Summit Mountain Challenge takes time out for the kids |

Summit Mountain Challenge takes time out for the kids

summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE – With the upper-level divisions of the Summit Mountain Challenge hitting the Peaks Time Trial tonight, the junior racers had the course all to themselves Tuesday at the Breckenridge Nordic Center.

“Rather than force them to ride over their heads – which would be an unsafe situation – we let these six categories have a night of their own,” race director Jeff Westcott said.

In all, 42 junior riders hit the trails at the Nordic center with six winners crowned. Summit Cove’s Becca Jane Rosko, 11, not only won her division (Junior Girls 11-12) but was also happy to have the juniors-only field.

“(I like it) a lot better,” she said as her gold medal dangled from her neck. “We don’t have to worry about adults passing you or running you over.”

Of course, there’s rarely a problem in the SMC with juniors and adults, Rosko was simply saying it was fun for the kids to have the course to themselves.

“It was a lot of fun,” she added.

Though a majority of the kids might have pointed to the bike-shaped birthday cake – made by a parent for Westcott – as the night’s highlight, there were some pretty exciting races.

“You’d be surprised … some of these kids take it really seriously,” Westcott said.

Rosko won her division by 12 minutes, edging out Bailey Radek and Diana Gasiouk.

In the Junior Boys 11-12 class, Nathan Baldwin, part of a youth team up from Texas, edged out local rider Parker Shell by just three minutes. Gabe Sandoval was third.

For Junior Girls 10 and Under, Tanner McCann paced a strong field with a time of 32:54. Ella Piecoup finished second, and Paige Schlegel was third.

On the boys’ side of the 10 and under competition, more Texans topped the podium. Colton Sacket and Mitchell Baldwin were first and second, respectively. Local rider Jaxin Hoerter was third.

Claire Vandeyacht took home top honors in the Junior Beginner Girls 13-18 division, with Megan Heil and Kyla McCann close behind in second and third, respectively.

In the Junior Beginner Boys 13-18, Texan Trevor Baldwin topped Summit County rider Joel Sawyer by just more than five minutes, as Danny Proctor came in third.

Beyond handing out awards – and free water bottles – Tuesday night’s race showed the importance the SMC plays in the county’s youth sports.

Westcott, along with two parents, spent a solid 10 minutes following the race to talk with two racers who got tangled up on the course. One of the riders had apparently tried to pass the other on a tight spot on the course, causing both kids to crash to the ground. Westcott helped explain to the two racers the importance of not only safety but etiquette while competing.

“You’re teaching the next generation of riders how to behave, how to have good sportsmanship,” Westcott explained. ” … Of all the things that I do, this is the most rewarding.”

Complete results from the race can be found at

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