Middle Park mountain biking runs at Granby Ranch before state races

Sky-Hi News staff report

The Middle Park mountain biking team has qualified a handful of its riders to compete in the state championships, including Gray Barker, the team’s lone competitor in the varsity boys division.

Barker and the Panthers were in action on Saturday for the Granby Ranch Roundup, a massive Colorado High School Cycling League sanctioned event and Middle Park’s home meet.

The racers competed on a blustery with scattered showers, but they didn’t seem to mind the chilly weather too much.

In the varsity boys race, Barker finished the course in 56 minutes, 7 seconds. His time was good enough to put him in 21st place. In addition to leading the team and posting Middle Park’s best time, Barker also qualified for the state championships on Oct. 23-24 in Durango.

Joining him at state will be Panthers senior Sofia Olsson (JV girls), along with Chance Hein, Luke Vecchiarelli, Nathan Myers and Josh Bendrat, who all qualified in the JV boys division. Also, Annie Kuhns (sophomore girls), Cambree Burke (sophomore girls) and Paige Vecchiarelli (freshman girls) will compete at state in their respective divisions.

Middle Park has five legacy riders this season. Legacy riders are student-athletes who’ve competed with the team for the last four years running. Those four-year riders are Ollson, Bendrat, Hein, Kobe and Nesvara.

Middle Park’s Race Results at Granby Ranch Roundup

Varsity boys — Gray Barker, 56:07.

JV boys — Josh Bendrat, 1:01:36; Nathan Myers, 1:01:43; Luke Vecchiarelli, 1:01:46; Chance Hein, 1:06:47; Luke Peters, 1:09:56; Sam Kobe, 1:12:01; Jack Nesvara, 1:21:26.

JV Girls — Sofia Olsson, 1:14:07.

Sophomore girls — Annie Kuhns, 1:14:56; Cambree Burke, 1:28:05;

Freshman girls — Paige Vecchiarelli, 1:28:44.

Fans cheer as Middle Park’s Sofia Olsson heads toward the finish line on Saturday at the Granby Ranch Round Up.
Eli Pace/Sky-Hi News
Middle Park’s Luke Peters heads into the last lap during the Granby Ranch Round Up on Saturday.
Eli Pace/Sky-Hi News
Chance Hein negotiates a downhill section of the course Saturday at Granby Ranch.
Eli Pace/Sky-Hi News
Middle Park’s Annie Kuhns wears the red jersey after winning the slingshot award at the last race. The award is given to the rider who moves up the most spots from one race to the next.
Eli Pace/Sky-Hi News
Middle Park’s Luke Vecchiarelli reacts after crossing the finish line.
Eli Pace/Sky-Hi News

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