High school students in Washington will soon get the chance to start a new sports program — mountain bike racing.
The Washington High School Cycling League will kick-off its inaugural race April 3, at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, Washington. Working with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association, the Washington league was formed last year and saw immediate interest, according to Lisa Miller, who heads up the Washington League.
“We currently have 15 teams registered and growing each day. Coaches are still conducting community meetings to spread the word about the league to gain awareness and ridership,” Miller said. “I suspect by the first race 20 teams across our state will have formed spanning from north of Seattle, to the Oregon border and one team from the eastside of the state in the Spokane area.”
The second event is scheduled for May 1 in the Seattle area. Student athletes accumulate points in the two-event series, and winners are determined from the aggregated score. Categories of racing include freshman, sophomore, junior varsity and varsity.
Along with exposing young people to mountain biking, the high school leagues in California, Colorado and Washington aim to develop camaraderie and friendship as well as help develop an appreciation of nature and responsible land use practices.
The first high school mountain bike league outside of California kicked off last fall with the Colorado High School Mountain Bike Racing Series. The California leagues are broken into Southern California and Northern California events.