During the Carbon County Commission meeting last week, recognition was given to the Carbon Mountain Bike Team. The commissioners were joined by coach Mark Jespersen to highlight the team’s success at the state competition.
Jespersen explained that this was the seventh season as a team. In the first year, they had three on the team, and this year they welcomed 27. The team has grown quite a bit and ranges from seventh to 12th grade boys and girls from any local school, whether it be Pinnacle, Helper, Mont Harmon or Carbon.
It was a fun year, according to Jespersen, who said that there is a lot of excitement with the team and that they have earned a lot of respect from around the state.
“The kids compete hard and they’re well behaved, for the most part,” joked Jespersen.
Jespersen stated that they also loving hosting a race or two here in Carbon County every year. As the director of the team, he appreciates what the county has done and their efforts to help. He said that the teams will continue to come here because they love it, so community support going forward is crucial, as he believes everyone sees the economic impact.
Mountain biking is similar to cross country and swim as it is an individual sport, but team-accumulated scores are received based on the individuals. As a team, Carbon was named the region champions out of six regions while Andrew Loveless earned the state title in his division.
Jespersen stated that the team members should be proud, explaining that the team will continue to grow as people learn how much fun riding is. He continued, stating that the team rides their bikes up to 25 miles in a full-sprint, with amazing endurance.
“It’s really impressive, the effort they put into the craft of cycling,” said Jespersen.
From there, Commission Chair Tony Martines stated that the economic impact is definitely felt. He then presented Jespersen with a certificate for each of the team members, while highlighting Loveless in particular for his success in being a state champion.
Jespersen is assisted in coaching by Amy Jespersen, Austin Sherman, Dave Holzer and Daniel Hawley. Seniors on the team are Boyd Bradford, Nathan Engar, Ryu West, Sean Stromness and Spencer Tullis. Sam Madrid, Will Clark, Teagan Robinson, Max McCourt and Ruth Olson represent the juniors, while Andrew Loveless is the lone sophomore.
Freshman team members are Josie Jespersen, Zander Holzer, James Tullis, Garrett Murray and Tacoma Smith. The junior division, or middle school students, are Maggie Madrid, Betty Olson, Carson Taylor, Monson Loveless, Cole Arthur, Grant Sherman, Malia Smith, Spencer Hawley, Michael Weber, Michael Loveless and Caden Steele.