This past Sunday, freshman Clara Landreth, junior Breighton Miller and senior Alessa Miller competed at the Colorado State High School Mountain Bike Championships up in Eagle, Colorado. They all had strong performances and are happy with their accomplishments this season.
Racing at state was a big deal for these three competitors, as they each had to qualify individually based on previous races. In order to qualify for state, they were required to race in at least three of the four mountain bike races throughout the season, and they also had to place in the top 50 or 60 of their division in order to qualify. The state meet combines the top 50-60 riders from both the North and the South divisions. Four individuals from the 18 person Littleton High School Mountain Bike Team qualified for state including Landreth, the Miller siblings and a homeschool freshman, Marley Bristol.
When the LHS team of four arrived at the site of the race, it was a freezing 20 degrees outside. However, after warming up and feeling the adrenaline kick in, the weather was no problem for the racers.
The course up in Eagle was made up of several uphill climbs with short descents in between each climb, making the 300 foot climbs seem more manageable.
“It was a really really fast course, and it was actually pretty fun. I really like it,” said A. Miller.
Landreth competed in the freshman girls race, finishing in 51st place. This was her first year on a competitive mountain bike team, so it was a great accomplishment to be able to make state as a freshman.
“It was really exciting to be there and to actually qualify. I was really excited because even though I didn’t obviously win state, we had so many people there supporting us. We had over half our team there,” said Landreth.
B. Miller competed in the JV boys race, finishing in 70th place, the top half of the pack.
“The overall race went pretty well. I felt like I did everything to the best of my ability…I trained hard throughout the season and I really was committed to the team and really wanted to have the motivation to do it,” said B. Miller.
A. Miller competed in the JV girls race, finishing in 57th place. Miller crashed at the beginning of the race, but was able to quickly recover and finish 20 spots ahead of her original seeded place.
“I felt like my performance could’ve been better. I definitely came back in my last lap, but in the first lap I crashed right at the start because a bunch of girls crashed in front of me, and then I crashed on top of them, so we all got in this really nasty pile-up with our bikes all on top of us…so the second lap I definitely came back and I passed at least 10 people,” said A. Miller.
The mountain bike season is now officially over. As with any sport ending, it comes with a mixed bag of emotions. For A. Miller, this was her last high school mountain bike race ever.
“I’m really sad that the season’s done. I really really enjoyed my team…I’m going to miss the environment because the environment is really really open and really really friendly. Everyone is just super super cool with everyone, so I’m going to miss that especially since it’s my senior year and I realize I’m not going to get that again,” said A. Miller.
For younger competitors like B. Miller and Landreth, the season coming to an end was a bummer as well.
“I am disappointed that the season is over because the group of people that we had was really awesome. Since we’re a composite team with Heritage, we met so many people from Heritage, but now that it’s over, we’re not going to see them as much, so that’s a bummer,” said Landreth.
However, B. Miller and Landreth have next year to look forward to, especially since Littleton is a new, up and coming team that has so much potential for the future.
“The team itself [excites me for next year] because it’s been growing and so I think next year’s team will hopefully be even bigger and so I’ll have even more of that team feel than I did this year,” said B. Miller.
“We hope to recruit a lot more people too because we had a smaller team this year, and if we had a bigger team, it’d give us more of a chance of winning state as a team,” said Landreth.
As for now, the mountain bikers are going to continue riding and training in order to prepare for next season, where they are excited to improve even more.