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Whistler riders on B.C. High School podium

Eight mountain bikers race for Whistler Secondary

The annual B.C. High School Mountain Bike Championships took place in Brackendale Saturday, May 24, with more than 200 students representing 29 different schools.

Finishing first once again was Brackendale’s Don Ross Secondary, which again boasted the largest team of 31 athletes.

Whistler’s team was missing provincial and national champion Tyler Allison, who was in Quebec racing at a Canada Cup event, but still performed well in the overall standings with a team of eight riders.

The team earned two podiums, Max Horner and Nicki Murdoch, and several other riders came close.

In the Bantam category (Grade 8), riders made two laps of the 5 km course, covering some of the same ground as the recent Ore Crusher mountain bike race.

Louis Dillon of Chatelech Secondary won the category, followed by Rob Leidgh and Quinn Moberg of Don Ross Secondary.

In the heavy bike category, for bikes 35 pounds and over, Jake Kitchen of Shuswap Middle School was first (11 th overall), followed by Adam King of Collingwood School and Hayden Stebeck of Shuswap.

From Whistler, Mason Protter placed 23 rd overall and 19 th in regular cross-country. Connor Priest was 37 th overall and 29 th in regular cross-country, and Liam Rode 41 st overall and ninth in the heavy bike class.

On the women’s side, Whistler’s Nicki Murdoch placed third, behind Maia Kilby of Don Ross and Amanda Watson of Handsworth.

In Juvenile (Grade 9), Whistler’s Max Horner placed a close second to Don Ross racer Lawrence Mo in a field of 56 athletes. Nick Geddes of Collingwood, who trains out of Whistler during the summer, was third.

On the women’s side, Lauren Rosser of Howe Sound Secondary was first, followed by Jessica Marquis of Chatelech Secondary and Kristin Drygas of Don Ross. No Whistler racers were in the category.

In Junior (Grade 10), Scott Mulder of Argyle was first, followed by Boy Nolan from Don Ross and Sean Beaudoin of West Vancouver Secondary.

Just off the podium in fifth place was Whistler’s Jesse Melamed.

On the women’s side, the top three were Alison MacKellar from Don Ross Secondary, Angie McKirdy of Valemount Secondary and Jocelyn Poirier-Hardy of Rockridge.

The senior category went to Zac Gartside and Hayden Drygas of Howe Sound Secondary, followed by Erik Mulder of Argyle.

Two Whistler racers competed on the women’s side, with Toria Whitney and Nadine Crowe in sixth and seventh respectively — Whitney coming back after a crash out of the start to finish within a few mnutes of the leader. The win went to Katherine Short of Chatelech, followed by Eden Imbeau of Howe Sound Secondary and Calindy Ramsden of West Vancouver.

The Whistler team was coached by Uschi Sherer, Susan Buzan and Eric Crowe. The team trained with limited access to trails because of the late thaw.