High school mountain bike teams compete at Richfield, set sights on Cedar for next race

Riders compete in the Utah High School Cycling League's South Division races at Richfield, Utah, Sept. 7, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Parker Grimes Photography, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah high school mountain bikers fared well during the second race event of the Utah High School Cycling League’s South Region last Saturday.

The races were staged Sept. 7 on a 5.7-mile loop that includes portions of a motocross track near Richfield. It marked the second straight year the new venue had been used for one of the league’s four regular-season races staged each fall.

Once again, the Snow Canyon High School Mountain Bike team came out on top in their division. The Warriors accumulated 1,156 points to lead Division 2, while runner-up Dixie High finished with 1,385. Close behind the Flyers in third place was Desert Hills with 1,371. The Crimson Cliffs and Hurricane teams finished a respective fifth and seventh in D2.

Meanwhile, in Division 3, Cedar High School’s team took second for the second straight race, once again finishing behind Moab. Cedar’s riders totaled 667 points to Moab’s 722. Coming in third in D3 was Pine View High with 566. The rest of the Cedar City area’s Iron Giants team placed fourth with 458 and Panguitch was fifth with 353.

Hurricane athlete Easton Cardinal competes at the Utah High School Cycling League’s South Division races at Richfield, Utah, Sept. 7, 2019 | Photo courtesy of David Lisonbee and Hurricane Flying Tigers Mountain Bike Team, St. George News

Individual highlights included Dixie’s Gwendolyn Sepp taking second place in the girls varsity race, completing three laps in 1:13:52. Coming in third was Snow Canyon’s Layla Purdy, who finished in 1:16:29.

In the boys varsity race, Snow Canyon’s Kyler Gibb took first place, edging Skyridge High’s McKade Jaussi by one-fifth of a second. After four grueling laps, Gibbs crossed the finish line in 1:24:15.95, while Jaussi finished in 1:24:16.14, according to the official results page. Parker Christensen, Gibbs’ teammate at Snow Canyon, was just two seconds behind, finishing third in 1:24:18.

Numerous other Southern Utah athletes placed high in their respective categories, earning both team and individual points. For complete searchable results, click here.

Hurricane head coach David Lisonbee said one of his athletes took time out midway through his own race to help a rider from another team, thereby exemplifying the high level of camaraderie that prevails throughout the sport.

“I’d like to give a special shout-out to Johnny Nelson, who stopped during his race to help another athlete from another team with a mechanical problem,” Lisonbee said, adding that Nelson, who was competing in the D2 junior varsity B race, was not able to finish in the allotted time as a result.

The next scheduled South Region race will be at the Three Peaks Recreation Area north of Cedar City next Saturday, Sept. 21. Click here for complete details about the staging of the event, courtesy of the Utah High School Cycling League website.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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