Vernon’s Wessels rides to gold medal

B.C. High School Mountain Bike Championships

A Grade 9 Vernon Christian School athlete won the high school provincial mountain biking championships last Saturday on South Canoe Trails in Salmon Arm.

Cody Wessels beat out 44 other riders to take first in the juvenile male Cross Country division, completing the nine-kilometre course in 35 minutes 45 seconds. It was an exciting race as Max Daburger (2nd) and Johnny Helly (3rd), both representing Valleyview middle school (Kamloops), battled Wessels over the 443 metres of climbing in the course.

Pedar Ree, a Grade 8 student from Seaton, placed sixth in the Bantam boys division, in 43 minutes 23 seconds. Brennan King, also a Bantam from Seaton, placed 17th in 47 minutes and 59 seconds.

In the Senior category (Grades 11 and 12), Julian Hudson of Seaton was 15th in 58:00.41 seconds. Seniors raced a 12km course.

A total of 227 athletes from 37 schools raced with all riders competing in the cross country race in the morning and the enduro course in the afternoon. In enduro racing, riders must ride up a course, but only specific downhill sections, or “stages” are timed. The times for the stages are then combined, providing the rider’s overall time.

For the Enduro portion of the two-stage Bantam event, Ree finished 12th in seven minutes, 13 seconds. King was 23rd in 7:00.38.

The Juvenile race was also two stages with Wessels pulling out a 10th in 6:00.27.

In the Senior division 3 stage Enduro, Hudson finished 38th in 13:00.11.

Points are accumulated based on placing in both cross country and enduro events. Highest combined points for each age division are awarded top honours as King of the Hill.

Wessels stood on the podium once more as the Juvenile boys King of the Hill. The 2019 BC high school provincial mountain biking championships will be held in Squamish.

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