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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton High’s mountain biking teams ride to fourth in state

Dec 16, 2021 09:15AM ● By Jerry Christensen

Brighton High mountain biking teams. (Photo courtesy Kimball High)

By Jerry Christensen | [email protected]

Over 2,500 student-athletes converged at Desert Canyons bike trails for the Utah High School Cycling League’s mountain biking state championship Oct. 12-13. It was called by St. George news outlets, “the single largest high school sporting event in the nation.” 

The orange-clad Brighton team was there with 48 riders and the coaching duo of Mike and Kristen Knapp.

The grueling Southern Utah race course was designed by Jake Weber. “This is the longest mountain bike course for high school kids in the nation,” Weber said. “This one is 7.3 miles and you do two laps. It has 600 feet of climbing per lap, and it demands skills that these kids have built up over the course of the year.”

Mountain biking is purported to be the fastest growing high school sport in both the state and in the country. It caters to different skill levels, different specialties and different groups. GRIT is a “girls riding together” component. Elevate is a race for special needs students.  

When the dust settled Oct. 13, the Brighton team hoisted the fourth-place trophy. The second-place individual finish was by standout freshman Cole Horner.