Los Alamos athletes earn three of the top spots on the podium Saturday at the New Mexico Interscholastic Cycling League (NMICL) season finals. From left Sasho McDowell (4th place), Ian McLean (1st place), and Seb Koglin (5th place) finish in the top five spots in a highly competitive field of youth cyclists. Courtesy photo.
Cullen McLean celebrates his victory on the top of the podium against a large field of 6th grade competitors from across the state of NM. Courtesy photo.
BY PAULA KNEPPER
Los Alamos Mountain Bike Team
Nine Los Alamos high and middle school mountain bike team members competed in the inaugural New Mexico Interscholastic Cycling League (NMICL) mountain bike race held at Oak Flats on Saturday. Oak Flats is located in the Manzanito Mountains east of Albuquerque, hence the name Manzano Mountain Madness.
The Los Alamos high and middle school mountain bike team competed against a dozen youth bike teams from across NM with 120 youth-cyclist vying for podium finishes and race leader jerseys at the debut of the NMICL race series.
The 120 competitors were split into three waves and racers took the start line early on chilly Saturday morning. When the athletes took the course, it was still dotted with the remnants of a recent snow storm that blanketed the mountain hours prior to the race.
The staging area was a buzz with energy and team spirit. Los Alamos high school athletes competing included James Tyldesley (senior Los Alamos High School) and Morgan Allen (sophomore Los Alamos High School). The middle school athletes included Ian McLean, Sasho McDowell, Seb Koglin and Calvin Grow (8th grade Los Alamos Middle School), Diego Leonard and Nathan Rondinone (7th grade Los Alamos Middle School), and Cullen McLean (6th grade Mountain Elementary School Los Alamos).
Athletes competed on a challenging four-mile trail nestled in a forest of Ponderosa pines with plenty of technical singletrack and smooth passable doubletrack. Athletes completed up to five laps of the course depending on age, gender, and ability against fierce competitors from across the state. Fortunately, Los Alamos athletes have had ample opportunities to test themselves at local race venues and hone their skills at weekly team practice sessions. However, the fierce competition was an eye-opening experience for Los Alamos athletes. Competitors set a vigorous tempo from the start line pushing athletes to their maximum physical output and blowing up the field during the first technical rock descent.
Cullen McLean secured the top spot on the podium against an ambitious group of 6th grade competitors. Diego Leonard earned a second-place finish in the group of 7th grade cyclist followed by Nathan Rondinone who finished in the top ten of the field. Ian McLean found himself on the top shelf of the podium for the 8th grade field, followed by Sasho McDowell in 4th place, Seb Koglin in 5th place, and Calvin Grow in 15th place. James Tyldesley finished the day on the podium, with a 4th place finish in a dense field of highly competitive athletes from across the state. Morgan Allen earned the top spot and race leader jersey for the field of sophomore-girls.
James Tyldesley fighting through the finishing chute. Courtesy photo.
The middle school cohort of the Los Alamos Mountain Bike Team (back row from left) Diego Leonard, Nathan Rondinone, Calvin Grow, Sasho McDowell, Ian Mclean, Seb Koglin, and (front row) Cullen McLean posing for a photo op after racing Saturday morning. Courtesy photo.
Morgan Allen preparing at the start line. Courtesy photo.
Los Alamos Mountain Bike Team members and coaching staff take a break for a season finale photo. From left, Tony Hinojosa, Mary Grow, James Tyldesley, Morgan Allen, Seb Koglin, Ian McLean, Justin Jorgenson, Sasho McDowell, Monica Witt, Calvin Grow, Chris McLean, Jim Tyldesley, Paul Allen, and Eric Witt. Courtesy photo.
The 2022 bike season is now complete, but if you are interested in learning more about the 2023 season email email@example.com.
For more information about NMICL, race results, and upcoming races please see https://newmexicomtb.org/2022-race-details/