The St. Andrew’s – Sewanee mountain biking team competed during the weekend of September 20-21 in the second race of the Tennessee High School Cycling League season. The race was held at Herb Parsons Reservoir near Memphis, with 70 riders from eight schools including independent riders competing during the weekend. Eleven SAS riders raced on the fast, flowing, 10-15 mile course that demanded a high level of cardiovascular conditioning and technical cornering skills.
A month of progressive training prepared the SAS riders for racing in hot and humid conditions at the reservoir. In the girls’ races, Ashton Milford held on to the leader’s jersey by finishing first in the sophomore division. Junior Abby Mainzer achieved a personal goal of a podium finish by earning third place in the junior varsity division. Although senior Namkha Norbu suffered a mechanical failure at the beginning of her final race lap, she was able to remount her bike and finish in fifth place in the junior varsity group. In the boys’ races, seniors Fields Ford and Matthew Baranco and junior Joshua Alvarez raced with all-out effort to finish sixth, seventh, and ninth, respectively, out of 23 riders in a very competitive junior varsity division. Competing in his first mountain bike race, Polish exchange student Filip Martyni-Orenowicz overcame a minor crash and finished in 14th place in the junior varsity group. Fritz Stine, Crawford Emory, and Andrew Bachman rode with grit and determination to earn sixth, eighth, and ninth places, respectively, in the fast sophomore boys division. Matthew Mollica rounded out the race day for the Mountain Lions with an eighth place finish in the freshman boys division.
In overall team rankings for the season, St. Andrew’s-Sewanee has earned second place behind Marshall County (KY) High School after two league races. The third Tennessee High School Cycling League race will take place during the weekend of October 11-12 at the Lock 4 Trail in Gallatin, Tennessee. The SAS varsity mountain biking team is led by head coach Speed Baranco and assistant coaches Beth Pride Ford and Rob Bachman, all licensed National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) head coaches.