Preps: Roberts claims state mountain biking title for Badgers

Prescott's Mackenzie Roberts is all smiles Sept. 24 before a race at Pioneer Park in Prescott. Roberts claimed the Arizona Interscholastic Cycling League championship Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, at White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Waddell, Arizona. (Les Stukenberg/Courier, File)

Prescott's Mackenzie Roberts is all smiles Sept. 24 before a race at Pioneer Park in Prescott. Roberts claimed the Arizona Interscholastic Cycling League championship Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, at White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Waddell, Arizona. (Les Stukenberg/Courier, File)

After winning three of her first four races this season, Prescott mountain biker Mackenzie Roberts capped an improbable senior campaign by claiming the Arizona Interscholastic Cycling League individual championship Sunday afternoon.

Her 1:22:24.11 time at White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Waddell, Arizona, was almost a full minute ahead of second-place finisher Natalie Fernau’s 1:23:12.82 time during the 5-mile event.

“She really hit her stride this season,” Prescott head coach Wayne Fernandez said. “Absolutely incredible.”

Roberts said she was “surprised” at how well she did to begin the season because she went into it with “no expectations.”

“It was really good to see all of my hard work pay off,” said Roberts, who also plays tennis for the Badgers. “I was able to stick with the first group and was able to break away.”

Roberts credited her parents for getting her into mountain biking, a skill she began to craft prior to high school.

The Badgers had three others finish in the Top 15 on Sunday, including Alex Shumaker’s 1:33:41.51 time, good enough for seventh overall, while Lexi Hammes was 11th overall with a 1:39:49.12 time. Drew Shumaker was 14th overall with a 1:58:39.49 time.

For the boys individually, Prescott’s Grayson Hughes finished 21st overall with a 2:09:12.96 time, while Connor Rosborough did not finish the course due to mechanical issues.

As a team, Prescott finished second overall with 3,051 points behind Buena, which claimed the state championship with 3,088 total points.

Flagstaff was third with 3,038, Cactus Shadows came in fourth with 2,958 and Northland Preparatory Academy wrapped up the top five with 2,823.

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier, the Prescott Valley Tribune and the Chino Valley Review. Follow him on Twitter at @SportsWriter52 or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email bbergner@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.