Under bright blue skies in Petaluma on Mother’s Day, O’Dowd lined up with 900 high school students from across California for the High School Mountain Bike State Championships. The race course was challenging, covering 7 miles and over 700 feet of climbing on each lap. Freshmen and sophomores cover the course twice, JV goes around three times, and varsity racers round the course 4 times, for a total of 28 miles.
Pictured Above: Mia Rahman
The first O’Dowd racers for the day were sophomores Mia Rahman and Elise Cypher. They lined up to have their best races of the season. Mia started strong, then blistered her second lap, cutting nearly 5 minutes off her first lap time to place 43rd overall. Elise had a standout performance, finishing in 24th place and setting herself up to be a contender in the JV category in 2018.
Pictured Above: Elise Zypher
Next up was freshman Tyler Jolly, who trained hard all season to start the freshman championship race. With close to 100 riders in the freshman field, the start was chaotic and Tyler locked handlebars with another rider and hit the ground. While Tyler’s injuries were minimal, the damage to his bike was terminal and he was out for the day. Disappointing, but Tyler has a long high school racing career in front of him.
Junior Caleb O’Hare is O’Dowd’s top JV rider and seeded #8 in the State. But Caleb injured his wrist leading up to States and wasn’t able to start.
Pictured Above: Ryan Steinwert
Senior Ryan Steinwert was the lone Dragon upperclassman at States and he didn’t disappoint. Ryan raced four laps covering 28 miles and nearly 3,000 feet of climbing, making this arguably the most challenging high school sporting event. Ryan picked up the pace on the final lap, passing several riders to finish 49th overall. A great way to finish his high school racing career and get motivated for next season where Ryan is looking to race on the UC Santa Cruz bike team.
It’s been a wonderful 2017 season. Riders have trained hard, faced adversity, succeeded in areas they never knew they could, and made lots of new friends. Thank you to the O’Dowd family for supporting the bike team and we’re looking forward to 2018! Have a great summer!