By Peri Podratz
contributing writer 

Warriors, Knights kick off Mountain Bike Season

 

March 2, 2024

Mountain bike racing is an inclusive sport that middle and high school students can participate in and enjoy, from beginner to advanced. Each rider can set their own goals that our volunteer coaches help them to reach, or even exceed those expectations.

Tehachapi's students train and ride together three days a week for 3 hours at a time. As the season progresses, keep an eye out as each student sets their own records each race. The 2024 season, as well as the 10th season for the Tehachapi Mountain Bike (MTB) Teams, has just begun, with the first race on Feb. 17 and 18.

The Tehachapi MTB Teams, which consist of the Tehachapi Warriors and Heritage Oak School Knights, race with the Southern California Youth Cycling League (SoCal) on cross-country style courses consisting of single track, smooth and sharp turns, technical rock sections, tough climbing sections and fast paced downhills and drops. The first race, called Beach to Boulders Race #1, took place at Lake Perris, California. This year, 20 students from Tehachapi showed up to race against 700 SoCal student athletes.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, our middle-schoolers took on two punchy climbs, followed by a satisfying downhill. The most notable finishers in their races were; sixth-grader Noah Gentry, who stood on top of the podium in 3rd, sixth-grader Charity Wuth, who came in 8th and eighth-grader Natalia Semerenko, who came in 11th. The next day, Tehachapi's high school racers tackled the longest climb of the season, testing their endurance early in the race. Our most notable finisher in his category was ninth-grader Zachary Semerenko, who finished 10th.

Tehachapi has also produced a Varsity rider this year, Matt Catalde, who is in the top 40 fastest riders in Southern California. Varsity riders are selected based on skill and speed, not grade level, making it an outstanding achievement to get selected for this category. Congratulations to Matt!

Christina Weir.

Second from the left - Noah Gentry, 3rd Place Finish.

Tehachapi MTB Teams look forward to the progress of our students as they finish more and more races this season!

Our team would like to thank our Top Sponsors; Clearway Energy, The Semerenko Real Estate Team, Heritage Oak School, Tehachapi Mountain Trails Association, Tehachapi Cement Plant, Call Me-Lindsay V. Realtor and TK Pizza.

If you would like information on the Warriors and Knights mountain bike teams you can email Rob Podratz at thsmtbcomp@gmail.com or for more information on the SoCal Youth Cycling League, race results, race dates and times, visit http://www.socalyouthcycling.org/.

 
 

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