The St. Andrew’s – Sewanee varsity mountain biking team raced over the weekend of October 11-12 in the Tennessee High School Cycling League’s third event of the season. The race was held at the Lock 4 trail in Gallatin, with 68 riders from eight schools plus independent riders competing during the rainy weekend. Fourteen SAS varsity riders completed the race under very wet and muddy conditions, with slick roots and rocky sections on the technically challenging trail. Lap lengths were approximately 5 miles, with riders completing 2-3 laps depending upon race categories.
Sophomore Ashton Milford maintained her first place standing from previous races and remains the league leader for the sophomore girls’ category. Abby Mainzer moved up a place from the previous race to finish second in the junior varsity category. Senior Namkha Norbu fought for a well-earned third place finish in the junior varsity race after a broken chain forced her to physically run her bike around most of the final lap.
In the junior varsity boys’ category, senior Matthew Baranco posted his fastest time of the season and finished on the podium in third place, while senior Fields Ford overcame a difficult start to finish in fifth place. Juniors Colburn Hassman and Filip Martyni-Orenowicz also competed in the junior varsity race and finished in 11th and 13th places, respectively. Junior Joshua Alvarez had a serious mechanical problem after the first lap and unfortunately was not able to finish the race.
In his first race of the season, Li Li posted the fastest SAS time in the sophomore boys’ race to earn sixth place with Fritz Stine crossing the finish line one minute later to capture seventh place. Riders Crawford Emory and Andrew Bachman pushed one another throughout the race to earn ninth and tenth places, respectively, in the sophomore category. Nathan Johnson also endured the difficult trail conditions to ride hard for the SAS team in the sophomore race. Matthew Mollica rounded out the team of SAS competitors for the day, racing well and earning a seventh place finish in the freshman boys’ category.
In current team rankings, St. Andrew’s-Sewanee remains in second place behind Marshall County (KY) High School after three league races. The state championship race for the Tennessee League will be held November 1-2 at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee. Community members interested in volunteering may sign up on the league’s website at Tennesseemtb.org.
The SAS varsity mountain biking team is coached by Speed Baranco, Beth Pride Ford, and Rob Bachman. The coaches and team are also grateful for race day support at Lock 4 from team parents Robin and Jim Mainzer, Stephen Alvarez, Casey Milford, Grace Johnson, and Steve Ford.