Mountain bike team competes for state title

Posted 5/12/15

Port Townsend’s Olympic Mountain Bike Team, the Killer Whales, is pedaling hard to defend their two-time state high school mountain biking championship.

After three races, the Killer Whales are …

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Mountain bike team competes for state title

Posted

Port Townsend’s Olympic Mountain Bike Team, the Killer Whales, is pedaling hard to defend their two-time state high school mountain biking championship.

After three races, the Killer Whales are in 2nd place to Anacortes High School Composite, 1411 to 1386, with just one race to go. A maximum of 500 team points can be earned by a team at each race.

In addition to defending their crown, this year’s challenge has been replacing 10 racers from last year who did not return, four of whom were ranked in the top three in their respective categories. In addition, a coaching change took place with Pete Sexton taking over for Christian Young, who moved on after three years as head coach. Valerie Tweiten has taken the reigns from Doug Ross as the team manager. While these changes may derail other teams, the Killer Whales, with their 15 racers, have carried on their winning ways from past years.

KITSAP CLASSIC

The Kitsap Classic in Port Gamble saw the Killer Whales finish 2nd to Anacortes. Junior Oliver Parish of JV Boys, and freshman Jesse Herman, Beginner Boys, each finished third. The Beginner Boys was the largest field of the day. In addition to Herman, freshman Kyle Mackey finished 4th, freshman Emmett Erickson finished 9th, and sophomore Tate Braden finished 25th.

Junior Miguel Salguero finished 7th in Intermediate Boys. Juniors Calvin Leckenby, 5th, and Groves Moore, 6th, raced in the JV division. Cassie Ross, two-time state varsity champion, was unable to finish the race due to a broken derailleur. Ross raced in Germany and missed the team's next two races. Senior Jake Brady was injured during the race, which also kept him out of the next two races.

PEDALING THE PENINSULA

The team's second race was held at Key Peninsula at 360 Park. The team’s strongest group was the Beginner Boys with Mackey winning the race, Erickson finishing 3rd, Herman 4th, sophomore Rowan Halpin 12th, and Braden 20th. In the Intermediate group, Salguero finished 9th. In her first race of the year, junior Camille Ottaway finished third in JV Girls. The JV Boys also had a strong showing with junior David Hoglund placing 3rd, Leckenby 4th and Moore 8th. Senior Joseph Tweiten finished 5th in the Varsity Boys. The Killer Whales were the top-placing team at the race, and moved into 1st place overall after the two races.

BATTLE AT THE BASE

Sunday, May 3, took the team to Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Tacoma. Tweiten led the Killer Whales with a 2nd place varsity finish and Parish finished 6th. The JV Boys saw Hoglund finish 4th and Moore and Leckenby race to the finish line with Moore beating Leckenby by just two seconds: 1 hour 47 minutes and 9 seconds to 1:47.7.

Representing the Killer Whales in the Intermediate division, Salguero finished 6th. In the day's closest race, nine seconds separated 1st place from 10th in the Beginner Boys category. Mackey finished 2nd, Halpin 4th, Herman 7th and Erickson 8th. After fixing his broken chain midway through the race, a 20- minute delay, Braden finished 34th. The team finished 2nd overall and Anacortes regained the overall team lead by 25 points.

The team is preparing for its final race, the Flying Horse Festival in Cle Elum on Sunday, May 17.

“The team is ready," said Tweiten. "We’ve done the training we needed and are looking forward to fast riding in Cle Elum.”

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