Grand County High School mountain biker Bryson Jones starts his race in the freshman category at Moab Brands. [Photo courtesy of Greg Child]

Moab’s Red Devils Mountain Bike Team raced on home turf on Saturday, Sept. 22, in the third event of the Utah High School Cycling League race season. Held at the popular Moab Brands Trail System, the course comprised a “fast, flowy singletrack” loop 6 miles long with 300 feet of elevation gain. Younger riders had to complete one lap; older riders, two.

Present were 1,121 contenders, and a huge backup of staff, coaches and parents in the pitzone. The Bureau of Land Management graciously permitted the event, and by restricting spectators to key locations already on roadsides, delicate plants and soils were preserved.

Team Moab fronted 24 riders. They all raced with heart, pushing Moab to 6th place among the 20 Division 2 teams.

Topping local finishes was Elijah Topper, placing 2nd in boys junior varsity in Division 2. Coming in 27 seconds behind his regular nemesis from Snow Canyon High School, Parker Christensen, Topper suffered from having to replace a flipped chain on the final lap.

Ariann Child came 5th in girls freshman, stepping up from her 12th placings in two previous races.

In boys sophomore Division 2, Eli Taylor came in 9th, River Martucci 11th and Jackson Sorensen 13th.

In the boys Division 2 freshman race, Isaac O’Harra came 15th and Brendan Moore placed 21st, Matthew Andrew 36th, Conor Duniway 48th, Theo Lawson 60th, Bryson Jones 69th, Stryder Young 72nd and Jacob Knight 73rd. In boys Division 2 sophomore Gail Leavitt placed 28th, and Kyler Helquist placed 44th. In boys junior varsity Division 2 Wyatt Gholson placed 26th, Ridge Murdock 35th, Griffin Shannon 44th and Mike Tkacz 54th.

Of the middle school riders, Oran Moore placed 37th among intermediate seventh grade boys, and Kip Sevenoff placed 37th in intermediate eighth grade boys. Miles Moloney placed 16th in advanced boys; London Niesen 13th and Claret Sutteer 16th in advanced girls. Utah’s program for middle school riders is dubbed the Junior Devo Program, and it is one of the first middle-school mountain bike programs in the country. The Moab race marks the last one for the middle school students. Next up is Cedar City, on Oct. 6, for high school only.