Vibrant fall colors remind us here in the Vail Valley that winter is fast approaching. Despite the snow drawing near, there’s a hard charging group of High School mountain bike athletes battling it out across the state.
The relatively new Vail Valley Composite Team is a group lead by Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Nordic Program Director Dan Weiland. Dan put together the program three years ago and it has been a hit ever since.
The team is composed of athletes from High Schools all over the Vail Valley. Nine of these athletes study at the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy. The unique program helps them condition for the approaching ski season while also providing an opportunity to explore numerous challenging trails.
The season is composed of four cross-country races, 365 athletes, and plenty of flying mud. The athletes are categorized in four divisions by their overall ability: freshman, sophomore, junior varsity, and varsity.
The Chalk Creek Challenge on 9/9/12 in Nathrop, outside of Buena Vista, was their first race of the season and they did exceptionally well.
Anna Martin placed 2nd in the sophomore division, followed by another Vail Valley Composite Team rider, Heidi Livran, with a close 3rd.
Quintin Cook took home the gold for the Vail Valley Composite Team in the men’s freshman division. “Quintin had a great day. He started way back in the field and came up for the win,” said head coach Dan Weiland.
The rest of the team had a great day with Caleb Krueger in 17th, Clayton Davis in 18th, and John Bailey in 19th in the boys varsity category. Clare Baker placed 10th, followed by Estefania Loera in 19th in the girls varsity category. Ian Boucher placed 6th and Noah Beairsto placed 20th in the boys junior varsity category. Logan Martin placed 28th in the boys sophomore category. Rita Gutierrez finished 9th in the girls sophomore category. Luke Vickerman finished 12th, and Colbey Derwin finished 14th in the boys freshman category. Vail Valley Composite Team as a whole placed 3rd behind Boulder & Fairview respectively.
Their next race will be in Granby on September 23rd.
(For more information and complete race results log on to www.coloradomtb.org.)