Anticipation built after the team's reconnaissance ride at the venue in Midway on Thursday. The course proved to be longer and more challenging in terms of elevation gain than any previous high school course. At 5.7 miles and 600 feet of climbing per lap, the 2002 Olympic venue would crown a worthy group of state champs.
Perhaps foreshadowing a Miners' victory, the perfect streak of sunny skies over Utah High School Cycling League races continued on Saturday morning. A gusty wind threw Mother Nature's only curveball at the riders as the fast and smooth course required riders to account for drafting or ignore it at their peril.
The women's race proved a formality for Egan, who wore down her season-long rival, Tasha Heilweil of Skyline, to take the title and season-long points total. Park City's Ellie Burton followed in third and jumped to third in the season points ahead of Quinn Graves. Sophomore Lindsay Richards returned to racing after illness and continued to show her consistency with another fourth-place finish and fifth overall. Lindsey Adams watched the freshmen girls' pack ride away while she fixed a dropped chain seconds after the start. It wouldn't be long, however, before she caught and dispatched her competitors to take her second consecutive win as well as the freshmen girls' state title.
The second wave of racers included Park City freshmen Jacob Hunsaker, Anthony Buoscio, Zach Brown and Simon Hopkins. Hopkins kept pace for the first half of the race against two strong Alta riders, with Buoscio and Hunsaker riding 90 seconds behind the front group. By the end of the second and final lap, Hopkins would settle for third while Hunsaker and Buoscio crossed the line in fourth and fifth, respectively. Brown rode his best race to date, finishing 11th. Hopkins moved into third overall for the season while Hunsaker took fourth, Buoscio seventh and Brown 12th.
The final wave of races featured Park City's largest contingent. Varsity rider Matthew Turner was looking to bounce back after winning the Sherwood Hills race but coming third at Lambert Park two weeks ago. Ethan Reynolds was looking to extend his junior varsity win streak to two. In the varsity race, Turner set the early pace that shredded the field up the first series of climbs. The early effort proved costly, however, as he faded to third after three laps and finished the race in that position. Luke Adams had his best race of the season to come 13th while Ralf Carestia followed in 16th and Daniel Riley in 22nd. Turner dropped to third overall for the season by a mere two points.
Ethan Reynolds led the junior varsity race starting the second of three laps, but was overtaken by series points leader Adam Lee during the second lap. The duo battled on the final lap with Lee prevailing to win the state title. Reynolds capped an excellent debut cross country season with second overall in the JV category. Freshman Danny Fendler continued his strong series of results with fourth in JV, sealing third place for the season, while Patrick Johnson had a stellar top-10 finish in 10th. David Domonoske was forced to take a time penalty for outside mechanical assistance, dropping him from sixth to 13th. Riley Broussard finished 15th, Riley Walker 17th, Noah Putt 20th and Nic Kincaid 26th. Division 2 rider Ray Leavitt had his season's highlight race on his 16th birthday with 13th in a large field of 53.
The PCHS mountain-bike team would like to extend a huge thank you to its sponsors. This was a dream season, the likes of which few sports teams ever get to enjoy. 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 made it happen by getting behind this program from the start. One year ago, very few of these riders had any idea they would be racing mountain bikes as a high school sport, and now they are state champions. The Miners team parents are second to none, and their support of their kids and the program is incredible. The coaches were humbled by the attitude and dedication of the parents and riders all season long.