Bradshaw finds success in new mountain biking league
Bradshaw Mountain's brand new mountain biking club distinguished itself by placing eighth of 26 teams recently at the White Tank Regional Park in Waddell, in the first-ever Arizona High School Cycling League championships.
Several area schools competed in the inaugural league this season, including Prescott, which finished second, Chino Valley, seventh, and Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy, ninth. Small Canyon View Preparatory Academy finished 19 but beat larger schools like Flagstaff, Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe.
"The season was a fantastic experience for everyone," Bradshaw Mountain coach Tracy Madler said. "The Bradshaw Mountain riders and coaches especially appreciated organizers Mike Perry, John Shumaker and Chris Stewart, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to run a really efficient and professional program for the kids."
Madler noted the strong finishing race of Josh Miller, who placed 16th in the boys junior varsity race. Breaking into the top 20 was a goal for the coaches at the beginning of the year, she said.
In the girls' category, three girls stood on the podium after every race.
"We couldn't have asked for or imagined that at the beginning of the season," Madler said.
For the JV girls, Heidi Madler finished third overall while Rachel Medevielle was fourth. In the sophomore girls category, Hannah Madler placed third overall.
"I loved the amazing improvement in all our kids, and also the number of girls the team was able to get interested and see them grow as young women mountain bikers," Coach Madler said, adding, "I couldn't have done it without the help and support of fellow coach Emily Streeter. We are already making plans and hoping to improve next year."
Local pro mountain bike racer Chloe Woodruff gave her take on the new sport for high school athletes.
"The Arizona High School Cycling League is a huge exposure for the sport and that probably one-half to three-quarters of the athletes competing had never ridden in a race before the league started," Woodruff said. "It's a lifetime sport; you put in your time and you can keep on improving for years."