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Utah High School Mountain Bike Race #1 - Park City, Utah

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |September 23, 2012 3:48 PM
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Utah High School Cycling League Race #1 - Park City, Utah

Zach Peterson and Brenna Egan Win the Opener of the High School Mountain Bike Season

Written by: Shannon Boffeli

Saturday marked the first day in a new era of Utah mountain bike racing. When Park City hosted the first race of the Utah High School Racing League it welcomed a wave of excitement rarely seen in the mountain bike world.

Under clear blue skies and warm temperatures over 200 boy and girls from 30 schools in Utah gathered for a day of racing and supporting their teams. Saturdayís event was the largest first-race ever hosted by the nine states in the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA).

Racing started with the varsity girls, which turned out to be that smallest group in the race. Just three girls took the start with Park City, Timpanogos, and Skyline high schools represented.

Tasha Heilweil (Skyline) took the early lead charging off the line with Brenna Egan (Park City) in tow.

The varsity girls were scheduled to complete three, 4-mile laps.

Before the first lap was over, Park Cityís Brenna Egan had taken control of the race. Once out front she quickly distanced herself from Heilweil with fierce attacks on the climbs and solid descending.

By the finish, Egan would put just over 3 minutes on the runner up Tasha Heilweil.

After the race, Egan had this to say, "I had a really great time. Itís a great course and itís set up so well. I definitely felt like I was strongest coming back down the hills. I was feeling good after the long uphills.Ē

Egan plans to race the next three events on the Utah High School Mountain Bike schedule including the race in Wellsville in two weeks.

Varsity boys started later in the day and featured a huge field loaded with talent. The group of 23 riders included some of the most talented young riders in the state, names like Matt Turner (Park City), Justin Griffin (Independent), Cameron Hooyer (Brighton/Hillcrest/Juan Diego Composite), Zach Peterson (South Davis), and McKay Hunt (Weber).

Zach Peterson started fast with Matt Turner close behind. These two are known for their fast starts and quickly powered away from the field. By lap two Peterson held a gap of over 1 minute on Turner who was still riding strong in second. Behind him Mckay Hunt had moved into third just in front of Justin Griffin.

Peterson had increased his lead on lap three and was clearly on his way to a solo victory.

McKay Hunt had dispatched Griffin and now had his sights set on Turner in second. Doing most of his damage on the long singletrack climb, Hunt overtook Turner and secured second place midway through lap three.

The fourth and final lap saw Zach Peterson consolidate his lead and leave no doubt who the fastest high school rider of the day would be.

He crossed the line completing 16 miles in just 1:11:19. Almost 2 minutes ahead of McKay Hunt in second.

Matthew Turner held on for third place with Justin Griffin and Cameron Hooyer taking fourth and fifth respectively.

After their finish it was time to calculate which school would take home the crown for fastest team. Points were calculated using the finishing places of the 6 fastest boys on each team combined with the 2 fastest girls on each squad.

Home team Park City Highschool took the title with a total point score of 4080. Alta High took second with 3790 followed by Summit Academy in third.

The next race on the Utah High School Mountain Bike schedule will be September 22ndat Sherwood Hills in Wellsville, Utah.

To learn more about the high school racing series visit www.utahmtb.org

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