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High School Festival Filled with Fun and Fast Racing

By: Cody Dedow  July 14, 2021

Teams and riders battled the altitude and rain to take home the first High School National Championship ever awarded.

Winter Park, Colo. – Three days of festival fun wrapped up at Winter Park with 9 National Championships being awarded on the last day, including D1 and D2 team championships. The Durango High School Demons carried their success from Mountain Bike Nationals with 4 individual championships and a D2 team championship while hundreds of high school riders enjoyed the trails at Trestle Bike Park.

Let’s Ride Camp, Clinics, and Collegiate Festivals

USA Cycling offered multiple bike rodeo’s for elementary kids and partnered with industry experts to help introduce high school athletes to different disciplines while they spent time in Winter Park, Colorado. Josh Patton, race mechanic for the YT Mob, coached the downhill clinic at Trestle Bike Park and pro cyclo-cross race Brannon Fix took riders through a custom-built course in downtown Winter Park. Closer to the village, USA BMX had set up a mini-pump track in the parking lot to help get kids introduced to BMX racing and skills. At night, the high school participants were given a chance to mingle to some of the best cycling colleges to keep their cycling career moving, including Fort Lewis College, Marion University, Lindenwood University, Lindsey Wilson College, and The Savannah College of Art and Design.

Championship Races

The High School Cross-Country races took place on the same rocky and rowdy courses as the Mountain Bike Nationals the week prior. The Freshman Boys started off strong with Richard Morris (Fort Collins, Colo.; Rocky Mountain High School) crossing the line first with an emotional finish, Luke Mosteller (Tunnel Hill, GA; Pinhoti Mountain Composite Team) coming in only :24 behind at 2nd, and Nathan Dutton (Highland, UT; Lone Peak High School) riding a sweet wheelie across the line in 3rd.

For the Freshman Girls, Andie Aagard (Highland, UT; Spry Cycles) kept rolling after her strong performances from Mountain Bike Nationals the week prior. Abigail Pruyn (Park City, UT; Accel Cycling) grabbed second place and valuable team points while Kaya Musgrave (Littleton, Colo.; Chatfield High School) crossed the line in third to round out the top steps.

Next up for the Sophomore Boy’s division, we saw Corbin Parsley (Lake Elsinore, Cali.; Imperium Coaching/Jax Bicycle Center) win the closest sprint of the day against Kade Kreikemeier (Fort Collins, Colo.; Fort Collins High School) with Aagard’s teammate Sebastian Sarmiento (Ceder Hills, UT; Spry Cycles) taking third.

For the Sophomore Girl’s Division, Maggie Holcomb (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team) added another Stars and Stripes jersey to her closet with a 1:08 victory on the field. Emma-Lee Dorman (St. George, UT; Accel Cycling) had an awesome ride to second place and had almost a 2-minute lead on third place, Stella Scholz (Austin, TX; Lake Travis High School).

Ivan Sippy (Durango, Colo.; Durango High School) ran away with the Junior Boy’s Division while Sam Evans (Reno, NV; Galena High School) and Dane Grey (La Canada Flintridge, Cali.; La Canada High School) took home second and third respectively on the last dry race of the day.

In the Junior Girl’s race, Bailey Cioppa (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team) rode away with a solo win in the rain. Mid-way through Lap 1, the rain came pouring down bringing new challenges to the riders. Mya Graham (Draper, UT; Rouleur) and Natasha Visnack (Bend, OR; Summit High School) rode their way to second and third, respectively.

Robbie Day (Evergreen, Colo.; Bear National Team) came back for more after placing second in the U23 Cross-Country race. Day grabbed the win with Toby Hassett (Golden, Colo.; WE Development) and Aidan Duffy (Avon, Colo.; Vail Junior Cycling) getting the Senior Boy’s silver and bronze.

Ruth Holcomb (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team) went 3 for 3 in all the events she raced and capped it off with a win in the Senior Girl’s race. “It started off dumping rain, Mister perfectly fine by Taylor Swift was playing so it was all good! We had a great time. I went a little harder than I would have liked on the first hill and that's definitely my fault. And then I just kind of road a pretty clean down the hills and then the next lap, it was all good, but honestly, the best part was the Taylor Swift the whole time and being out with my best friends.”

When asked about racing with her sister, Durango Demons teammates, and Bear National Team teammates, she said, “It's pretty awesome. Sometimes I'm scared my sister's going to beat me, but other than that, we're all best friends. We all hangout all the time and so being on the race course with them is special for sure.”

Those best friends, Haley Randel (Mill Valley, Cali.; Redwood High School) and Tai-Lee Smith (Breckenridge, Colo.; Summit High School), just happened to place second and third, respectively.