Taos Composite High School Mountain Bike Team traveled with 10 athletes to the first race of the season in Frisco, Colorado Aug. 26. Over 600 riders competed in the Colorado League's South …
Taos Composite High School Mountain Bike Team traveled with 10 athletes to the first race of the season in Frisco, Colorado Aug. 26. Over 600 riders competed in the Colorado League's South Conference.
The course had a great mix of fast single-track trail mixed with plenty of places for passing. As the Colorado League has grown, the format has been adjusted to accommodate the numbers of riders and there are now five different start waves throughout the day.
All 10 Taos riders finished their races strong with no mechanical issues or physical problems. When the dust settled and the day was finished, Taos Composite had two top-10 finishes, several personal bests and the team ended up in second place out of 19 Division III teams.
Liam Haworth, Taos Composite's first "Legacy Rider" (four years competing in the league) fared quite well as a first-time rider in the highly competitive varsity field. A huge accomplishment for any rider to attain, Haworth tackled the 24-mile race with skill, strength and incredible consistency for a 33rd place finish out of 48 of the top riders in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.
In the 18-mile junior varsity boys race, returning sophomore Cole Hughes made his debut in the JV field after a standout freshman season last year. Hughes started in 28th place and turned in the fastest lap times for the team on his way to a ninth place finish out of 159 riders, earning him a spot on the podium. Also racing in the JV event were juniors Finn McMullin and Nate Steinberg, who finished 77th and 107th, respectively.
In the follow-up sophomore race, Cobin Hall turned in some impressive splits on the 12-mile course to finish in 29th place. Hall started in the 132nd position and passed 103 riders in his debut race.
On the girls side, returning juniors Juniper Cortopassi and Nalia Kast had good outings, finishing 20th and 27th out of 51, respectively. New racer Zoe Colfax started in the back of the sophomore race and finished a strong 27th out of 37.
Finally, after a long day of waiting and supporting teammates, freshman racers took to the course. Taos Composite had two riders who were new to racing. Tor Holm started in 28th position and moved up to No. 10. Ben Hastings started in the 78th spot and moved up to 45 out of 121 racers in this category.
"We had an amazing weekend filled with fun, team support and big results," said Susie Fiore, team manager. "The focus, intensity and skill required to pass other riders in a race situation usually takes years to develop."
Fiore and head coach Sean Cassily express excitement about the future of the team as all of the team's new racers showed they already have what it takes to succeed in mountain bike racing.
"With two top 10 finishes and a second place for the team, we are super excited for this year," said Cassily. "It is our fourth year racing as a small team in a very competitive Colorado League and our athletes are already showing us they are ready to step it up this year."
The team is still seeking sponsor to cover the costs of taking the team to four more races in Colorado this fall. Next up for Taos Composite is the Cloud City Challenge at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville Sept. 9.