Brae Patten and Amy Beisel take series titles
In the largest race yet of the Gunnison Campus Cross series, 22 intrepid racers braved the weather and lined up in a couple inches of fresh snow for the 40-minute rally around the Western State College campus.
While the first two races of the series were run on the Crismon Practice field on the outskirts of the WSC campus, the final race started at the Escalante Fitness Center and criss-crossed many of the quads throughout campus. The course featured three sets of barriers, made use of the many sets of stairs around campus as well as the sandy volleyball court.
For the men, it was a match-up between race #1’s winner, Alpine Orthopaedics’ Jon Brown and race #2’s winner, Alpine Orthopaedics’ Brian Smith. Brown, on a single speed mountain bike, took the early lead on the first lap, trailed closely by Smith, who was riding a cross bike. The two remained evenly matched throughout the course with Smith using his bike advantage to push the pace on the straightaway sections and Brown making up time by bunny-hopping the set of three downhill barriers.
Neither rider was able to shake the other, and the finish ended up being a drag race to the line, with Smith holding on for the win. Behind them, Alpine Orthopaedic rider Dave Ochs battled with Jordan Carr of Mountain Flyer for the final podium spot. Both riders were on mountain bikes, Ochs on a single speed and Carr on a full suspension. The two traded spots throughout the race, never letting the other out of his sight. With ten minutes left to race, Carr took the lead for good and finished third.
In the women’s race, Jenny Smith and Amy Beisel, both racing for Alpine Orthopaedics, battled for much of the race with Smith on a cross bike and Beisel on a mountain bike. Smith was eventually able to pull away on the slippery course for the win.
Final series points were tallied up and Brae Patten, racing for Western State College Cycling, took the overall win for the men and Amy Beisel took the win for the women.