For the second straight year, the senior girls mountain bike team from Chatelech Secondary School are the best on the North Shore.
Emily Duncan Hansen, Kirsten Calder-Sutt and sisters Darby and Anita Olson dominated the field at the North Shore championships in Whistler last Saturday, bringing home the league title for the second straight year.
Emily, the defending league and provincial champion, dominated, winning all five league races including the championship race with Kirsten having the race of her life posting a season best second place finish to secure second in the overall standings.
The junior boys team of Kaden Walkey, Duncan Bryson, Jack Anthony, Josh Wagner and Jordan Wilson finished a close second to a strong Whistler team, but have vowed to seek top place at the provincial championship June 10 in Surrey.
Grace Stanhope rounded out podium finishes with an impressive second place overall placing in the juvenile girls category.
“What’s really impressive is how well the team and especially first year riders Sage Randle, Allison Brand, Kasey Vader, Kaden Walkey, Jack Anthony and Josh Wagner have progressed since the team started training in March,” said head coach Dave Marquis. “The team just got stronger and stronger as the season progressed.”
This year’s team consisted of 18 riders, coaches and support team that played a huge role throughout the season. Fifteen riders made the trek to Whistler last weekend.
“All our team is eager to compete. This is the largest team we’ve had in the past few years,” Marquis added. “We have some really competitive boys who compete hard and push each other in practice. It was neat to see those guys do so well in Whistler. They all finished in the top 10, which is the first time they did that all season.”
The Eagles will now set their sights on the provincial championships on June 10 in Surrey, a race that a few weeks ago was in jeopardy due to the on-going teachers’ dispute. But Cycling B.C. has partnered with Surrey Off Road Cycling Enthusiasts to host the provincials, running the event as part of the BC Cup and Junkyard Dog XC Race.
“None of this would have been possible without dedicated parent and community support,” Marquis added. “Dr. Jack Bryson kept the team healthy and ready to race, and team mechanic Bob Stanhope performed weekly miracles keeping 18 bikes race ready.”