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Students Excel in Mountain Biking Competition

Kate ’25 and Claire ’27 before the start of their mountain biking competition
  • Athletics

This past weekend, Shattuck-St. Mary’s Middle School students Kate Bittenbender ’25 and Claire Wisdo ’27 competed in a mountain biking race in Brophy Park in Alexandria, Minn. with their team, Cannon Valley Composite. The team placed third overall, a huge accomplishment.

Kate, who competed last year as well, had this to say about the race:

“The course was challenging. There was a lot of uphill climbing, and that wasn’t exactly easy with all the wind we had. During the race, I felt great on some parts, and tired on others. It was very difficult climbing into headwinds. After the race, I was so exhausted. I went so hard that I felt like I was going to puke. Luckily, I didn’t, and after about five minutes I felt much better. It would have been helpful to have a tailwind to push us up the hills, but sadly, there was a headwind.

“[Mountain biking] isn’t really a super common sport, and so it’s fun to educate people about a lesser known sport. I feel super-fast on the trails, and it helps especially after a long day at school to be able to go to practice, and ride for two hours. It really helps me relax and loosen up. There’s always something to improve on, whether that’s your climbing or some technical aspect. There’s always room for improvement.

“While we are quite competitive, our team is very supportive. When you’re at practice and you pass by other riders, you can hear the shouts of encouragement to each other. If you crash, there is always a coach or a teammate there to help you and ask if you’re okay. I think this also goes for the other teams in the league as well. This past race, we were in the staging area, getting ready to start, and we got multiple ‘Good Lucks!’ from other teams.”

The team consists of five girls, fourteen boys, and four coaches, who practice twice a week and race on Saturdays. One of their coaches, Todd Trembley, owns the local bike shop, called Mill Town Cycles. As Kate said, “If you ever need anything for your bike, or even an actual bike, he is a great resource to go to!”

Cannon Valley Composite competes through the Minnesota High School Cycling League, a non-profit youth development organization for student athletes in 6th to 12th grade, with over 2,000 students participating. You can follow the rest of the mountain biking season on their website or with the schedule below:

2020 Events:

Race #2 – Lake Rebecca – September 12-13, 2020

Race #3 – Whitetail Ridge – September 19-20, 2020

Race #4 – Gamehaven – September 26-27, 2020

Race #5 – Whitetail Ridge – October 3-4, 2020

Race #6 – Buck Hill – October 10-11, 2020

Race #7 – Mt. Kato – October 24-25, 2020

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the mountain biking/walking trails that SSM has been creating this summer on campus!

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