Snow Canyon High wins mountain biking state championship

Snow Canyon's Claire Phelps completes the first of her two laps in the D2 sophomore girls race, St. George, Utah, Oct. 19, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Snow Canyon High School mountain biking team won the Utah High School Cycling League’s Division 2 state championship Saturday.

Snow Canyon’s Cameron Ashton races amid a group of other JV boys during the Utah High School Cycling League’s state championship races, St. George, Utah, Oct. 20, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Snow Canyon Mountain Biking Team, St. George News

The Warriors’ top six finishers all graced the medals podium by finishing 10th or higher, earning the team 3,019 points, while second-place Brighton High had 2,741 points and third-place Timpanogos scored 2,719. More than 70 high school teams from around the state participated in the two-day state championship races, which were held on a 4.35-mile course in the Green Valley Trails area.

“That’s a nice margin of victory. What an amazing end to a fantastic season!” said Snow Canyon head coach Nate Hansen. Snow Canyon’s state title comes two weeks after the Warriors’ ended their four-race regular season series as the South Region champions with a victory at Cedar City.

Last weekend’s state championship attracted more than 1,700 athletes in grades 9-12 from all over the state, with the North and Central regions joining the host South Region for the season finale.

Of the 72 teams that participated in the state competition, 53 were in the Division 2, while 19 larger programs were classified in Division 1. Regardless of how they placed in the season, teams were entered afresh in the state races, with any previous point totals being reset.

Read more: Snow Canyon High prevails in cold, soggy mountain bike races at Cedar City

“The state championship is separate from the regional series,” Hansen explained, adding, “This was a clean slate, with riders staged according to how they placed in the regional series.”

Leading the way for Snow Canyon was Parker Christensen, who placed first overall in the D2 boys junior varsity race with a three-lap time of 53 minutes, 16.89 seconds. He finished just six seconds ahead of runner-up Jonathan Aldred of Timpanogos. Laken Ence of Snow Canyon placed fourth out of nearly 180 riders in that same race, posting a time of 54:19.18.

Members of the Snow Canyon Mountain Biking Team pose after winning season series and state championship awards following the Utah High School Cycling League’s state championship races, St. George, Utah, Oct. 20, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Snow Canyon Mountain Biking Team, St. George News

In the boys varsity race, Snow Canyon’s Kyler Gibb placed fourth overall with a four-lap time of 1:10:17.61. Teammate Nick Gough finished 26th in the same race, which had around 70 total finishers.

The Warriors also had a strong showing in the sophomore girls race, with Claire Phelps finishing third overall with a two-lap time of 45:03.59, just 17 seconds out of first place. Right behind Phelps was her teammate and fourth-place finisher overall Sophie Hafen, who crossed the line with a time of 45:33.28. Also for Snow Canyon, Layla Purdy took 15th in that same race.

In the girls JV event, Snow Canyon’s Kate Wilson placed 10th out of 140 racers with a two-lap time of 44:19.07.

In addition, Evan Simmons placed 13th in the D2 boys sophomore race, leading some half dozen or so Snow Canyon athletes in the race. Also, Kai Christensen and Joel Shockley placed 18th and 20th, respectively, in the D2 freshman boys race.

Also placing among the top half of D2 teams were Dixie High, which finished 15th, Iron County’s composite team, which placed 21st, and Hurricane High, which placed 22nd. Desert Hills placed 16th among the 19 Division 1 teams.

The various end-of-season individual and team awards were presented Saturday night at a program held at the Snow Canyon High School football field.

To view complete team and individual place results, click here.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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