Park City High School Mountain Bike Club prepares for season
The Park City High School Mountain Bike Club has started transitioning from casual riding to training, according to head coach Chris Best, as the competitive season approaches.
Though the team’s first race at Snowbasin isn’t until Sept. 3, the club team’s roster has already been determined, and according to Best, the team’s ranks continue to grow, as they have since the team’s creation in 2012, with a total of 70 riders registered.
“Which sounds big,” Best said. “But a lot of teams in Utah went over 100 this year, which is crazy.”
In fact, the ranks of Utah teams have grown so much that the Utah High School Cycling League broke the state down into three regions — North, Central and South — replacing last year’s North and South regions.
The PCHS team will compete in the north region, where Best said it will ride against more than 20 teams, of which Skyline, Davis, Salt Lake Composite (a group of smaller Salt Lake City teams) and Weber will likely be strong.
For varsity racers, that means racing in competitions with 40 riders to a field on the boys’ side and closer to 25 on the girls’ side, Best said, with much larger fields for junior varsity and other underclass rides.
“In sophomore and freshman (competitions) it’s realistic to see 100 or more,” Best said.
The Miners currently have eight varsity competitors, a status the league designates to riders who break into the fastest 20 percent of the junior varsity competition. Anna Castro, Lily Jencks, Mila Leger, Natalie Fink and Siri Ahern will represent the girls’ varsity team. Andrew Astill, Henry Silverman and Aiden Rasmussen will make up the boys’ varsity team.
Chase Luettinger and Sam Rafferty also qualified for the boys’ varsity team, but suffered injuries recently. Best said they would likely compete, but have been unable to practice recently.
Because there are fewer riders in the girls’ varsity division, Best said Park City’s five competitors will be comparatively large.
“I don’t think any other team has even more than one girl in varsity, and we have five,” he said. “That’s a juggernaut right there.”
Best said one positive result of the league’s decision to form a third division is that the Miners’ meets will be closer to home.
Round Valley, Soldier Hollow and Powder Mountain Resort are part of the team’s lineup, as is Snowbasin Resort, where the Miners will start their season on Sept. 3.
The Miners only have one meet that takes them to the southern end of Utah – the state meet in St. George in October.