Team of the Month-Berkeley High School
Photos by Karl Nielsen
NorCal High School Cycling League
Berkeley High School Mountain Bike Team
One of the most inspirational stories to come out of the world of USA mountain biking has been the explosive growth of high school racing. This month we reached out to head coach Nick Hoeper-Tomich to learn about the Berkeley High School Mountain Bike Team based in Northern California.
What is the name of the team, and where did the name come from?
The Berkeley High School Mountain Bike Team’s mascot is the Yellow Jackets. We honestly don’t know where the mascot came from, but it has been the staple of the Berkeley High School Mountain Bike Team for decades.
Which league do you race with?
We race with the southern conference of the NorCal High School Cycling League.
When was the team started?
Our team is the oldest high school mountain bike team in the country. It was founded in 1998, predating the formation of the NorCal High School Cycling League and NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association). Our founder, Matt Fritzinger, went on to develop the NorCal High School Cycling League and laid the groundwork for what would eventually become NICA.
How many student athletes does the team have?
The Berkeley High School Mountain Bike Team currently has 86 riders on the roster, and we are excited that we have 25 young women taking part in the program for 2019.
What is your favorite course?
Our favorite course is the Granite Bay Grinder. The combination of smooth, fast sections with intermittent rock gardens and tight turns makes for a fun, challenging course that is great to spectate. The heavy rains in 2017 produced especially epic conditions with stream crossings and mud pits galore!
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