DUST2 team takes second at Spring Valley Scramble


Photo courtesy Janine Emmets

Freshmen Justin Sewell and Van Halterman have a strong start in Glenwood Springs.

By Hadley Phillips | DUST2

The DUST2 Pagosa Springs Mountain Bike Team attended its second race of the season this past Saturday in Glenwood Springs. 

This weekend they had 15 racers representing Pagosa. The Spring Valley Scramble course was hot and dusty, but all the racers did exceptional work. Even though the course had 646 feet of climbing per lap with the laps being 5.5 miles long, Pagosa riders were up for the challenge. Each lap consisted of single- and double-track trails, weaving through the pinion and sagebrush surrounding the Colorado Mountain College campus. 

This course happens to be the course for the state championships in October, so our racers were very excited about having a small advantage over two of the other regions. 

The first race of the day was freshman boys. With five freshman racers, much of the team was present for the start. The boys were excited to be racing two full laps compared to the one they did in Leadville two weekends prior. Eric Smith placed 11th with a time of 1:04, Justin Sewell placed 21st with a time of 1:07, Van Halterman placed 29th with a time of 1:10, Aaron Sowle placed 30th with a time of 1:11 and Heath Leentjes placed 46th out of 74 with a time of 1:17. 

Leentjes is such an amazing and consistent rider to have on the team, with his two lap times only with seconds apart. 

All of Pagosa’s girls were next up. The JV girls started, followed by the sophomore girls and the freshman girls. Each category starts at five-minute intervals of the others. The first three girls to finish were all of our JV girls. Rylie Carr, a junior and the first girl to finish for Pagosa, placed fourth with a time of 1:07, Natalie Mashue (senior) placed 11th with a time of 1:11, and Hadley Phillips (senior) placed 12th out of 28 with a time of 1:13. Next up was freshman Sophia Alexander in third with a time of 1:07 and freshman Adelyn Hittle in fourth out of 24 with a time of 1:08. Pagosa’s only sophomore girl, Kaylee Hensle, followed close behind in 10th out of 16 with a time of 1:28. 

Following the girls’ racing were the varsity boys. Bradley Lamoreaux (senior), Pagosa’s only varsity racer, placed 11th out of 31 racers with a time of 1:22 for three laps. He experienced major heat waves on his three laps and was relieved to be done and receive a much-earned Gatorade. 

Lamoreaux is an amazing example of what hard work and endurance can achieve, one only has to look at his amazingly consistent lap times. 

Lamoreaux also won the Yeti Skills Course challenge. Every race, a small skills course is set up at the race venue for kids to practice their handling skills. An award is given to the fastest male and female to complete the course.

After the varsity were the sophomore boys, Weston Phillips and Brady Ziminsky. Both boys had amazing races with a few water bottles of cold water dumped on them to try and fight off the heat. Ziminsky placed 33rd with a time of 1:09. Weston Phillips, after an unfortunate mechanical issue in the Leadville race, started in 73rd place but climbed all the way to 19th place with a time of 1:03. With this, Phillips received the Slingshot award, an award showing that he climbed the most places out of all the racers from his finish in Leadville to the finish in Glenwood. He is Pagosa’s first-ever Slingshot award winner. 

The final race of the day was JV boys. Jack Hittle is our only JV boy and he placed 47th out of 100 with a time of 1:06. Jack Hittle raced in the hottest part of the day and received a total dousing by his fellow teammates upon arriving at the finish line. 

Despite the heat, our team took second place overall in our division with 4,461 points. The entire team had exceptional races and can’t wait for the next race, The Haymaker Classic, in Eagle in two weeks.