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Panther Spotlight: Mental and Physical Test Looms in Final Race
Panther Spotlight: Mountain Bike

Update, May 1, 2023: The Panthers did it! With a second place team finish in Petaluma over the weekend, the Mountain Biking team ended the season in second place in Division 2. More importantly, that strong finish earned us a trip to the NorCal Championships on May 6! Sunday’s success was a tremendous overall team effort, with Hayley B. ’23 finishing as the individual champion by winning the women's varsity race. Teammates Quinn J. ’24 placed fifth in the JV race and Sarah H. ’26 took 12th in the freshmen race. The boys added to the team score, as well, with an 18th place for Charlie Nau ’23 and 28th place for Adam L. ’23 in the JV race.

This mountain biking season has been challenging for the riders as their early season races were canceled or postponed due to poor weather conditions. With so little time and several races to make up, the riders faced a real test in flexibility and mental toughness, racing within days of finishing one. 

The team is preparing for their last regular season race this weekend at a private ranch, Race Flyer Five Springs Farm, in Petaluma. They will line up for the biggest field of the season with 12 Panthers racing on Sunday. There is a lot at stake this weekend. If everyone pulls through with good races, they can earn a top 3 place in the team competition!

For this season’s women riders, talent has played in their favor with the team's scores. They will be up first, looking to continue their consistent performances and build off the team’s third-place finish at Granite Bay in the D2 team division a few weeks ago. Hayley B. ’23 will start the day in the Women's Varsity race at 9 am. Quinn J. ’24 will follow up in the women's JV race at 10:30 am. Sarah H. ’26 and Matilda H. ’26 will go off at 10:40 am for the freshman women's racing wave. 

Quinn J. ’24 has placed fifth multiple times this season, as did Matilda H. ’26 in her first mountain biking race! Sarah H. ’26, affectionately dubbed “Ms. Consistency” by Head Coach Rachel Lloyd, has been the only rider to make it to every race and practice session, which is a feat considering all her other obligations and schedule changes. “That level of commitment to herself and the team is why we're lucky to have her,” says Coach Rachel. 

On the men’s side, Jake M. ’25, Cameron G. ’25, Koan N. ’25, and Matej S. ’25 will start at 11:55 am in the D2 Sophomore men’s race. At 1 pm, Dylan G. ’26 and Angus B. ’26 will take to the start line, and finally, at 2:05 pm, Adam L. ’23 (team captain) and Charlie N. ’23 will start the JV boys race, our last of the day.

Riders who place in the top half of their field on Sunday, and who have also finished in the top half of their field in two of the season's previous races, will qualify for the NorCal State Championships, held the following weekend (May 6 and 7) at Six Sigma Ranch in Lake County. 

Go Panthers!