise on full display over the three-lap, 14.4-mile, varsity boys race.

Konecny was challenged by senior Kade Kreikemeier on every lap of the course. The duo raced alongside each other, even splitting the same time on lap one of the course. 

“I decided at the start that I wanted to put in a really hard effort and just go,” Konecny said. “Off the start I took off and by the end of the first lap it was just me and Kade.”

On the second lap, Konecny put a one-second gap on Kreikemeier, which allowed Konecny to secure the state title on the third and final lap.

Konecny finished in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 38.8 seconds while Kreikemeier finished a little under three seconds back with a time of 1:03:41.66. 

“It was just us two back and forth,” Konecny said. “The final lap was a sprint to the finish. I gave it everything I could to the finish and absolutely maxed out everything I had. It was a great race and a great battle between me and Kade.”

Konecny’s varsity win comes after he won the junior varsity boys state race last year.

“It felt really good,” Konecny said. “We have very good competition in the Colorado High School Cycling League. We have a bunch of heavy hitters from the U.S. Cup races in the high school league, so it definitely means a lot to do well and place in it.”

Summit had several other podium finishes to help pad its score in the final team rankings.

In the sophomore girls race, Aila Harmala battled Palmer High School’s Zoe Hubel. The duo finished the first lap in the same time, but Hubel put eight seconds on Harmala on the second lap. Hubel took the race title with a time of 56:55.42, and Harmala placed second (57:03.54).

Despite being the runner-up in the sophomore girls category, Harmala finished the season as the Colorado High School Cycling League’s sophomore girls points leader.

Aila Harmala takes a turn while competing in the sophomore girls race at the 2022 Colorado High School Cycling League’s state championship in Glenwood Springs on Saturday, Oct. 22. Harmala placed second in the sophomore girls race.
Drew Cavin/Colorado High School Cycling League

Freshman Landon Laverdiere rounded out the podium finishes for Summit.

Laverdiere concluded a strong season to place fourth overall in the freshman boys race. He finished the two-lap race in a time of 47:28.16, just over a minute behind the race winner, Grand Junction’s Ben Garmany.  

“Landon was probably the closest to a surprise,” head coach Jeff Cospolich said. “He brought himself on the podium at the last race but the fact that he is in a state championship category and put himself right near the front group in his first race at states is really commendable.”

In the freshmen girls race, Fiona Florio provided 434 points for the Tigers with a ninth-place finish of 57:26.89. 

Landon Laverdiere races in the freshman boys race at the 2022 Colorado High School Cycling League state championships in Glenwood Springs on Saturday, Oct. 22. In his first state race, Laverdiere placed fourth overall in the freshman boys race.
Drew Cavin/Colorado High School Cycling League

Stanley Buzek placed 57th in the varsity boys race, Eli Love finished 25th in the sophomore boys race, Lili Zygulski placed 39th in the junior varsity girls race and Mason Wescott finished in 32nd place in the sophomore boys race. 

Rounding out the performances for the Tigers was Luke Brewer and Carter Niemkiewicz. Brewer placed 60th in the junior varsity boys race and Niemkiewicz placed 36th in the freshman boys race.

Additionally, Summit County’s Will Bentley helped the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy to place fourth in Division 2 after placing 12th overall in the junior varsity boys race.

Despite moving down a division from last season, Konecny and Cospolich both feel that the Summit mountain bike team has made strides.

“It’s awesome that we are improving every year,” Konecny said. “It’s a huge thanks to Jeff, Marla and all the coaches on the team. They put on such a good program.”

Over the offseason, Cospolich hopes to continue to develop the team.

“We are going to look at nurturing those relationships we already have built and try to get more girls on the team,” Cospolich said. “Part of that is points but the reality is that we want to get more kids on bikes. Creating cyclists for life. Cycling — like a lot of endurance sports — these kids can do for the rest of their lives.”

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