The Park City High School girls' team, which had grown in size, was hoping to make an impact. However, Park City was racing with reduced numbers as some riders had conflicts and Alta High School was making the Miners feel uncomfortable in their powerhouse position.
Park City's Brenna Egan continued her domination of the varsity girls' category - but not by much. The tight race saw lots of jockeying and when the dust settled, Quinn Graves of Park City stood on the second step behind Egan with Ellie Burton, a cross-country-runner standout and new mountain-bike racer taking fourth place.
Another newcomer to the Miner team, freshman Lindsey Adams, surprised in her debut race by taking a strong win in the freshman girls' category and racking up another 500 team points. A collective sigh of relief could be heard at the Park City team Pit Zone as the women raked in massive points for the team.
The Miner freshman squad was reduced to three riders last weekend but still had its best races of the season with Jake Hunsaker taking second place on his 15th birthday. Anthony Buoscio just missed his first podium with a sixth-place finish and Zach Brown rode an excellent race with only a slight wrong turn keeping him outside of the top 10 in 15th place.
By the time the junior varsity and varsity boys started, the course was hot and dusty and the hats and down jackets had disappeared from the crowd. Ethan Reynolds rode a flawless race to take his first junior varsity win, defeating junior varsity juggernaut Adam Lee of Pleasant Grove. Freshman Danny Fendler confirmed his strong result from the Sherwood Hills race by coming in third, hot on Lee's heels. Noah Putt sneaked into the top 10 with an 8th-place finish and Riley Broussard rode an almost crash-free race to finish 13th. Patrick Johnson finished 17th after riding half the race in a very difficult gear after a mechanical malfunction rendered his shifter useless and Nic Kincaid wrapped things up in 23rd. Ray Leavitt had his best performance of the season with 15th in junior varsity Division 2.
When the points were tallied, the Miners again stood atop the team podium with a comfortable margin over Alta High and Wasatch High. The final race of the season is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20, at Soldier Hollow in Midway, with state championship titles on the line. Accumulated season points will not factor into the championship, and the winners on the day (both team and individuals) will be crowned Utah state champions. Park City will be fighting hard to cap a perfect season with nothing less than a team title and multiple individual titles. Podium ceremonies usually happen around 4 p.m.
The PCHS mountain-bike team couldn't function without the generous support of its sponsors. Cole Sport, Mountain Velo, Endurance, White Pine Touring, Jans, US Bank, Turner Gas, Elevated Property Management, PODS, Jones Waldo and the Park City Point 2 Point deserve a lot of credit for getting behind these kids and helping them get rolling in the dirt! The NICA organization and the Utah High School Cycling League are doing an amazing thing, and the parents and volunteers are all to thank.