Halfmoon Bay’s Katherine Short wants to be a national champion and is determined to get to the top of the downhill mountain biking world this year.
At age 20, Short has already had her fair share of success.
Coming off the 2011 racing season, which saw her finish fourth at the national championships and achieve several top five finishes at Canada Cup events, landing her 15th in the final national rankings, she has set her goals high for this year.
Short was back on the Coast last weekend for the Coaster cross country race and the Mach Chicken downhill looking to win her second straight title in the downhill event. She finished third behind first-place rider Sechelt’s Holly Feniak, another top up-and-coming rider.
On May 5, Short appeared at a meet-and-greet barbecue hosted by Sechelt Plumbing, a major local sponsor, where Coast Reporter had a chance to catch up with the rider.
“I want to be national champion and top 10 in the world. I think top five is a realistic goal for me,” she said. “My focus is on the downhill events, but I still train cross country all the time, though. I love these trails, and I wanted to come back this weekend and show support to this community. So many people have been so supportive.”
Short, who has formed the Smash and Shorty racing team with Kristen Smart (aka ‘Smash’) a 25-year-old professional downhill racer from Toronto, started the season with a February event in Chile.
“It was a Red Bull event with lots of free riding and huge jumps, way out of my comfort zone, so I didn’t compete, but it was still a great experience,” Short said.
She did win the Race the Ranch event in Kamloops on the April 28 weekend and is looking forward to the next few months that will take her to several top events in B.C. and World Cup events in Quebec and New York, culminating in the National Championships in July in Quebec.
She said she is “super stoked” to have formed the racing team with Smart and landed so many corporate sponsors, and she is especially thrilled to have a local sponsor like Sechelt Plumbing on board.
“It’s awesome to have local sponsors. They truly believe in you and it makes you feel unique and special to have them on your side,” Short said. “There are a lot of psychological things that go into downhill racing. It’s a two- to five-minute event, so a lot can happen in a short time frame. You have to be very prepared going into the event, be totally psyched into it, knowing how you want to finish and what your race is going to look like.
“Having a support system to help guide you with a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff allows me to concentrate on the riding and what I have to do to be the best.”
To follow Short’s progress throughout the racing season, see her official team website at www.smashandshorty.com.