Mountain Bike Mastery


Linda Guerrette

Boulder High’s Mountain Bike Team celebrating the big win with runners up on either side

The mountain bike team has always been greatly successful here at Boulder High, and this year, the streak continues! Making the 236 mile, 6-hour individual drive down to Durango in southwest Colorado, the Boulder High Mountain Bike team has been crowned champions of the state. 

We had lots of competition upon arrival to Durango, including the Durango team itself, riding on their home turf, and Fairview, who we had not faced in the regular season on route to the final weekend. Johnny Stanzione, 12th grader and 2nd place finisher, had the ACT the morning that he made the drive down, and admits that, “it’s been pretty crazy. It’s hard to imagine that it has been 4 years since my freshman year states.” Stanzione has been looking forward to his varsity states for a while. His junior year, Boulder High did not go to the states for covid related reasons.

Like all sports, mountain biking is not simply about the physical aspect, much of it comes down to the preparation before the actual race and quick thinking during it. Stanzione states that he “didn’t want to dwell on it too much, but I still had to stay focused.” Getting good sleep and staying hydrated and getting good, healthy calories leading up to the race helped Johnny make his mark and get second in the varsity boys race, acquiring 565 points for Boulder High. 

Boulder finished with 7162 points across all 8 races, with the runners-up being Fairview with 6791 and Durango with 6561 points. Stanzione adds that it was a close race and that it “didn’t come down to one person, but rather 3 or 4 that made the difference.” Boulder had a pretty substantial lead over Fairview after the first three races, Boulder South just couldn’t hack it. 

Leading up to the state championships, there were many races, all in preparation for the huge Durango weekend. However, there was no race between the two giants of Boulder High and Fairview. This is because, in the Colorado league, there are so many riders. In 2019, the Colorado Mountain Bike League decided to split the northern and southern divisions into two separate divisions, causing Boulder and Fairview to not encounter each other until the weekend of Oct 23, 2021

Due to this split, there are now 4 separate divisions in the state. Boulder is in the Yampa division, and Fairview is in the Platte division. All of this division created more anticipation, not knowing how to prepare for the big race against each other; however, our adaptability gave us the state championship.

Our win appears to be pretty clear based on the points, but I am sure that many of you may not actually know how the points system works for mountain biking. To get the final score, the CO MTB League takes the top 15 finishers from each school and adds them up to accumulate the total score.  

The school is split into four teams, Varsity, JV, Sophomore and Freshman team. The top 15 “point-getters” from each race of each team cumulatively. For varsity, first place gets 575 points, second place gets 565, third gets 556, fourth gets 547, and fifth get 539 and so on and so forth. 

After the sophomore race, Johnny Stanzione admits he believes they were fairly far ahead of second-place Fairview, but Fairview has been known to “have some pretty quick racers,” which was shown when Liam Baartman, Fairview Varsity and points leader, came in first for the Varsity ride. 

Despite Baartman’s strong attempt to rescue his team, only finishing 9/10’s of a second ahead of Stanzione, his first-place finish did not overtake Boulder High’s 371 point lead. 

This year has been greatly successful for many of our riders, ending with a fantastic win, and wrapping up the season, but also wrapping up the last year for our seniors. Mountain biking is more than just a sport, which has been proven after that October 23rd weekend. “I can’t believe it’s all over already,” adds Stanzione. 

During this interview, many people came up to Johnny, asking him how he did, and at the answer of second place, “oh sweet!” and “congrats man!” were common reactions. We as Boulder High students look forward to much more than just our own achievements, which is something that should and will carry on throughout the rest of our years.