Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley
Sports@lhvc.com 

Student-athlete of the Week: Kenny Lang

 

August 11, 2017

Courtesy Photo Kenny Lang competes in the Tour de l’Abitibi in Amos, Quebec in July.

Don’t look now, but Niwot is becoming a hotbed of world-class youth cycling talent.

While Niwot Elementary students Collin Blatchley and Reid Porter were getting ready for the BMX World Championships in South Carolina, Niwot High student Kenny Lang was racing through the rural Canadian countryside in the Tour de l’Abitibi, an international junior road cycling race held each summer in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Quebec.

“It was crazy,” said the senior of the seven-stage race held July 17-23. “There were, like, 130 people racing. It was crazy racing with so many people speaking different languages.”

Lang earned his spot on the tour in June, at USA Cycling’s Colorado Talent ID Camp at the Colorado School of Mines. Based on his finishes in the camp’s daily races, the 17-year old was invited to join 15 other youth cyclists from around the country to represent the US and gain international racing experience at the major junior stage race.

Lang competed as a member of the Colorado Select p/b BRAC-Excel Sports Team along with other riders from the Colorado Talent ID camp, including Ross Ellwood and Denzel Stephenson, both of Boulder. Unfortunately for Lang, “The week started out better than it ended.”

“It was a lot of hard racing every day,” said Lang of the 600-km course. “Throughout the week, I found it hard to be able to recover. I couldn’t eat well enough.”

Fatigue forced him to bow out of the race’s final stage, a 115-km (72 mi.) trek from LaSarre to Amos. Nevertheless, Lang enjoyed his first time competing in an international event.

“It was crazy, but it was definitely a great experience,” he said.

Lang’s cycling season runs from January through August, ending just in time for him to turn his attention to his other athletic passion, distance running. Lang is a four-year member Niwot’s cross country team, and placed 30th at last year’s state meet, highest among the Niwot boys. He was also on the track team last spring, and finished third overall in the 3200-meter race at the Northern League championships.

After taking a week to recover from the Tour, Lang joined the cross country team in their daily summer workouts the first week of August. For the upcoming cross-country season, the Niwot boys are projected to be serious state title contenders under second-year head coach Kelly Christensen.

When he’s not busy being in better shape than everyone else, he’s also a dedicated student, with a 4.354 GPA in Niwot’s challenging IB program. Lang is also a drummer in the Niwot Jazz band, as well as a member of the Niwot Ski Club and National Honor Society. He is also a long-time hip hop dancer, who spent eight years doing “nothing but” before becoming serious about cycling and running.

Like many of his IB student-athlete counterparts, Lang often has to juggle a hectic sports schedule with a demanding academic one. The key, he says, is being consistent. “I try to keep the same schedule every day.”

Lang is looking forward to his senior year at Niwot, but his post-high school plans are indefinite as of now. He plans to study engineering in college, and also hopes to pursue running, but hasn’t settled on a specific institution. As for cycling, Lang says he eventually hopes to return to competitive racing, but wants to “focus on college” first.

 

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