On a picture perfect Saturday up at Snowbasin, the Morgan Trojan MTB climbed and peddled their way to a third place finish.
The changing leaves created a spectacular background for the third of five competitions for the young racers. The team was able to race on a course that they have been able to ride and get to know very well so far this season.
The early morning races were accompanied with a brisk wind as many riders were bundled up with long sleeves and leggings. But that didn’t stop fast times from being dropped.
One of the toughest parts of the course was right at the beginning and caused some riders to walk, but none of the Trojans stepped off their bikes.
Abi Lynam kept herself in contention for much of the race and finished a respectable 13th. The sophomore girls did not disappoint either as they placed three in the top five. They were lead by Kate Madorin. Madorin was on the heels of the leader until the last lap, which placed her second. She was followed by Hannah Clark, in third, and Megan McMillan, who took fifth.
The three riders have consistently been a force to reckon with this year and hope to continuing improving. Clark enjoys mountain biking because it is a challenge. “It is a huge challenge and you feel great when you finish,” said Clark. “I took third today, which was great for me. It was a lot better than last year. My motivation is the satisfaction of finishing and just knowing I did my best.”
The junior varsity girls were not to be outdone as they put two in the top six of a very competitive group of racers. Amber Harvey and Ellissa Clark made moves on the last lap to move up a few positions and placed fifth and sixth respectively.
The best was saved for last. The junior varsity and varsity races held the drama for the last races of the day. As they each did three and four laps each, it gave them a chance to move up and position themselves throughout the race.
Carter Bailey led for a majority of the race, and if it had not been for a small wreck that threw him over his handlebars, he likely would have taken the win. Even with the crash, Bailey took second place behind the series leader. He was followed up by Jeremy Lucas, who took fifth place. Lucas’ coaches knew he was capable of accomplishing such a feat after coming off a great performance in the LOTOJA.
The racing just doesn’t benefit the riders; the parents enjoy it just as much. It is a great way for the riders to make friends, not only at their local high school. Also, it is a way for the students to do something they love and compete with a team at the same time.
Landon Hatfield said, “This gives them a chance to compete with professional level athletes in high school. I am all for it. There are a lot of kids who like to mountain bike and this gives them an outlet.”
Coach Ryan Nielsen has had a love for mountain biking and racing for years and loves sharing that with kids. Also, it is a great chance for them to race against some of the best bikers, not only in the state but also the nation. “Some of the top kids race in Europe during the summer. We are in the top five in the state. That’s pretty good for a little town,” commented Nielsen.
After the Snowbasin Altitude Bash, the Trojans now sit in third place sitting behind Park City and Corner Canyon High School heading into the last two races of the year. They will return to the mountain on Oct. 26 at Soldier Hollow in Heber, Utah.