Originally Published: October 14, 2015 6:01 a.m.
Prescott High's mountain biking team overcame blistering heat to place second out of 40 squads in the Arizona H.S. Cycling League season series' third race at McDowell Mountain Regional Park Sunday, Oct. 11, in Fountain Hills.
Traversing the 5.1-mile course on a 95-degree day, PHS was boosted by its Nos. 2, 3 and 4 junior varsity girls' cyclists, each of whom finished strong, coach Wayne Fernandez said.
"The race was brutal," Fernandez added. "It really took a toll on some of our top riders, but we pulled it out. Our JV girls pushed us."
Prescott compiled 2,079 points to first-place Cave Creek Cactus Shadows High's 2,107. Prescott JV riders Alex Shumaker (530 points), Drew Shumaker (521) and Alexandra Hammes (512) sparkled.
PHS varsity boys' rider Andrew Mull played a huge role, too, however, finishing eighth individually (516 points) to make the difference in the team's runner-up mark, the coach said. Tucson Buena claimed third with 2,074 points, just five fewer points than Prescott.
Other local teams that placed included Chino Valley in sixth, Bradshaw in ninth, Canyon View in 24th and Tri-City Prep in 29th.
In the 2015 series' overall team rankings, Prescott (6,304 points) is currently ranked second only to leader Buena (6,327).
The 2015 season has two more races, including series race No. 4 at the SARA Park Rodeo Grounds Oct. 25 in Lake Havasu City, and Race No. 5 - the state championships at White Tank Regional Park Nov. 8 in Waddell.
"We're within striking distance of the top spot," Fernandez said of the state's overall team rankings. "If we can pull off a varsity win as a team (in one of the final two races), we have a chance (at a state title)."