Overall it was an awesome season
by Than Acuff
Thanks to a strong showing at the conference championships two weeks ago, the entire CB Devo bike team qualified for the state championships in Eagle, Colo. on Sunday, October 23 and finished the season with two riders posting top-10 results and two more finishing in the top 20, leading the team to a solid result among the state’s top teams.
“As a team we finished 10th, which I was super happy with,” says coach Torrey Carroll.
The Eagle venue was built a couple of years ago with the idea in mind of hosting the mountain bike state championships. It has two climbs, flat sections and a banked descent, most of which do not quite cater to the CB Devo team’s strength, climbing.
“The course is really fun, but it’s not the best course for us,” says Carroll. “There are a lot of flats and false flats and the terrain we train on has more climbing than that.”
CB Devo racer James Bivens was left to his own wits as the only CB Devo rider in the varsity boys race. Bivens lined up alongside the powerhouse teams from the Northern Conference, i.e., Boulder and Golden, and still held his own to end up 28th.
The JV boys race was hotly contested. As Boulder dominated the field posting six of the top 10 results, CB Devo riders Ian Eldridge and Tanner Perkins mashed their way into the mix as Eldridge placed ninth and Perkins 10th out of 146 riders.
“I’m totally psyched that they were in the top 10,” says Carroll. “They both had really good races and were just three minutes out of first place.”
Finn Wilson fell prey to the massive field and “moon dust” trail conditions, crashing during the JV race but still managing to get back on course and move up 10 spots from his start to finish in 56th place.
“It’s such a big field that when you crash, it’s hard to get back into the lineup,” says Carroll.
Sophomore racer Marion Chater suffered a mechanical during her race, dropping her chain to lose a few spots, but still managed to get back into the mix, charging her way into the top 20 to finish 17th.
The sophomore boys’ results were all over the board, including some pre-race calamity. JC Patterson put the finishing touches on a good season of racing to finish in 19th while Liam Elliott’s experience was quite the opposite. Elliott has been solid all season, but as he was warming up for his race, he crashed, hitting the pavement hard 15 minutes before the start. He still managed to line up and race but ended up 49th by the time he hit the finish line.
“That crash shook him up a little bit and I don’t think he quite recovered,” says Carroll.
Jesse Fulkerson lost a water bottle during his race and was suffering under the glaring sun on his second lap, coming in 75th. Elior Bilow placed 91st and Luke Shull crashed, losing the ability to shift, and finishing the race in one gear and in 98th place.
The freshmen racers sealed the 10th-place finish for the team with their efforts. Olivia Gordon put together her best race of the season to place 13th, while Ruby Laemmel got caught in a bottleneck but still placed top-20, coming in 18th.
“Olivia has been really consistent all season and 13th at state is great,” says Carroll.
Dylan Alagna finished his first year of racing with a 19th place at state. Dane Defrates was two spots back in 21st and Owen Berv placed 50th.
Overall, Carroll felt the season was a huge success from placing fourth in the conference, to 10th at state and a litany of great individual results and progression as riders.
“Overall it was an awesome season,” says Carroll. “Morale stayed high the whole season and the team had fun the whole season. They all grew as racers and their ability to ride fast. Their skills grew and their ability to suffer grew.”
Carroll now looks to what should be a strong future for the CB Devo team. The team will lose just one rider, with more on the way at the freshman level next season. Furthermore, he expects to have three riders in the varsity ranks next year and 10 in the JV races, which score double points overall for the team.
“I think there’s room to move up,” says Carroll.