NU mountain bikers compete at state championships
Special to The Union
NOVATO — Much was made of Sunday’s NorCal High School Mountian Biking State Championships and rightly so.
This event marked the culmination of effort for hundreds of young cyclists across the most populous state in the country and was the largest high school mountain bike race in the history of the U.S.
These emerging gladiators traveled from near and far to pit themselves against the best of their peers, all under a gorgeous Northern California sun. They rolled on a freshly manicured course around Lake Stafford, climbing 600 feet in each 5.2 mile lap, darting through redwood and oak trees, dodging stags and geese, getting regularly gut-punched by the 24 percent max grade of the Jeep Hill climb and amazing thousands of spectators with their relentless speed in the process.
Twenty-five high school mountain bike teams competed in Division I and 40 teams in Division II. Overall, 599 teens set up their school club team pits for a full day of outdoors, friends and family cheering them on, ringing cowbells and having fun with this growing sport.
The Nevada Union mountain bike team rode hard, placing 12th out of 25 Division I high schools. Varsity rider AJ Seivert was clearly riding with full force, placing seventh out of 52 riders, going 26.6 miles in 1 hour, 58.48 minutes.
By the time the junior varsity boys race rolled around, it was dry, dusty and hot. With coaching, spectators cheering and confidence, the NU JV boys did an awesome job in a field size of 82 riders. Zach Moultrie crossed the finish line 10 feet before teammate Erik Haight, riding 21.6 miles and holding 26th and 27th places for Nevada Union with finish times of 1:50:31. Brad Hoffler crossed the finish line at 2:04:16 for 53rd place.
Division I freshmen boys was a huge and energetic group of 85 riders. In his first time racing at the state championship and racing 16.2 miles wass Dylan Mueller, who crossed the finish line at 57:07, placing 28th, and Daniel Fisher, new to the sport this year, placed 73rd at 1:09:10.
In the varsity girls competition the riders went 21.6 miles. Meredith Nunnick held strong and finished 10th clocking in at 2:02:02. Rhianna Grady, racing in the freshmen girls competition, raced to 29th with a time of 1:22:56.
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