Glenwood’s Chloe Lutgring sat alone at the finish line for a few minutes, dry. She pushed herself more than necessary. She didn’t know how big her lead was, so she kept pushing.
After a bit of water, a little more dry heaving, and a chance to calm down, all that was left was a podium celebration and a state championship race to get ready.
“My goal over the next two weeks is to gain two minutes,” said Lutgring. “I’m going to do whatever I can to prepare myself in terms of diet, strength, basics, just anything.”
Lutgring won Sunday’s Haymaker Classic Women’s College Race, the Crystal Region Championship held at the Haymaker Trailhead in Eagle. Her Glenwood High School Dirt Demons teammates Dante Humphrey – in the boys’ first-grade standings – and Samantha Meskin – girls in grade two – also won their races, each earning the most points in their standings in three races of regular season.
As a team, the Dirt Demons finished third in the event’s Division 1, behind leader Colorado Rocky Mountain School of Carbondale, who has a larger roster.
Humphrey controlled his run from start to finish but had to overcome his own obstacles. In the middle of his second lap on the six mile track, his hold began to loosen. On a track that has a very technical downhill part in its last stretch, including countless switchbacks and a wall, this turned out to be a challenge.
“Right before the first climb my foot really relaxes and starts sliding back and forth on the clip,” Humphrey said. “It’s the most annoying thing because you want a really smooth pedal stroke. Makes you think you’re going to come straight out because the screws are loose, so you need to change your pedaling technique.
Humphrey persevered and also ended up on the top step of the podium.
In Division 3, the compact team Aspen / Basalt took first place as a group. Roaring Fork, on his first trip to a regional championship, did not perform well as a team but enjoyed success individually.
At the varsity level, Roaring Fork’s Corbin Carpenter sprinted out of the gate to take a first-lap lead over points leader Markus Dewire on Aspen / Basalt, clocking the fastest lap of the day, according to preliminary timing information. .
“(Dewire) wasn’t feeling well so I just decided to go,” Carpenter said. “Then on one of the dishes in the second round, he got me, and I just couldn’t hold out.”
Carpenter finished second behind Dewire in the second round and in the additional third round included in the college races.
In the second year boys’ race, Roaring Fork’s Samuel Friday took second and his teammate Devon Blanchard crossed the finish line. His fellow Rams Ephraim Nesbitt and Gabe Hazleton were not far behind.
With the strong core of sophomores and Carpenter only being a junior, Roaring Fork’s program is only growing.
“It’s really good to see us off to a good start,” said Carpenter.
He pointed out that the team doesn’t have any daughters and just wants to see her grow up.
The state championship, amalgamating the four regions of the Colorado High School Cycling League, will take place in Durango on October 23-24. It will feature 160 first year runners at the junior varsity levels and 96 at the varsity levels, with each region sending their top runners.
Official Haymaker Classic results were not available at press time.