Grand County High School freshmen Elijah Topper (left), Griffin Shannon, Wyatt Gholson and Kenobi Clapper at the South Region series in Eagle Mountain. [Photo by Thom Moreau / Courtesy of Melissa Nerone]

The final South Region race of the season for the Grand County High School Red Devils mountain bike team saw more of the same from its previous races.

The team took second place for the day and locked up second overall for the South Region four-race series on Saturday, Oct. 29, in Eagle Mountain. Timpanogos retained its top spot overall in the South Region, while Dixie High School finished in third, 160 points behind the Red Devils.

The team is now preparing for the State Championship race on Saturday, Nov. 5, in St. George, when the north and south regions come together for the big Utah finale. The team is expecting to compete against up to 47 teams in the Division 2 State Championship race, with double the amount of racers in each category.

Varsity racers completed three laps for a 16.5-mile race, while all other racers completed two laps for an 11-mile race.

The most impressive race of the day was in the freshman boys category. Three of its four riders got on the podium: Griffin Shannon in third, at 53:08, Wyatt Gholson in fourth, at 53:41, and Elijah Topper in fifth, at 54:13. Kenobi Clapper was not far behind in eighth place, at 55:18, for the Red Devils.

All of these finishes produced four of the six scores for the team points.

The other scores for the team were varsity rider Bjorn Nicolaisen in fifth place and junior varsity rider Heather Sweeney in seventh place, giving the team a total of 2,885 points – 93 points ahead of third-place Provo Composite. Timpanogos took first for all D2 teams for the day.

Nicolaisen made a strong effort on his final lap as he charged to catch the fourth-place rider, but came up less than a half second short.

Other finishers for the team were Annie Kopell, 10th place in sophomore girls; Ridge Murdock, 10th and Caden Kirks 13th for sophomore boys; and Tyler Moreau, 29th in varsity.

Kopell recorded her highest finish of the season, taking 10th in a time of 1:11:02.

Final rankings for individuals for the South Region Overall are: Varsity boys: Nicolaisen, fifth (top D2), and Moreau, 27th; JV girls: Sweeney, seventh (top D2); Sophomore D2 boys: Murdock, 11th, and Kirks, 12th; sophomore girls: Kopell, 11th; Freshman D2 boys: Shannon, fifth – edging out Topper in sixth by two points – Gholson, ninth, and Clapper, 10th.

Grand readies for Nov. 5 state championships in St. George