PCHS Mountain Bikers packing podiums

MANTUA, Utah — The Park City Schools Mountain Bike Team had another strong showing on the podium this week, with 17 high school riders and six Junior Devos taking in the view at the meet. 83 of their 109 high school racers, thus far, are tracking or “on the bubble” to qualify for state. “By far the most we’ve ever seen,” said Coach Chris Best in a statement.

PCHS MTB. Photo: Alison Watkins

Placing first, third and fifth in Varsity girls, Miner Anna Potter had “the race of her life” to make the podium in fifth. She didn’t qualify for Varsity but was petitioned up as a senior.

Miner Chris Biglow, a sophomore, on JV was in the shadows of the strong racing thus far by Cohen Flach, and “uncorked it for a huge win,” said Best. His biggest fan at the finish? Teammate and friend Flach. Biglow rode the second fastest lap time of the day, second only to the Varsity winner. Biglow also rode the second fastest lap time of the season on this course, as well as the third fastest lap ever on this course. 

For the JV Girls, through three races, they’ve taken 10 of the 15 podium spots available (this is almost a 50-rider field) and those podium spots are shared by seven different riders. “What they are doing is nuts, nuts indeed,” Best said.

PCHS MTB. Photo: Barry Hill

Of Abi Pruyn, the Utah record-holder for the most Varsity wins by a rider, Best said, “She is the epitome of quiet leadership. The one who rallies the Varsity squad to cheer everyone in? Abi. One of the first to show up to clean up at the end of the day? Also Abi. And cheering in the Freshman end of the day? Abi. Not because she’s told to, but in her words, ‘they cheered for me.’ Quiet leadership, and she will be missed next year.”

Izzy Crandall and Maddie Limback: While most riders were somewhere warm and resting, these two were out at the early and cold start of the Junior Devo races, scraping mud off of rider’s shoes before the start. “A wonderful display of awesome teammates. Better yet was the display of sportsmanship they showed by scraping anyone’s shoes who needed it, regardless of team affiliation,” said Best.

Sophia “Speedy” Wojcikowski, the third ranked Freshman girl, broke a chain right at the start. “She didn’t panic but runs and finds teammates on course, and Owen Crandall does a chain repair incurring a five-minute penalty,” Best said. “She gets back in, passes 90 athletes to save her season, and did it with a smile,”

Good vibes for Heather Sims.
Good vibes for parent volunteer Heather Sims. Photo: courtesy of PCHS MTB

Heather Sims, Park City parent, was recognized for her volunteerism to the team on countless levels. She organizes on and off-trail team functions, and is an advocate for those where participation would be a struggle. She finds a way to make sure all riders who wish to participate can do so. “At the next race, take a look and see how many minorities you see. Chances are most are from Park City. Heather, along with some great community support, is making this happen. You don’t need to have a rad bike, come from a sports family, etc. You just need desire. This team has a lot of wins this year – and this might be the biggest, in large part, thanks to you, Heather,” said Best.

Sign contest.
30 entrants from 6 schools in the first ever “Pit Viper” team spirit poster contest. Photo: Alison Watkins

The race crew was commended for getting the meet done with 1.25 inches of rain in the 24 hours prior to the race. Overnight course, parking, and schedule adjustments were made and, Best said in the statement, “These guys dug deep and pulled off a minor miracle. Huge thanks to the Box Elder coaches as well for getting up at 3 a.m. to help the race crew ensure a safe course for racing.”

The team’s next race will be Eagle Mountain.

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