The St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School mountain biking team competed in their first race of the Tennessee High School Cycling League’s 2014 season over the weekend of August 9-10. The competition was held on the trails at AEDC in Tullahoma, TN. Ten SAS student-athletes competed in a field of more than 50 high school riders from across Tennessee and Kentucky in gender- and grade-related categories, racing for approximately one hour over a 12-mile course in high heat and humidity. The course was challenging, with narrow trails, many hills, and tight turns through forested sections. The entire SAS team rode with determination and a competitive spirit.
Ashton Milford, competing in her first-ever mountain biking race, led the Mountain Lions with a first-place finish in the sophomore girls category. SAS junior Abby Mainzer and senior Namkha Norbu rode to fourth and fifth place finishes in the junior varsity girls category, while sophomores Fritz Stine, Andrew Bachman, and Crawford Emory finished in tenth, eleventh, and thirteenth places, respectively, in the sophomore boys category. Fields Ford, Matthew Baranco, and Joshua Alvarez competed in the boys’ junior varsity race; Ford and Baranco earned sixth and seventh place, respectively. Alvarez was in eighth place after the first lap, but a flat tire during the second lap prevented him from maintaining his lead over the other junior varsity riders. Freshman first-time racer Matthew Mollica rounded out the day for SAS with his finish in the freshman boys’ race.
Head coach Speed Baranco and assistant coaches Beth Pride Ford and Rob Bachman would like to thank SAS parents Robin and Jim Mainzer, Irene and Richard Emory, Casey Milford, Sian Baranco, and Steven Alvarez for providing race day support for our team and the Tennessee High School Cycling League. In addition, the Tennessee league sends a special “Thank You” to the US Air Force and AEDC Outdoor Recreation Services for the use of venue facilities. The next mountain biking race will be held at Herb Parsons Lake in Memphis on Sunday, September 21st. The third race will be held at the Lock 4 trail in Gallatin on Sunday, October 12th, with the Tennessee league championship scheduled for Sunday, November 2nd, at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee. Community members interested in volunteering at races can sign up on the league website (tennesseemtb.org). Parties interested in forming a National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) high school mountain biking program can visit the league or national website (nationalmtb.org) for contacts and information.