GCHS mountain bike team takes second at championships in Moab, finishes fourth overall
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Nov 14, 2013 | 1520 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
River Murdock of Grand competes in the Utah High School Cycling League state championship event on Nov. 9. Murdock placed 12th in Division 2 among sophomore boys. The race was held on the Bar M trail system north of Moab. Photo by Mike Baird
River Murdock of Grand competes in the Utah High School Cycling League state championship event on Nov. 9. Murdock placed 12th in Division 2 among sophomore boys. The race was held on the Bar M trail system north of Moab. Photo by Mike Baird
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The Grand County High School mountain biking team wrapped up its fall season with a second-place team finish in the final race of the Utah High School Cycling League’s five-race series. The state championship event, which attracted dozens of teams from around the state, took place on Saturday, Nov. 9 on the Bar M trail system north of Moab.

Grand’s Preston Bagley-Gurtner rode to an impressive first-place finish in the junior varsity category of Division 2. The GCHS sophomore beat out 54 other riders to claim the division title. Bagley-Gurnter, who won the state championship in the freshman division last year, completed the three-lap course in 1 hour, 28 minutes, and 2 seconds, besting his closest competitor, Kason Perkes of the South Davis Composite team, by 32 seconds.

Grand also had two other racers finish in the top 10 of the boys JV category. Jamie Marshall took fourth place and Max Lesoine placed 10th.

In the sophomore class of Division 2, Sammy Hansen of Grand placed fifth among 50 riders, while teammate River Murdock took 12th place. Bjorn Nicolaisen of Grand placed third out of 38 racers in the freshman category of Division 2.

Grand also had two female riders competing in the event. GCHS junior Robin Willscheidt placed 13th in the junior varsity of Division 2, while teammate Brityn Ballard, a sophomore, placed eighth among the sophomore girls in the division.

Grand took second place overall as a team among the 27 Division 2 teams competing at the championship event, according to GCHS head coach Christa Green.

In terms of overall series points, Grand placed fourth as a team. Individually, Bagley-Gurtner finished in second place for the season in the JV class, while Marshall placed fifth and Lesoine ended up in 10th place.

Nicolaisen placed second overall among freshmen in the season series.

“We had a great year. We saw vast improvements in our times and skill levels throughout the season,” Green said. “And most of all, we all had a lot of fun.”

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