Miners’ mountain bike team races at Round Valley
Senior Jenae Rasmussen makes progress up podium
October 12, 2017
The Park City High School mountain biking team took fifth overall in the Round Valley race on Saturday. Jenae Rasmussen led the girls varsity team with a second-place finish with a time of 1 hour, 15 minutes, 34.06 seconds. It was Rasmussen's highest finish of a season she said started off rocky.
"I crashed off the line the first race of this year," she said. "Like, over the start line. That was tough."
Even so, she still finished seventh in that race, then took third in the next competition.
After finishing the Round Valley race, Rasmussen said she got a good start at her home course.
"I went out really hard the first lap, and I was in the lead, then I got caught at the very top of the course," she said.
She became part of a group of three, which splintered in the second lap, leaving her behind Megan Kitchens of Skyline. Rasmussen said she "put the hurt on" on the flat sections of the course to overtake Kitchens before the finish line.
Katelyn Williams of Riverton High School still eluded her for a first-place finish.
Grace Lily Jencks finished 10 th for Park City, followed by Anna Castro in 13th.
On the boys side, Thomas Fendler was first to cross the line for the Miners, taking 19th with a time of 1:30:09.63.
Fendler said he got a slow start but steadily gained on his opponents throughout the race.
Head coach Laura Patten said the team has been racing fairly well, considering how young it is.
"We lost a lot of our seniors last year – seven of them," Patten said. "A lot of them were nationally ranked and did well."
But overall, the team has grown. This season, the team added its Junior DEVO division, which incorporated 16 seventh- and eighth-graders into the team.
"It's been a good fit, training wise," Patten said. "Then parents can learn and progress into the high school league. Learn the ropes as they go. And (the athletes) push each other."
Chris Best, the team's current assistant coach and future head coach after Patten retires at the end of this season, said his main goal for the team is to get kids to love the sport.
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"We just want to go out and have a good time, learn a lifetime sport," he said. "If they love it as a lifetime sport, I'm pretty psyched. If they get on the podium in the process that's pretty cool. From a personal perspective, I'm not going to put a ton of pressure on them to do that."
He said the 60-person team ranges from competitive and serious racers to those who want to ride with their friends. That breadth is also represented in races.
"It's everything from pretty serious, to goofy," he said. "There's a kid in the JV races that wears a fake beard."
The Park City High School team will compete in Moab on the 20th, then will compete in the high school championships in Cedar City on Nov. 3-4.