Grand County High School senior Bjorn Nicolaisen, right, got on the podium after he won fourth place at Soldier Hollow on Saturday, Oct. 22. [Photo Courtesy of Melissa Nerone]

The Grand County High School Red Devils mountain bike team completed its third regional race of the season on Saturday, Oct. 22, at Soldier Hollow. For the second race in a row, the Red Devils took second place among the 20 South Region Division 2 teams, finishing with 2,816 points, and just edging out Hurricane High School by five points.

Timpanogos took first with 3,028 points.

The Red Devils team was short one racer due to an injury, but senior Heather Sweeney, sophomore Ridge Murdock, and freshmen Elijah Topper and Griffin Shannon stepped it up to place higher than their previous race to help make up the difference.

Varsity boys raced 19 miles with approximately 2,500 feet of elevation gain. Bjorn Nicolaisen got on the podium in fourth place with a time of 1.29:06. Tyler Moreau finished with a time of 1.49:22 to take 27th.

All other racers completed a 10-mile course with 1,100 feet of elevation gain.

For the girls, Heather Sweeney had her strongest performance yet, taking seventh for all JV girls and finishing in under an hour with a time of 56:31. Annie Koppel took 13th for sophomore girls with a time of 1.04:29.

All the girls and varsity categories race Division 1 and 2 combined. For this race, both Bjorn and Heather were the top Division 2 riders in their categories.

In boys Division 2 racing, all competitors finished in the top 15 for their respective races.

Sophomore boys Ridge Murdock and Caden Kirks finished close to each other. Ridge had a time of 49:27 and Caden a time of 49:30 to take ninth and 10th respectively. A similar finish occurred in the freshman race with Elijah Topper and Griffin Shannon as they turned the final corner to the finish line. Elijah got his first medal of the season in 5th place with a time of 48:36. Griffin was just one second behind to take sixth. Wyatt Gholson raced the 10 miles in 53:36 for 14th. Coming into this race, Kenobi Clapper was the Red Devils’ top-ranked freshman, but did not race due to an injury.

With one more race in the South Region before the State Championship race, the Red Devils are in a tight race for a podium spot in the overall standings. The team is in second place, but only 43 points separate the second, third and fourth place teams. Seven of its 10 athletes have top 10 rankings in their respective categories: Bjorn – fifth Varsity and top D2 boy. Heather – seventh JV and top D2 girl. Annie – 10th Sophomore. Ridge – ninth Sophomore. Freshmen: Elijah, eighth; Griffin ninth; Wyatt, 10th.

The Red Devils are racing three weekends in a row: this past weekend, then on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Eagle Mountain to make up for a rained-out Sept. 24 Vernal race, and finally in St. George on Saturday, Nov. 5, when the North and South regions will come together for State Championships. It is expected that up to 2,000 high schoolers will be racing in St. George.

Red Devils finish with 2,816 points at Soldier Hollow

Full results can be found at: