Taos Composite finished third overall for the regular season in spite of some rough patches during the last two races of the mountain bike conference series. After strong races in the first two …
Taos Composite finished third overall for the regular season in spite of some rough patches during the last two races of the mountain bike conference series. After strong races in the first two events in Frisco and Leadville, Colorado, the courses shifted to flatter trails at Nathrop, Colorado Sept. 23 and Eagle, Colorado Oct. 6.
In the Nathrop race, Liam Haworth showed continued strength in the varsity boys division on the dry, four-lap course. Despite few passing opportunities, Haworth was able to earn a 27th place finish.
In the junior varsity girls two-lap race, Nalia Kast had one of her best outings with a 28th place finish while Juniper Cortopassi placed 35th.
First year rider, Zoe Colfax finished a very solid 19th place in the sophomore girls race.
Cobin Hall rode strong to place 25 out of 132 sophomore boys. Tor Holm worked hard throughout his race and pulled off the highest Taos Composite finish of the day 15th out of 118 riders in the freshman boys race.
The JV boys race held the most drama for Taos Composite.
Cole Hughes was in the front group of eight riders (out of 143) after the first of three laps. On a fast, double-track section of the course as he headed out for another lap, he was making a move into third place when he and another rider got tangled and both went down hard at speed. After about 10 minutes of sitting on the side of the course recovering from the crash, Hughes continued with the race.
Now in about 100th place, he fought hard to pass as many riders as possible during the next two laps. His huge effort and incredible fitness and skills allowed him to work his way all the way back up to 28th place.
Taos Composite ended up fourth overall at the Nathrop race but remained within reach of second place for the conference.
At the Conference Championship race in Eagle, the weather did not cooperate and the course was closed due to heavy rains Oct. 5. This meant no preride for any riders.
This added to the challenge as three of the top Taos Composite athletes - Tor Holm, Cobin Hall, and Zoe Colfax - are new this season and had never seen the course. Thankfully, the weather held on race day and the trail was in fantastic shape. Taos was missing two top scoring athletes as Cole Hughes and Juniper Cortopassi both had to miss the race due to illness.
JV boys were up first and Finn McMullin and Nate Steinberg gave it their all for three laps of racing in a group of 147 riders. The coaches were watching on the first uphill out of the start and commented on the fast pace being set on the front. McMullin was leading the charge in an effort to try something new in his racing. McMullin and Steinberg finished 96 and 109 respectively.
Next on the course were the girls. Nalia Kast finished 31st in the JV Girls, and Colfax continued her consistently strong riding in the sophomore girls race to finish 19th.
With 141 riders in the sophomore boys race, Hall rode to a 27th place finish. Holm started the freshman boys race with 130 riders and came through the finish in 19th place.
For Colfax, Hall, and Holm, the missed preride meant their first lap was on a trail they had never seen or ridden before.
The last race of the day was varsity boys with senior Haworth on the start along with 45 of the top racers in Colorado and New Mexico. He finished in 32nd place.
Taos Composite again placed fourth in the race overall and garnered a third place overall for the South Conference in Division 3. This is the best overall conference finish by the team to date.
Seven of the nine riders who met the minimum three-race requirement qualified for state. This included Haworth, Hughes, Cortopassi, Kast, Hall, Colfax and Holm, who will travel to Durango, Colorado to compete in the state championship race Oct. 20-21. The two-day competition will see the top riders from both the North League and South League.
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