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Mountain Bike team brings home big wins

Alex Lockett, Drew Sotobeer and Kenny Boots are students from RCHS who all had podium finishes at the recent Colorado High School Mountain Bike State Championship.  Lockett remarked, “The great thing about mountain bike racing is that it is an individual sport combined with a team event.  All the RCHS riders gave each race their best effort in order to achieve their personal goals, and without their effort and results our team would not have been so successful this year.”

By Amy Shanahan; photo courtesy of Kim Lockett

Just four short years ago, a composite team of five mountain bikers from Castle Pines and Highlands Ranch joined together to create the Highlands Ranch Mountain Bike Team (HRMBT), and they have come a long way since then! 

This past month, the current team of 42 riders competed at the inaugural Colorado High School Mountain Bike State Championship race, held in Eagle, Colorado.  Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) students Kenny Boots, Drew Sotobeer and Alex Lockett competed on the JV team against 300 riders and 57 other schools, and each had podium finishes, placing second, fifth and tenth respectively.  In addition, the 13 riders from RCHS placed third at two races in the team competition. 

RCHS student Brendan Stouffer was thrilled with the results of his team.  “I was excited to see RCHS finishing third in certain state races.  It was good payback for all the hard work our team puts in.”

Roger Ryburn put the team together originally and continues to coach the kids with a focus on leadership, good citizenship, and self-improvement.  “I couldn’t be prouder of the effort of these kids and their desire to get better,” stated Ryburn.  “I believe that every kid has a podium which speaks to the fact that not every kid comes out to race – some do it because their friends are doing it or just to have fun.  It’s about helping them accomplish their goals, which is good or better than getting on the podium.  Many kids have never ridden mountain bikes off road and watching their improvement and their smiles and watching them become more confident is really pretty strong.”

To date the club has been independent and not recognized by any school.  However, the riders from RCHS have worked throughout this school year to petition to become a club sport and they recently received the great news that they are now an official club and will have the ability to earn a school letter.  Ryburn was impressed with the leadership roles that his riders took in championing their cause to become a club sport.  “To sit in those meetings and watch the kids take a leadership role in leading the meetings was very exciting for me, and they accomplished what they set out to do,” stated Ryburn.

The HRMBT meets for practices at Mountain Vista High School and is looking ahead to next year with practices beginning next May.  To learn more about the team, contact Julie Ryburn at 303-328-5180 or by email jryburn010@hotmail.com.  To learn more about the Colorado High School Cycling League, visit www.coloradomtb.org

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