Taos Com­pos­ite rac­ers se­cure an­other sec­ond place at Cloud City Chal­lenge near Leadville

The Taos News - - SPORTS - -Staff re­port

Taos Com­pos­ite high school moun­tain bike race team com­peted in the sec­ond race of the NICA Colorado League’s South Con­fer­ence in Leadville, Colorado Sept. 9. The course was a 6.2 mile loop through high-el­e­va­tion as­pen groves where rac­ers en­joyed a com­bi­na­tion of steady climb­ing, twist­ing sin­gle-tracks through the trees, and fast de­scents. Nine Taos Com­pos­ite rac­ers along with par­ents, coaches, sib­lings, and non-rac­ing team­mates made the trip.

“The team showed all the best qual­i­ties of fo­cus, en­thu­si­asm and sports­man­ship,” said coach Susie Fiore. “The week­end went smoothly with all rid­ers fin­ish­ing their races.”

Taos Com­pos­ite had one racer in each of the first three start waves of the day. Fresh­man Tor Holm was first on the course and demon­strated his rid­ing strength, fin­ish­ing 10th out of 123.

Cobin Hall raced in the sopho­more di­vi­sion against 140 com­peti­tors. Af­ter an un­for­tu­nate mis­take in the rider call-ups to the start, Hall started in the 50th po­si­tion in­stead of his orig­i­nal place (he was sup­posed to start in 28th). None­the­less, Hall kept his com­po­sure and fought hard through­out the race, us­ing skill and power to make mul­ti­ple passes on a course with­out many pass­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to fin­ish 29th.

Liam Ha­worth raced in the fast and com­pet­i­tive var­sity race, com­plet­ing four laps and plac­ing 34th. “Though he didn’t have his best race, he was able to ride strong enough to main­tain a good over­all stand­ing in the se­ries,” said Fiore. “Both Hall and Ha­worth dis­played a high level of fo­cus and per­sonal tough­ness to achieve these re­sults.”

Next up was the 3-lap ju­nior var­sity boys’ race with 164 par­tic­i­pants. Sopho­more Cole Hughes had an­other stand­out race to garner a sixth place over­all: the high­est fin­ish ever for a Taos Com­pos­ite ath­lete. Each of his three laps were within 25 sec­onds of each other, show­ing a con­sis­tency that most rac­ers strive for.

The last races of the day in­cluded the girls’ JV and sopho­more events. Ju­niper Cor­topassi and Nalia Kast fin­ished the JV race in 23rd and 36th out of 49 rid­ers, re­spec­tively. First-year racer, Zoe Col­fax, raced the sopho­more event and claimed 17th place out of 35 rid­ers.

Taos Com­pos­ite fin­ished in sec­ond place as a team once again in the Di­vi­sion 3 cat­e­gory. The points sep­a­rat­ing the top three teams in this di­vi­sion are shrink­ing, leav­ing Taos within strik­ing dis­tance of the top po­si­tion. “The con­sis­tency of this team has been amaz­ing,” said coach Sean Cass­ily. “These ath­letes are train­ing smart, and it’s great to see the in­di­vid­ual ef­forts adding up to suc­cess for the en­tire team.”

With two more races be­fore state cham­pi­onships, the Taos con­tin­gent is set­ting its sights on con­tin­u­ing to im­prove in­di­vid­u­ally and as a team. The next race will be in Nathrop, Colorado Sept. 23. The team is still look­ing for spon­sors for the up­com­ing races. By find­ing spon­sors to cover travel ex­penses, rac­ing is ac­ces­si­ble to all team mem­bers.

Courtesy photo

Cole Hughes blazes by a group of on­look­ers dur­ing his ju­nior var­sity race in Leadville, Colorado Sept. 9. Hughes per­formed ex­cep­tion­ally well and earned sixth place over­all in his di­vi­sion, the high­est fin­ish ever for a Taos Com­pos­ite ath­lete.

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