State is next for high school mountain bike teams following regional comps
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Glenwood’s Chloe Lutgring sat alone at the finish line for a few minutes, dry heaving. She pushed herself to an erroneous extent. She didn’t know how big her lead was, so she kept pushing.
After some water, some more dry heaving and a chance to cool down, all there was left was a podium celebration and a state championship race to get ready for.
“My goal in the next two weeks is to make up two minutes,” Lutgring said. “I’m going to do everything I can to prepare myself diet wise, strength wise, core wise, just everything.”
Lutgring won the girls varsity race at the Haymaker Classic on Sunday, the Crystal Region championship held at the Haymaker trailhead in Eagle. Her Glenwood Springs High School Dirt Demons teammates Dante Humphrey — in the freshmen boys classification — and Samantha Meskin — sophomore girls — both won their races as well, each clinching the most points in their classifications through three regular-season races.
As a team, the Dirt Demons finished third in the event’s Division 1, behind leader Colorado Rocky Mountain School of Carbondale, which boasts a larger roster.
Humphrey controlled his race from start to finish, but had to overcome some obstacles of his own. In the middle of his second lap around the 6-mile track, his cleat started to come loose. On a track that boasts a highly technical downhill portion in its final stretch, including countless switchbacks and a wall ride, it proved to be a challenge.
“Right before the first uphill, my foot gets really loose and starts sliding back and forth on the clip,” Humphrey said. “It’s the most annoying thing ever because you want a very smooth pedal stroke. It makes you think you’re going to pull straight out of it because the screws are loose so you have to change your pedaling technique.”
Humphrey persevered and found himself atop the podium yet again as well.
Down in Division 3, the Aspen/Basalt team took the No. 1 spot as a group. Roaring Fork, in its debut trip to a regional championship, didn’t score highly as a team but saw success individually.
At the varsity level, Roaring Fork’s Corbin Carpenter sprinted out of the gate to a first-lap lead over points leader Markus Dewire out of Aspen/Basalt, setting the fastest lap of the day, according to preliminary timing information.
“(Dewire) wasn’t feeling great, so I just decided to go for it,” Carpenter said. “Then on one of the flats on the second lap, he got me and I just wasn’t able to hold on.”
Carpenter finished second across the line behind Dewire in lap two and in the extra third lap that the varsity races included.
In the sophomore boys race, Roaring Fork’s Samuel Friday took second place with teammate Devon Blanchard the next across the line behind him. Fellow Rams Ephraim Nesbitt and Gabe Hazleton weren’t far behind.
With the strong core of sophomores and Carpenter being only a junior, Roaring Fork’s program is just developing.
“It’s really good to see us have a strong start,” Carpenter said.
He highlighted the fact that the team has no girls on it and just wants to see it grow.
The state championship, merging all four regions in the Colorado High School Cycling League, will be in Durango on Oct. 23 and 24. It will include 160 racers from freshmen through junior varsity levels and 96 from the varsity levels, with each region sending its top riders.
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