By Janine Emmets
The DUST2 season is looking a little different this year with COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings across the state.
The Colorado High School Cycling League is allowing teams to have regular practices, but the races had to be canceled for the season, as they gather more than 1,000 people.
In place of races, the league came up with a series of challenges for teams to participate in throughout the season for a little bit of fun competition.
The first challenge took place on Aug. 31 and the results were released last weekend. Each team had to create a .25-mile short course that included a climb, a descent, a slalom, a tight turn and a straightaway. Each student had to make four laps to complete a mile and then their time was submitted to the league.
In the JV boys category, Sawyer Blakemore completed the short course in 4 minutes, 51 seconds and placed 25th in the Crystal Division of the South Conference. Davis Parker completed the course in 4:49, placing him in 24th.
In the sophomore boys category, Carter Kasson completed the course in 4:29 and finished in 13th place. Kasson is motivated this season, despite not having official races, and is already preparing himself for the race season next year. Ethan Bergdolt completed the course in 4:42 and placed 17th. Bergdolt and Kasson will definitely be pushing each other next year at the races. Tucker Mashue completed the course in 5:21 and finished in 33rd place.
Coach Janine Emmets commented, “These boys have the potential to get on the podium next year and it’s inspiring to see them stay motivated this year, despite not having races to compete in.”
In the freshman girls category, Hadley Phillips completed the course in 6:08 and placed 10th. Natalie Mashue completed the course in 7:03 and placed 16th.
Emmets said, “It’s great to see Natalie inspired to participate in the challenges this year. She sustained a pretty serious injury from a mountain bike crash last year, and she is showing grit and courage by getting back on her bike and riding again. We’re glad to have her on the team this year.”
In the freshman boys category, Bradley Lamoreaux completed the course in 4:55 and placed 22nd. Jack Hittle completed the course in 5:59 and placed 39th.
Pagosa Springs as a team placed fourth in Division 3 with 1,998 points.
Emmets said, “It’s exciting to see how well we are doing as a team, even though the results are all just for fun this year. Our team has grown significantly this year and we can’t wait to see our new freshman race next year.”