Mountain Biking Placed as the Highest Finishing Team Within CUSD


Girls team ready to race! Photo courtesy of Ashten Sink

Our mountain biking team competed in their final race of the season on November 2 and earned a 13th place finish as a team. Our riders, Elizabeth Nakai, Matthew Furcone, Robby Glanville, Josh Canode, Christina Chavez, Megan Rziha, Megan Rziha, Alex Joy, Carson Griffin, William Hanchett, Sahil Verma, Nicholas Matthews, Matthew Garza, did a fantastic job and finished on a very good note this season. I interviewed Elizabeth Nakai to get her opinion about how the season went.

Elizabeth Nakai (11) heading to the finish line.
Photo courtesy of Ashten Sink

Q: When did you start Mountain Biking?

A: I started mountain biking three years ago with my dad. He always went on the weekends, so when I grew out of my old bike, we got one so I could take out on the trails.

Q: What would a typical day, when you have a race, look like?

A: Race weekends are awesome; my family camps, so we can pre-ride the course the day before, then watch the middle school races in the afternoon. For those, I usually walk out on the course with a few teammates to cheer them on. We have a team gathering that night, then get ready for the next day for the high school races. On my race day, I support our teammates who race before, as I’m waiting for my race until late morning. I warm-up with the other girls, then get in line for staging (which is basically the starting chute). After my race, I recover and eat, then go back to cheer for the rest of our team.

Q: What is going through your mind when you compete?

During my race, I was just riding to beat my time from the year prior. I’ve got some competitive spirit, so my thoughts directly go to passing the girl in front of me. I could hear my cross country coaches as well as my parents.

Q: Where are the races usually held?

As far as race venues go, we have five races in the season. There’s one in Flagstaff, Prescott, Sierra Vista, McDowell Mountain, and White Tanks.

Q: How many hours do you practice?

Our individual practices are an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes during the week; for weekend trail rides, we’re out on the mountain for about two hours.

Boys team ready to compete. Photo courtesy of Ashten Sink

Q: Could you recall any of your favorite memories being part of the club?

My favorites memories are when the whole team gets together after the Saturday middle school races and we’re all hanging out and playing card games. Mine and a few other families camp for the weekend, so we have a place to just chill.

Q: Would you recommend mountain biking to others and why?

I think mountain biking is an amazing sport; our team proves that anyone can do it. The majority of our team are new riders that hadn’t been on trails before. It’s a really great family and community to be a part of. I mean, right before all my races, I was talking with the girls in my category from all over the state, and heard what they did and how they’re just as freaked out as everyone else is.

Congratulations to the Mountain Biking Team and finishing the season off positively and thank you to Elizabeth for spending time the time to answer my questions. As first season sports comes to an end, second season will soon be up and running so stay tuned, Knights!