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South Salt Lake Journal

CottonCrest mountain biking team improves at state, athletes recognized for more than riding

Dec 09, 2021 03:46PM ● By Julie Slama

CottonCrest captain Georgia Barry smiles as she finishes the season’s first race at Solider Hollow. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

For CottonCrest mountain biking coach Anthony Stowe, it’s hard to pick just one season highlight, even amongst the 18 student-athletes who biked at state.

For example, Cottonwood High senior Rachel Arlen had a crash at the start, got up and rode. On her second lap she dropped a chain, fixed it and rode on, even passing other riders before the finish.

“She finished her race despite the odds being against her—amazing sportsmanship and perseverance, fantastic athlete,” he said.

AMES sophomore Jacob Arens lined up 96th and finished 61st making up 35 spots.

“He is excited to be moving up to JVA next year and varsity as a future goal,” Stowe said.

Another proud moment for the team was when Cottonwood senior Georgia Barry won a $1,000 board of directors’ scholarship based upon her personal battle with self-image. The senior rode in her last high school race at state.

“She is a team captain. She is a captain because she really knows who she is and why she rides. For her, it’s not about the win. It’s about the love, the environment, getting outside, enjoying the beauty and sharing all of it with her friends and family. I have learned more about coaching, equity and equality from Georgia than anyone else, a great young woman,” Stowe said.

Hillcrest riders also made great strides. 

Junior Kenna Stowe passed 33 girls in her JVA race and junior Josie Paul in JVB made up 35.  Junior Porter Bach moved up 78 positions bridging the five-minute gap between split 2 and 3. Sophomore Kolby Butler had “another amazing race,” knocking 26 of his competitors for a 114th place finish out of 203 riders in the boys JVA race.

“We had some insane racing,” said Stowe, who placed fifth in the first-ever head coach race, edging out 2020 Olympian Haley Batten. “Our freshman boys had a crazy battle and some changes in placement that were surprising.”

That included Cottonwood freshman Joe Evans beating 22 athletes and nearly catching Hillcrest’s A.J. Call, who finished as the CottonCrest freshman boys’ leader in 37th place. Evans finished 10 seconds later in 38th place.