Close season fourth in division
by Than Acuff
The CB Devo high school mountain bike team flirted with the podium in the overall division standings all season but fell just short, finishing fourth, when the series wrapped up. Nevertheless, the entire team has qualified for the state championships and will be hitting the trail in force to go elbow-to-elbow with high school programs from throughout the state on Sunday, October 23 in Eagle.
The team closed out the season race series on Saturday, October 8 at the Chalk Creek Stampede in Nathrop. Final conference standings were on the line in Nathrop and the CB Devo team stepped up to the challenge with nearly every rider improving on their results from the race before to earn quality seedings for the state championships.
The only glitch on the day came in the varsity boys race. James Bivens has been tearing it up all season but some days you hit the trail and sometimes the trail hits you. Bivens still gritted his way to a 24th-place finish and closed the season 14th overall in the conference standings.
Ian Eldridge remained in top form in the JV boys race. Eldridge posted a sixth-place finish in Nathrop to earn the fifth seed spot out of the southern conference.
“Ian was right up front again, which was good,” says coach Torrey Carroll.
JV racer Tanner Perkins suffered a pre-race mishap since he was missing his number plate, and ended up starting at the back of the first wave. But he made the most of the situation to climb up through the pack as the race continued, eventually crossing in 13th place finishing the season seeded 14th overall.
“He had a good race, considering he started at the back of the pack,” says Carroll.
Finn Wilson climbed up a couple more spots as well in the JV race to place 25th and earned a spot at the state championships.
In the JV girls race Marion Chater continues to make a name for herself. After a disastrous first race this season, Chater has been consistently finishing near the front of the pack and did so again, overcoming some minor mechanicals in Nathrop to take sixth place and seal the fifth seed overall.
Liam Elliott and JC Patterson spent the first part of the sophomore boys race in the mix of a chase pack before making one last move on the final lap to drop the chase pack and finish in sixth and seventh place, respectively. They secured the eighth and ninth seeds as a result of their efforts.
“Those were their best finishes of the year,” says Carroll.
Sophomore teammates Ethan Carroll, Elior Bilow and Luke Shull also punched their tickets to the state race with their efforts in Nathrop, and while Jesse Fulkerson missed Nathrop, he too is headed to the big show.
Freshmen girls Ruby Laemmel and Olivia Gordon posted top 10 finishes once again and will head into the state race as the ninth and 10th seeds out of the southern conference.
Dylan Alagna put together his best race of the season to lead the freshmen boys team with a fourth-place finish, followed by Dane Defrates in seventh, and will be joined by Owen Berv as they all head to the state race.
The team closed the day in fifth place and now have their sights set on the state championships.
“The highlight is the whole team qualified and most of them will have good starting positions,” says Carroll. “I’m expecting them to have solid races, race smart and move up a few spots. All of the kids at state are fast and passing will be tough but if we finish seventh or sixth as a team, that’s a good day. It’ll be a fun weekend.”