Colorado’s Cassie Hickey has stood out in the Junior 15-16 field the last two seasons, finishing second at both Reno and Louisville Nationals in vastly different conditions. In Louisville, Hickey was aided by her running skills in the thick mud, and at the 2019 Montana Cross Camp, her running was on display as she led the campers through the stadium stairs every morning.
Hickey’s skill on foot is no accident. When she is not exclusively riding bikes, she participates in triathlons, which require a rounded skillset to be successful. “When I saw most of the course was going to be running, especially as conditions got worse and worse during the week, I got more and more confident, and I was really excited to race,” Hickey said about Louisville Nationals.
While Hickey was succeeeding in the sloopy Louisville Nats conditions, one bummer about the experience was she had a special kit that got caked in the thick Joe Creason mud.
“I went to one of Ellen Noble’s camps, and she has become a really big mentor for me,” Hickey explained. “Since I don’t really have a team for ’cross, she had given me some of her old stuff. It felt really cool to race in her old kit, especially since I ride a Focus and she rode for Focus before.”
When she is not racing bikes, Hickey said she *gasp* enjoys school and has a strong interest in math and science, with current aspirations of becoming an aerospace engineer. When it comes to training, her love of data and numbers has played a huge role in getting faster.
“I’m definitely a big numbers person. I’ve been struggling when people tell you to feel your way through training,” she said. “I like being on the dot, I like looking at power, time and speed references. It’s a really big part of my training, and I definitely think it helps me a lot.”
This season will be Hickey’s first as a Junior 17-18 rider, and she has her sights set on joining Team USA for one of the Euro blocks and making the U.S. team for the first-ever Junior Women’s World Championships in Switzerland.
I chatted with Hickey at Montana Cross Camp. You can listen to our conversation in the video below.