[Courtesy of John Knight]

Over 1,500 mountain bike riders competed in Moab on Saturday, Sept. 25, racing in the South Region race called “The Moab Mangler.” 21 racers represented the local Red Devil Mountain Bike team out of Grand County High School.

At the high school level, the Devils won third place overall in Division 2, with a handful of podium placements for individual performance: Elisabeth Knight won first place for JVA Girls; Sydney Cornelius won first place for Female Single Lap Rider; Cole Hendricks won first place for Freshman A Boys; Jacob Knight won third place for JVA Boys; and Jayden Taylor won fourth place for Male Single Lap Rider.

At the middle school level, Madi Niesen won first place for Intermediate Girls and Jennifer Lewis won second place for Beginner Girls.

“The team is working really hard and doing an amazing job this season,” said John Knight, the coach of the Red Devil Mountain Bike Team. He coaches the 21 racers and 30 registered riders for the team—“it is a large team for our little town,” he said.

The race was put on by the Utah High School Cycling League, an affiliate of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. The course was 6 miles long with 300 feet of elevation gain in the Bar M trail system north of town. The race was the third of the season—the next race for the South Region will be Regionals on October 9 in Manti.

There are four races total each season, with state championships on October 22 to 23 in St. George.

This is the tenth season of the Utah High School Cycling League. The league was formed in 2012 with only 320 student athletes—now, the number totals over 5,000 across the state. In addition to putting on races, the league offers scholarships and hosts a “Girls Riding Together” program, which encourages girls to ride mountain bikes.