MONTEREY — The second-year Ponderosa high school mountain bike team earned second place at the recent California State Championships near Laguna Seca Raceway.
The Bruins competed head-to-head against 72 Division II teams featuring 776 athletes that had qualified from across California, making it the largest high school race in history.
The Bruins had three individuals endure windy conditions on their way to podium positions. Sophomores Cody Schwartz took third and Nathan Poer fifth in the sophomore division while fellow sophomore Samantha Olson attained fifth in girl’s junior varsity.
All of the other Bruins had strong finishes: Freshmen Tyler Sargent was 23rd; Jared Delgado, 26th; Steven Ross, 29th; sophomore Nathan Kohl, 21st; junior varsity Cameron Stewart, 22nd; and varsity David Duncan, 19th.
“These athletes have been pushing themselves for months to earn this fantastic achievement,” Ponderosa coach Steve Kohl said.
Mountain biking has become an emerging sport at the high school level as there are now 13 state leagues. The races are overseen and regulated by NICA, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.