NOTE: It was brought to my attention by a reader this morning that today’s column and column headline are misleading. Tom Baird repeated as the top Idaho finisher at LOTOJA and as men’s master 35+ champion, but not as overall champion. Ira Sorensen of Millcreek Cycling (Utah) repeated as overall champion. I definitely would have liked to have had these discrepancies pointed out to me sooner, preferably last year when I did a full-length follow-up with Baird about his finish. The column below has been revised, and a correction will publish tomorrow pointing out these discrepancies. I will also make note of them when I follow up with him.
The Medal Stand: Baird repeats as top Idaho LOTOJA finisher
A familiar cyclist added to his success at the annual Logan to Jackson Bicycle Classic on Saturday.
Tom Baird — a Bill’s Bike and Run, Teton Toyota and Volkswagon-sponsored cyclist — repeated as men’s master 35+ champion of the race better known as LOTOJA in nine hours, seven minutes, 15.9 seconds. The event is the longest one-day USA Cycling-sanctioned race at 206 miles long with an elevation change of almost 7,500 feet from Logan, Utah, to Jackson, Wyo. The two-time defending Idaho Master’s State Criterium champion, Baird won his first men’s master 35+ LOTOJA title last year in a sprint finish against former professional cyclist Robbie Ventura.
A complete follow-up with Baird about his back-to-back wins will publish soon. I will also follow up with figure skater Mathew Graham, a 2016 Shelley High School graduate who is competing in his fourth consecutive U.S. Novice and Junior Challenge Skate this week in Salt Lake City.
Coming up locally
Several races take place Saturday in the Post Register coverage area.
The annual Shelley Spud Run 5k and 1-mile walk/run begins at 8 a.m. at South Park Avenue in Shelley as part of the 88th annual Idaho Spud Day festivities.
The Run to Break the Chain half marathon, 10k and 5k takes place at Smith Park in Rexburg. Start times are 8 a.m. for the half marathon, 8:15 a.m. for the 10k and 8:30 a.m. for the 5k.
The 11th annual Teton Valley Trails and Pathways Horseshoe Challenge Trail Race is scheduled for Saturday at the Horseshoe Canyon Trailhead west of Driggs. The 10k walk begins at 8:40 a.m., the 20k run at 9 a.m. and the 10k run at 9:40 a.m.
Two events take place in Pocatello: the Idaho Never Forgets 10k and 5k run/walk and the ISU Ambush. The Idaho Never Forgets race begins at 8 a.m. at Upper Ross Park and the first heat of the fifth annual ISU Ambush obstacle race is scheduled for 9 a.m. at Bartz Field.
Grand Targhee Resort hosts the Grand Charge XC Mountain Bike race at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday as part of the Idaho High School cycling League Race Series. Sunday is the closing date for the resort’s summer season.
Team USA Update
Tuesday marked one year away from the International Olympic Committee’s vote for the 2024 Summer Olympics host city. Paris, Budapest, Los Angeles and Rome are the candidate cities. Paris, which last hosted the Games in 1924, has continued to submit a bid for the Summer Olympics for more than a decade. Rome last hosted in 1960 and Los Angeles in 1984. Budapest has never hosted.
U.S. swimmer Jessica Long became the second-most decorated U.S. Paralympian of all-time on Tuesday with her fourth medal in Rio at the ongoing 2016 Paralympic Games. The 24 year-old, four-time member of the U.S. Paralympic team now has 21 career Paralympic medals.
Today’s U.S. women’s national team game against Thailand in Columbus will be the swan song for 14-year veteran Heather O’Reilly. The 31 year-old midfielder announced her intentions to retire from the national team on Sept. 1.