Biggest team ever
by Than Acuff
While the Crested Butte Devo High School Race Team officially opened the season on August 1, numerous riders were already in shape by the start of the season and proved it with solid results at the opening race on Sunday, August 28 in Frisco.
Head coach Torrey Carroll has the most riders ever since he started coaching, with 19 on the team this season. The team typically hovers around 12 riders each and every year but the crew spiked this year with 10 returning from last years’ team and a large freshmen class entering the fray.
“It’s the most we’ve ever had and the CB Devo program is definitely the reason for the spike,” says Carroll.
The team is led by lone senior Will Johnson who is riding for his fourth year as part of the team. There are four juniors, seven sophomores and seven freshmen on the roster.
“Well over half of the team is underclassmen so that bodes well for the future too,” says Carroll.
Furthermore, several riders on the team are coming into the season with a summer’s worth of riding under their belt.
“For the most part a lot of these kids rode a lot over the summer so they have miles in their legs, a good base and their skills are pretty darn good,” says Carroll. “They’re as strong, if not stronger, than any team we’ve had.”
In an effort to help coach the burgeoning team Carroll has CB Devo coaches Graham Elliot and Bart Hemminger returning from last season and called upon Cooper Dendel to join the staff who is not only a CB Devo coach, but won the women’s pro class at an enduro race in Steamboat recently.
While workouts have been solid and energy high, the proof of the team’s progression came last Sunday when they headed to Summit County for the Frisco Bay Invitational. Last year the Crested Butte team finished the season in second place in Division II but with their growth came a push into Division I, so the race in Frisco was their first test against bigger teams. In the end they proved their ilk as they placed fourth among the Division I squads.
“That was a huge highlight, getting fourth as a team in Division I against bigger teams,” says Carroll. “Pretty much everyone finished in the top 40-percent.”
James Bivens represented the Crested Butte team in the varsity boy’s race. Facing 30 riders, and the longest race thus far in his career, Bivens gritted his way to 18th place out of 30 riders.
Ian Eldridge and Tanner Perkins led the local charge in the JV race. Eldridge finished the day eighth out of 130 total riders and Perkins battled through a lack of water and lip-sticking GU to place ninth.
Liam Elliot was the standout in the sophomore race among his six teammates finishing seventh out of 100 riders. His teammates were then sprinkled through between 30th and 41st place.
The freshmen riders then sealed the fourth place finish for the team with their efforts as Ruby Lammel placed seventh and Olivia Gordon 10th in the girl’s race. The boys race was cut short by an impending storm but the four freshmen did enough damage early on to come through the finish line in succession with Dylan Alagna in 10th, Owen Berv in 11th, Marko Alling in 12th and Dane Defrates crossing in 13th place.
“We has good results across the board,” says Carroll.
With their first Division I race under their belts, the team looks forward to gaining ground as the season progresses.
“We’re off to a great start and I think they’re all motivated to improve upon their results,” says Carroll. “Cycling is a funny thing though, sometimes your legs go the other way.”
The team heads to Leadville for their next race, the Cloud City Challenge on Sunday, September 11.