The O’Dowd mountain bike team continued its strong season with another second place team result in Race #4 of the Norcal high school mountain bike league series. With one race remaining to decide the conference champions, the O’Dowd Dragons are in a close race with Scotts Valley High School and Oakland Tech for second place overall.
Individually it was another strong day for the O’Dowd athletes. The Six Sigma course is known for its very twisty and narrow trails with steep up hills, multiple creek crossings and challenging downhills. It’s a true test of both skill and fitness. And with the temperature reaching 80 degrees, it was the hardest race to date for all the athletes competing.
The O’Dowd boys are represented by Andrew Fee ’21 and Matthew Justice ’20. As the sophomore race started Andrew got caught in a big pile up. Luckily no one was hurt, but it allowed a big group of riders to get away early in the race. Andrew put his head down and raced to catch up ultimately finishing in 14th place. Matthew had a great start in the JV race, leading the pack with three other riders for much of the first lap until he suffered a fall when trying to pass a slower rider. But he picked himself up and chased back hard to finish 13th.
The O’Dowd girls were represented by seniors Elise Cypher, Mia Rahman (team captain) and Holly Teeters, sophomore Lily O’Hare, and freshmen Caroline Hendsch and Sarah Tracey Cook. Elise utilized her strength to pass several riders at the start and continued moving up the field throughout the race to finish in a personal best 9th place. Mia and Holly rode together for much of the first lap until Mia pulled away to finish in 27th place with Holly not far behind in 30th place. Lily rode a strong and solid race showing her all around skills on the bike finishing in 5th place in the sophomore race. But the rides of the day have to go to the freshmen girls Caroline and Sarah who rode together at the front of the field for the entire race with Sarah finishing in 3rd place and Caroline right behind in a very close 4th place.
With racing done, the teams waited anxiously for the team results and with great surprise the O’Dowd Dragons finished in 2nd place on the day, just ahead of Oakland Tech. It was especially nice since the O’Dowd and Tech squads train together during the week.
The next race will be the Conference Championships held on Mother’s Day weekend at the same race course in Lake County.
The O’Dowd girls relaxing after their races in the Pitzone are. The theme of race #4 was “cowboy” and the girls got in the spirit with their cowboy hats, bandanas, and vests.