Western Mountain Sports competes on the road and sand

Cycling and trail running teams head to the desert

By Kieran Nay, Western Mountain Sports Coordinator 

This past weekend Western Mountain Sports sent its cycling and trail running teams west to the deserts of Grand Junction and Moab for competition.

The trail team competed in the third and final race of the Triple Crown of Moab at the Behind the Rocks Ultra put on by Mad Moose Events. Distances ranged 10–50 miles with Western athletes competing in the 10-mile, 30-kilometer (~18 miles), and 50-kilometer (~30 miles) distances. In the 50k it was Western’s own Cole Campbell who emerged victorious with a new course record in a time of 3:41:36. Western Mountain Sports alumnus Brian Whitfield was third with a time of 4:01:19. Teammates Nate Rengo and Colin Cooper finished the day in 7th and 12th respectively. In the overall standings for the Triple Crown of Moab, contested across Dead Horse Ultra, Arches Ultra, Redhot Ultra, and Behind the Rocks Ultra, Cole Campbell came away with the overall win with teammate Nate Rengo in fifth place.

In the 30k distance Solomyn Collen led the way for the women with a 23rd place finish in 3:25:39. Teammate Marya Nay was next for the mountaineers in 3:36:36 for 31st place and first place in the under 20 age group. In the men’s race Head Coach and Western alumnus Josh Eberly finished second in a time of 1:59:24. Western athletes Kyle Hoffman (7th), Jacob Haltom (14th) and Samuel Loustaunau (20th) rounded out the top twenty.

In the 10-mile distance, McKenzie McConnel was the first Western athlete across the line in 1:41:15 for seventh place. Teammate Sam Iverson was eighth with a time of 1:41:42. The Trail Team will conclude their racing season at the competitive Desert Rats Trail Festival by UTMB, held in Fruita in mid-April.

Back in Colorado, the Western Cycling team attended the first collegiate road race and criterium of the 2024 spring season. Colorado Mesa University hosted the event. In the criterium, Christian Hansen got his second podium of the year placing third. Both Cody Conner and Jack Fanselow stayed upright and got to experience their first criterium races. On Sunday, Jack Fanselow rode well in a stacked field for 66 miles. Later in the day Christian and Cody experienced their first road race in the rain. Both persevered to finish in the top 10. The next race is the Belgian Waffle ride in Utah where riders will tackle distances ranging from 80 to 130 miles.

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