Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Local students compete at Mountain Bike State Championships

High school-agedbrathletes from all over the state traveled to Cedar City for the Utah HighbrSchool State Mountain Bike Championships Oct. 18-19. In this growing sport, 40brof the nearly 70 athletes from the Nebo School District area competed at thebrmeet — two of whom earned a top 10 finish in their respective divisions.

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Payson High Schoolbrsophomore, Brock Bleggi placed sixth out of 148 competitors in the JV A boysbrdivision 2, with a time of 1:24:05.45 for a 21-mile course. Maple Mountainbrfreshman, Preston Johnson placed ninth out of 90 competitors in the Freshman Abrboys division 2, with a time of 1:2:13.51 for a 14-mile course.

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Coach, Jordan Nielsonbrsaid it took a lot of courage and heart to get out and race, and mentioned howbrproud he was of all his athletes for how they did on such a challenging course.br

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“The race started atbrthe Three Peaks Trailhead, and each lap was seven miles of gravel, dirt andbrslockrock,” Nielson said. “These are not short races. 28-miles for the varsity,br21 for JV and 14 for the freshman on some very hilly and technical areas.”

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Nielson acknowledgedbrthat for some of the athletes, it wasn’t their day, but he was proud of howbrthey gave all they had.

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“Placing in the topbrten of any of these divisions is a great accomplishment, and Brock and Prestonbrshould really be proud of themselves,” he said. “We had seven seniors thisbryear, too, who also worked very hard to complete these challenging courses.”

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One of those seniorsbrwas his own son, Graham Nielson who had an unfortunate accident two laps in.

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“About 15 miles in,brGraham crashed on a turn, hurting his wrist, and he could have quit, but hebrdidn’t,” Nielson said. “He got up and still finished another lap, and it justbrshows how much heart he and these athletes have.”

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With the season havingbrended for the winter, Nielson is looking forward to next year, and encouragesbrall who want to come out for the team to try it.

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“We will have abrmeeting sometime in April for students grades 7 through 12 who would like tobrride,” Nelson said. “All you need is a mountain bike and a helmet, and thebrdesire to try something new.”

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For more informationbron Utah High School Mountain Biking, go to utahmtb.org. To know more about thebrNebo team, including updates, go to the Mount Nebo MTB Team High School CompbrTeam on Facebook. (Brown is a Serve Dailybrcontributor.)

Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown is a mom of nine who writes columns for many local and national publications. She currently resides in Payson, and enjoys looking for good happenings in her area and sharing them for others to read about. For more of her stories, search "A Mother's Write" on Facebook.
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