CEDAR CITY — The Snow Canyon High School mountain bike team won its second straight state championship Saturday, outscoring 26 other Division 2 teams in the Utah High School Cycling League’s season-ending races.
The two-day event was staged at the Three Peaks Recreation Area north of Cedar City, with the official trophies and season-ending awards being presented Saturday night at Southern Utah University’s America First Event Center.
The Warriors, who had won all four of the South Region’s regular season races leading up to the state competition, earned 1,398 points in the final event, narrowly surpassing runner-up Brighton and third-place Timpview, which finished with 1,375 and 1,374 points, respectively.
“It was a tough one for us,” Snow Canyon head coach Nate Hansen said. “We were a little worried because a few of our riders had some mechanical issues out on the trail today.”
Leading the way for Snow Canyon were junior Parker Christensen and senior Kyler Gibb, both of whom placed among the top 10 in the boys varsity race. Christensen completed his four laps in 1:47:41, taking eighth overall in the division, while Gibb crossed the finish line in ninth place four seconds later. Teammate Cameron Ashton also earned points by placing 44th among varsity boys with a time of 1:56:19.
In the varsity girls race, Snow Canyon junior Kate Wilson placed 11th with a three-lap time of 1:38:51. Teammates Sophie Hafen and Claire Phelps, both of whom are also juniors, placed 15th and 17th in the JV Girls A race, with Hafen completing two laps in 1:05:22 and Phelps finishing in 1:06:07.
Rounding out the point scorers for Snow Canyon were Mason Hansen and Jace Kelley, who competed in the Junior Varsity A category for Division 2. Snow Canyon had a total of 36 riders competing in various categories at the state races.
Organizers said the state competition featured a record 2,078 athletes on 65 teams, encompassing the state’s three regions. More than 4,000 different athletes competed in the league’s 13 race events this year (four regular-season races for each region, plus the state race). Although seventh-and eighth-grade riders also raced during the regular season, the state race was for high schoolers in grades 9-12 only.
Other Southern Utah teams also fared well at state, with Dixie High placing seventh in Division 2 with 1,330 points and Desert Hills tying with Ridgeline for 14th place with 1,269 points apiece. Also competing in that division from Southern Utah were the Crimson Cliffs and Hurricane teams.
In the newly created Division 3 for smaller programs, Cedar High School placed fourth overall with a total of 638 team points. Cedar’s four point earners at state were Noah Hunt, Bradyn Lund, Hannah Edwards and Zoe Knudsen. The Cedar High team was a subset of Iron County’s Iron Giants composite team. Pine View High placed 10th in Division 3, while the rest of the Iron Giants took 13th and Panguitch finished 19th.
Individuals from Southern Utah teams that finished among the top 10 in their categories at state included the following:
- Andrew Tritle of Dixie placed first in the JV Boys A D2 category.
- Andrew Burton of Desert Hills placed first in Freshman A Boys D2, while teammates Taylor Anderson and Hadden Beykirch finished a respective fourth and fifth in the same category. Additionally, Chase Cloward of Snow Canyon placed sixth and Mason Manwaring of Crimson Cliffs placed 10th. Bryce Cowley of Snow Canyon took 10th in the Freshman B category for D2.
- In the JV Boys C race in Division 2, Snow Canyon’s Jordan Crosby finished in a tie for first place. Both he and North Davis’s Karson Kirby had identical times of 58:07.14 for the two-lap race.
- Gwendolyn Sepp of Dixie placed fifth among varsity girls.
- David Bennett of Snow Canyon finished 10th in JV Boys B D2.
At the awards program Saturday night, various individual awards and scholarships were presented. Noted cyclists Sophia Foresta and TJ Eisenhart also spoke, encouraging the young cyclists to continue facing challenges, meeting goals and having fun in the sport.
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