Summit Tigers senior mountain bikers bounce at Haymaker Classic

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Summit Tigers seniors Samantha Hessel, left, and Marin Ward race at the Haymaker Classic in Eagle on Saturday September 25.
Linda Hessel / Courtesy photo

A strong redemption effort from three senior girls led the Summit Tigers High School mountain biking team to a third place finish at the Haymaker Classic of the Colorado High School Cycling League in Eagle on Saturday.

Tigers varsity cyclists Victoria Uglyar, Marin Ward and Samantha Hessel placed sixth, eighth and tenth, respectively. The trio raced towards solid finishes despite starting to the rear of the field on three hot laps on the 6 mile, 600 foot elevation gain course. Uglyar crossed the finish line with a total time of 1 hour, 32 minutes and 2.6 seconds, followed by Ward’s time of 1: 33: 45.39 and Hessel with a time of 1: 36: 09.5.

“I think the three of us had a really impressive solid race, and it was a lot of fun,” said Hessel. “I think the time trial format (in the previous race in Frisco) maybe confused a few people, so it was good to have a mass start. We had been missing it for a while. It’s the first mass start in the league in almost two years, and it was great to find that environment again. “



It was Ward’s first run of the season after a gluteal injury a month ago.

“It’s mostly healed, but I’m not in great shape,” Ward said. “But I felt that my race went very well. I really couldn’t have asked for anything to get better or have a better result after starting last.



Tigers head coach Jeff Cospolich said he was happy to see the university’s three riders focus on the task at hand. Uglyar’s performance was particularly impressive after a crash in Frisco forced her to start at the back of the pack on Saturday. Despite the pole position, she tried her luck when they presented themselves.

“If you don’t catch that train when it leaves the station, you’re going to fight your way,” Cospolich said. “Victoria has this mentality where she doesn’t have to suck wheels and have that carrot in front of her. She’s strong enough to walk through and stalk people.

Summit Tigers sophomore Nico Konecny ​​competes in the Haymaker Classic in Eagle on Saturday September 25.
Paul Koslovsky / Courtesy photo

The three seniors were just a few of the Tigers runners who ran well before heading up and across the Vail Pass to witness the return home dance from Summit High School on Saturday night. One of those runners was sophomore Nico Konecny, whose win time of 47: 47.88 in the two-lap junior varsity boys race and 102 runners was more than 90 seconds faster than his competitor on closer. Konecny ​​quickly took the lead and never looked back which saw the Tigers claim the most team points among all Tigers riders. In the Colorado High School Cycling League, college finishes are weighted with more points than junior college, sophomore, or freshman races, although higher finishes in lower races may count for more points than finishes. lower in the upper races.

“Being solo in any race, not just this race, I always think about managing my efforts and not focusing on the others,” Konecny ​​said. “It’s mainly focusing on how I feel.”

Cospolich said Mason Wescott’s seventh place in the 65-year-old boys’ field was a great first performance from the back row. The coach said that because Wescott did not run in Frisco he had to pass more than 55 runners to make the top 10, which is a testament to Wescott’s patience and power.

In the second-year boys’ two-lap race, Summit’s Stanley Buzek took third place out of 70 runners with a time of 54: 04.74. Cospolich said the transfer from Boulder had excellent athletic pedigree as a downhill ski racer.

“I expect very big things from him going forward,” said the coach.

And in the freshman girls’ race, the Summit duo of Aila Harmala and Merrick Neerhof claimed ninth and 10th consecutive places in 1: 11: 35.95 and 1: 11: 47.17, respectively, despite their riding styles. distinct. and different strengths.

“Merrick goes down faster and Aila goes up faster, so seeing them ride together on both laps of the race was inspiring,” said Cospolich. “We hope they will push each other in practice and in the next races as well.”

The Tigers will participate in the next race on Sunday October 10 at the Granby Ranch.



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