Team of the Month: Idaho’s Eagle High School

Team of the Month

Idaho’s Eagle High School

NICA

www.nationalmtb.org

Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League

www.idahomtb.org

 

The class of 2018. Eagle High School team photo. Eagle Bike Park, Eagle, Idaho.

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 the Eagle High School Mountain Bike Team in Idaho.

After missing the opening two rounds of the series, sophomore Mitchell Mesecher finished the season with consistently strong performances.

Team name?

Eagle High School Mountain Bike Team.

Where did the name come from?

We are an official club team of Eagle High School in Eagle, Idaho.

Which league do you race with?

Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League

When was the team started?

We are one of the original teams of the Idaho League, which was founded in 2014.

JV racer Camden Hopkins high above Boise at Bogus Basin Ski Resort, the final race of the Idaho Series season.

Team size? How many boys? How many girls? Athlete spotlight?

For the 2018 season, we had 58 student athletes—48 males and 10 females.

Male athlete spotlight:

Mikey Abercrombie, 7th grade: When Mikey first joined the team in 2018, he wasn’t really all that excited to be on the team. He was there because his older brother was on the team, and his dad is one of our coaches. Mikey is a reserved, quiet kid, but he shows up to practice and puts in the work. In Mikey’s race, he finished 46th in the 7th-grade boys’ division, which placed him into the B-group for the next race, where he finished 20th. Over the next several weeks, Mikey really started to get excited about mountain biking and racing, and he noticed that we hadn’t had a male student athlete make the podium yet. So, Mikey set a goal to be our first male to get on the podium. At our third and fourth races, Mikey finished 10th and 6th respectively. Coming into our final race of the season and the State Championship, Mikey was more determined than ever to make it onto the podium. After a hard-fought lap on a course that had the most elevation gain of any of our races, Mikey had a sprint finish at the end to take 5th place and a spot on the podium.

Female athlete spotlight:

Samantha Scott, 10th grade: Samantha started racing for our team as a freshman in 2017. She had an up-and-down season, finishing 5th overall in the season standings. Samantha worked hard all summer, racing in other events and putting in extra time outside of practice. All that hard work paid off, and she won every race, owning the leader’s jersey and finally taking the State Championship race. What really sets Samantha apart is her engagement with the team and the community, her scholastic achievements, and her personality. As our female team captain, Samantha’s leadership during practices and race weekends, on trail and off, is a huge help in building our team culture. When provided the opportunity, Samantha loves peer coaching during our practices and enjoys riding with each group level. She is a huge advocate for all the females on the team and helps organize girls-only events and rides.

What is your favorite course?

Our favorite course would be the Grand Charge at Grand Targhee Mountain Resort in Alta, Wyoming. There is a ton of space for camping, along with a very generous area for the pit zone. But the trails are what really make this event stand out. The trails at Targhee are world-class. Combine that with the scenery and the excitement of a NICA race, and it’s easy to see why Targhee is one of our favorite venues.

Sixth grader Reese Russell always displayed fierce determination, even wearing face paint here during the season finale at Bogus Basin Ski Resort.

Any team or school fun facts?

In our first racing season in 2015, we started with 29 student athletes and eight coaches. In 2018 we had 58 student athletes, 27 coaches and tons of parent volunteers. We are lucky enough that our home trail network is a local bike park with pump tracks, downhill courses, flow trails, and BMX and XC trails. Because we ride there so often, along with other teams, we adopted the highway that runs in front of the bike park as a community service project. Our team spends time collecting trash in order to maintain the area around the bike park. We also partner with our local trail advocacy organization, SWIMBA, to help teach our student athletes about proper trail maintenance and building. Living in the west, extremely hot temperatures and smoke from wildfires are a common occurrence during the summer and fall months. In order to keep a regular practice schedule during these unhealthy days, we partnered with a local spinning studio, CycleBar, that allows us to work out in a safe, fun, climate-controlled environment. It’s a great workout, and the kids love it!

If you want your NICA team to be featured in our “Team of the Month” section, please write to
smccoy@hi-torque.com.


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