Carbon Travels to Three Peaks Mountain Bike Race

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By Mark Jespersen

If you didn’t see the Carbon mountain bike team in the homecoming parade, you missed quite a show. After that, team members traveled south to Three Peaks Recreation Area outside of Cedar City to compete in the third race of the season. This was the final race and regional championship of sorts for the Jr. Devo group, which includes seventh and eighth grade competitors.

To begin the day, Tacoma Smith, the overall points leader in his category, broke away from the start of the race to take control. He didn’t let up and finished with the fastest time of all the regions that raced at Three Peaks, a full 1 minute 30 seconds ahead of second place. Teammate Garrett Murray jumped up the ranks to finish fifth to end the season.

James Tullis, in his respective category, also moved up the ranks to claim fourth-place while Zander Holzer also improved. To round out the Jr. Devo team, the three seventh grade boys were all sitting in the top 20 entering this race and all three improved. Carson Taylor, with another epic sprint to the finish, took third, while Cole Arthur and Grant Sherman both improved and finished in the top 15. Betty Olson and Maggie Madrid make up the Jr. Devo girls and both were awesome. Olson ended up taking second and being the co-leader for the season.

After a short lightning/rain delay, the high school group took to the course. After taking team first in Price, there was added pressure for the team to respond. And respond they did.

Starting with the freshman, Andrew Loveless finished fifth with a near photo-finish, while Ruth Olson raced with all three division freshman girls and finished in the top 25.

The largest group is the JV-B, which includes sophomores and juniors, and Ryu West continued to push himself. Each race, he’s been getting stronger and stronger, moving up spots. He finished on the podium at Three Peaks with a fifth-place finish.

Right behind him was Spencer Tullis, who also leap frogged positions to finish 16th with Rusty Seeley close behind. That might have been a closer battle if Seeley didn’t loose his seat with two miles to go.

Three of our older riders in the JV-A category rode among some of the toughest competition. Nathan Engar had a difficult time battling for position and passing the competition but still placed well overall. Joey Barlow jumped up 13 spots with his most impressive ride of the season finishing in 11th place while Boyd Bradford continued to show that solid training provides results with a strong 2nd-place finish. Our senior girl and GRiT ambassador (NICA’s Girls Riding Together program) Lindsey Jespersen battled through the sand trap, up the hill and had solid ride placing in the top 20 for JV-A girls category.
At the end of a long day, our team placed 1st again in Division 3 – that’s back to back races.  Way to go Carbon MTB!  Next stop is the Region Championship at Eagle Mountain.
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