Mountain bikers climb to reach goals, 14 qualify for stateNov 17, 2020 12:26PM ● By Julie Slama
At the divisionals in Cedar City, Cottoncrest biker Matt Hinks finishes 12th in his division. (Photo courtesy of David Butler)
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
Fourteen mountain bikers on the Cottonwood-Hillcrest-AMES composite team were slated to compete at state Oct. 23-24, as of press deadline.
“I feel amazing about the season,” Cottoncrest coach Tony Stowe said. “Each athlete has shown so much growth.”
While the team has no varsity athletes, two—Connor McMillan and Matt Hinks, and possibly a third, Justice Robinson—are expected to compete at that level next year.
“We are dead last in our division, but I never care where we sit overall. I care about these young adults setting goals, working toward those goals, understanding how to readjust them so they can be successful and improve,” he said, adding that the team is young with only five seniors graduating.
Stowe said that in addition to his riders’ goals, a measure of the team’s success is when an athlete who has never mountain biked before puts in hundreds of miles training, with thousands of vertical climbs, to competing at divisionals at Cedar City’s Three Peaks Throwdown without getting injured since “it’s pretty advanced riding.”
Some of the season’s highlights include senior Elliot Meyer, in his first race ever, started in 38th place and placed third in his division, and freshman Jacob Arens, in his first race, started in the back and moved up 23 spots to finish 19th. His second race, he made the podium.
For the girls, he said Hiley Campbell is up-and-coming, placing 16th in her division.
To learn more about the club sport, Stowe recommends student-athletes turn to utahmtb.org, Cottoncrest mtb on Facebook or huskycoltmtb on Instagram.