Sports Stories

Just like the other prep sports teams in Sedona, the Sedona School Mountain Bike Club’s competitive race season came to an end.

The five-race-long season concluded on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4 and 5, at White Tank Mountain Regional Park. The season means more to the team than just racing for the top spot.

“It was a great season, everyone improved. Their fitness improved, their ability to ride technical trails improved, their greeting and being courteous to others on the trail improved,” head coach Eric Mace said.

Three local riders competed in the high school section’s Division Two, combining to take 28th overall with 1,104 points on the day. For the season, the Sedona team placed 26th out of 40 teams with 5,715 points.

Sedona Red Rock High School freshman Dakota Farrar was the top placer of the trio, taking 12th in the Division Two freshman race, just two laps long, with a time of 43:27.34.

Sophomore Cooper Barber was 10th in the Division Two sophomore competition, a three-lap race, crossing the finish line in 1:10:59.10.

Senior Cole Mace competed in the four-lap, Division Two junior varsity race, taking 46th in 1:48:43.50. Through the first three laps his splits were at about

23 minutes each until the last, grinding through in 39:02. The high school loop was five miles long with about 325 feet of climbing per lap.

After sitting in the 15th spot in the individual rankings, Mace dropped 18th of 73 to finish. Barber dropped from 23rd to 27th out of 56 in his division while Farrar finalized in 14th of 52, previously sitting in 13th.

Three other Sedona team riders were in the middle school division. Big Park Community School sixth grader Benjamin Wishnewsky completed the season with four top-10 finishes in all four races.

At White Tank, Wishnewsky turned in a time of 35:38.02 in the three-lap race, good for sixth place. He took eighth in Fountain Hills on Oct. 21, fifth on Oct. 7 in Fort Huachuca and seventh on Sept. 23 in Prescott.

“He’s rocking for sure, he’s pretty spectacular,” Eric Mace said. “He trains right around with the upper high school kids. His dad takes him on additional rides, too.”

Mace added that Wishnewsky has been riding since he was 9 years old, and has a bit more experience under his belt compared to other riders his age.

One rider who has only begun to learn to mountain bike this season was Sedona Red Rock Junior High School seventh grader Kale Emerson. Emerson was 60th in his race, finishing in 54:24.59, but Mace pointed out that at the start of the year he could hardly get on his bike on flat ground.

“Now he rides hard trails,” Mace said. “He’s definitely the most improved, he never really rode before, living in L.A.”

Home schooled sixth grader Luke Shook did not finish his race due to a mechanical issue.

Having just three to four riders competing at any given race is to be taken into consideration; El Grupo South Composite, the Division Two champion made up of students from multiple high schools, had nine riders at White Tank. The Division One champion, Buena High School, had 27 riders at White Tank.

Before next season, Mace hopes to see the riders continue on with riding and their friendships.


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