Mountain biking is a sport full of competition, smiling kids and self endurance. Plenty of all three were found at the second race in the Utah High School Cycling League race series last Saturday. Teams from high schools across the state came to compete and Morgan’s team again showed up ready to prove their toughness, skill and determination.
Coaches Ryan Nielsen and David Bailey were all smiles after watching every Morgan racer cross the finish line. “We have such a great group of kids racing on our team. For the second race in a row all 10 of our racers finished his or her race – some despite encountering challenges on the course that would force other racers to just give up,” stated Coach Nielsen. The race course consisted of racers completing two or three laps, depending on age group, of a course that snaked its way through dense trees, open meadows and several hills at the Sherwood Hills resort between Brigham City and Wellsville.
“I am really proud of myself for finishing this race and making podium doing it” says Hannah Clark. The Morgan MTB team had four members make podium helping grab 3rd place in the team competition, only 10 points off 1st place. Concerning Morgan’s current status in Division 2 overall standings, Morgan freshman Parker Lyman said, “I am really excited about how well our team has done. Morgan is currently ranked 1st in overall standing! Everyone is doing awesome and it is a really fun experience.” While not every team member made podium, the whole team cheered on all their fellow racers and even other teams – showing the true meaning of sportsmanship.
The Morgan team practices every Tuesday and Thursday and compete in races every other Saturday. Individually each member has improved since the first practice, which began in August. The team usually practices at Snowbasin on their many mountain bike trails. “Mountain biking has been so fun, we laugh and enjoy ourselves but also work hard to get better,” says Amber Harvey, sophomore at Morgan High School. The team is currently made up of 11 members and looks to gain more racers by next year, giving more kids this awesome opportunity. “The coaches push us, yet always seem to make practice fun,” says Aaron Fairbanks.