Mountain bike team holds lead at home
Park City High School (PCHS) mountain bike racing team held on to its series lead at race number three held by the Utah High School Cycling League last weekend. The race was held at the Round Valley trail system in Park City.
Even though the Round Valley course is on PCHS home turf, competing teams brought their A-games, holding PCHS to only two wins, with Weber taking first in boys’ varsity, Salt Lake City Composite winning girls’ varsity and D1/D2 JV, Lone Peak taking boys’ D1 JV and girls’ D1/D2 sophomore races, Sky View taking boys’ D2 JV, Bountiful taking boys’ D2 sophomore and boys D2 freshmen races, and Ogden taking girls’ D1/D2 freshmen.
Racing conditions for the 670 student-athletes were perfect with temperatures in the mid-70s and great traction on the slightly damp five-mile course featuring sweeping corners, switchbacks, and 550 feet of elevation gain.
The girls’ varsity race was a difficult race, for many reasons, for overall points leader Sienna Leger Redel of PCHS, who faced stiff competition from Rachel Anders of the Salt Lake City Composite team. Anders skipped race two at Nordic Valley to compete in the Xterra Nationals, where she took second in the female 15-19-year-old division. She competed in the Utah league’s first race at Soldier Hollow, where she placed second.
Girls’ varsity raced three laps for a total of 15 miles. Leger Redel led the first two laps with Anders close behind, but Anders passed her on the final lap just before the singletrack section leading into the downhill.
Describing how the race went after passing Leger Redel, Anders said, "I was trying to go as fast as I could knowing Sienna was behind me, and on the downhill I knew she was right there and it would come to a sprint finish."
On the last section of singletrack leading in the final straightaway, Leger Redel tried to pass Anders, but the ill-timed move caused her to hook bars with Anders and both riders went down. Leger Redel quickly got back on her bike, but the crash bent Anders’ rear derailleur and she wasn’t able to contest the finish. Leger Redel crossed the finish line first, followed by Anders 10 seconds later in second, with PCHS’s Brenna Egan coming in third, 2 minutes, 46 seconds later.
However, one of the league’s sportsmanship rules states, "Fair play and respectful, kind, supportive behavior is expected of all NICA student-athletes," so Leger Redel was assessed a one-minute penalty awarding Anders the win, moving Leger Redel to second, and Egan remaining in third. Leger Redel remains the series points leader.
The boys’ varsity race was different this round with series points leader Connor Patten unable to race due to an injury suffered during training last week. That left Weber’s Anders Johnson, Ogden’s Jacob Mathewson, PCHS’s Mathew Behrens and Timpanogos’s Adam Brown to fight it out on Round Valley’s fast, technical course for overall series points.
After racing for 20 miles, Johnson took the win with a time of 1:19:16, followed by Mathewson 1:03 later in second, and Behrens in third, 1:13 after Mathewson.
Other winners on Saturday are as follows*:
Girls Divisions 1 & 2 Freshmen – Sophie Scothern, Ogden (8th, 2nd)
Girls Divisions 1 & 2 Sophomore – Allison Teemant, Lone Peak (1st, 1st)
Girls Divisions 1 & 2 JV – Lia Westermann, Salt Lake City (1st, 3rd)
Boys Division 1 Freshmen – Jon Jon Drain, Park City (2nd, 1st)
Boys Division 2 Freshmen – Josh Peterson, Bountiful (1st, 1st)
Boys Division 1 Sophomore – Estin Hicke, Park City (2nd, 1st)
Boys Division 2 Sophomore – Blair Perkes, Bountiful (1st, 1st)
Boys Division 1 JV – Collin Richards, Lone Peak (2nd, 3rd)
Boys Division 2 JV – Brad Huber, Sky View (2nd, 3rd)
* Info in parentheses indicates placing at Soldier Hollow and Nordic Valley, respectively.
Fifty-four teams representing 89 different high schools competed. After this third round, the top 5 teams in Division 1 are as follows*:
Park City (13,380 points. 1st, 1st)
Corner Canyon (12,299 points. 2nd, 2nd)
Alta (11,543 points. 3rd, 3rd)
Morgan (11,410 points. 3rd, 4th)
Skyline (11,193 points. 5th, 4th)
* Info in parentheses indicates total season points, and placing at Soldier Hollow and Nordic Valley, respectively.
More information about the league, and detailed Round Valley race results can be found at http://www.utahmtb.org.
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