Aspen biker 10th in NCAA road finals
Jessica Phillips of Aspen rode her way to a top finish at the NCAA Division I road biking National Championships recently, riding for the University of Vermont.
Out of nearly 70 entrants and 58 finishers in the elite field at Greenville, S.C., Phillips placed 10th.
Phillips was graduated in 1996 from Aspen High School, where she played a number of sports, focusing mainly on volleyball and basketball. She just finished up her junior year at UVM, where she has been on the dean’s list for three years. Recent addition Phillips has only been biking competitively for two years now, having picked up the sport after participating in the Hard Rock and High Country duathlons while home for the summer between her freshman and sophomore years of college.
Prior to that, she ran cross country for UVM, but she changed sports for good after suffering a broken arm and switching to cycling as her preferred method of training.
The University of Vermont does not have a very structured cycling program, so Phillips has had to do a lot of training on her own, according to family friends. Valley roots One key to her sudden success, though, has its roots in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Over the last couple of years, she has maintained a relationship with Carbondale resident and cycling legend Tammy Jacques, who helps her with her preparation for races. Even now, with Phillips off in Vermont, the two stay in touch via e-mail.
With the school year at an end, Phillips plans to spend the summer in Durango, training for next year’s biking season and hoping to improve on her finish this year.
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