Mountain Bike Team Concludes Season at Collegiate Nationals

Western State Colorado University’s mountain biking season culminated in Snowshoe, West Virginia for 2016 Collegiate Mountain Biking Nationals. A team of  11 student athletes and 4 coaches made the trip from Gunnison to Snowshoe, putting in long hours in vans and airplanes to get to the competition.

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Ming Goetz stakes out her spot on public transit leaving Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport en route to Snowshoe, West Virginia for Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals.

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Peter Noon rounds a corner during the men’s cross-country race Saturday. Weather took a turn for the worst on day one of races, with torrential downpours soaking the course, riders, and spectators.

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Sean O’Donnell grinds through the mud and snow during men’s cross-country Saturday. Mud collecting on bikes added weight and mechanical troubles, but racers pushed on despite these hindrances.

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 Aspen Wallace rides through the trees during the women’s cross country race. The aftermath of a muddy course is seen above.

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Team relay participants Cam Smith, Aspen Wallace, and Peter Noon pose after the race Sunday as the sky begins to clear up.

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Senior Colt Horvat tackles the rock step-down with confidence during the downhill race.

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Despite clearer weather, the air was still cold and wind was howling during Sunday’s races.

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Andrew Pearson charges through dual slalom Sunday. The track was slow in places due to precipitation, but riders commented on the course’s excellent banked turns and exceptional flow.

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Grace Owens clears the first roller on the dual slalom course.

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Daniel Frentzel goes head-to-head with another racer on the dual slalom course Sunday.

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Western poses for awards after securing second place for D-2 team omnium points.

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After a long weekend of braving the elements and racing hard, the mountain bike team packed up and began the journey back to their home turf in Gunnison, Colorado. There was already talk of nationals next year in Missoula, Montana- but the top priority in most everyone’s mind was the upcoming ski season.

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