Montana crowns scholastic mountain bike state champions in Helena

In its second year, annual championship doubles in size

While Montana's most illustrious alumni were on display internationally - Butte's Levi Leipheimer at the Tour of Missouri, Missoula's Sam Schultz at the Mountain Bike World Cup inChampéry Switzerland and Bozeman's Tejay Van Garderen finishing second in the biggest road cycling stage race in the world for Under 23 racers at the Tour de l'Avenir), the next generation was just getting started at the Montana Scholastic Mountain Bike State Championships in Helena. With 24 racers in the middle school championships and seven in the high school category, the second annual event doubled in field-size in just one year.

"The level of commitment from these kids, their energy, their enthusiasm, and the tremendous help from parents, coaches, ride leaders, and sponsors continues to amaze me. Bike racers have to start somewhere and, today, this was the place for youth cycling in Montana," said race organizer and co-director of Helena Dynamos host club, Geoff Proctor.

Heading the seven-mile middle school boys' race, Helena Dynamos seventh grader Landen Beckner dominated with a maturity and sense of pacing well beyond his years. Eighth-grader Erica Ackerlund similarly rode a strong, steady race to take the middle school girls' crown.

In the high school boys' race, 14-year-old Eric Carlson hammered his way to victory while senior Tara Hines, also a US Alpine Ski Team Development racer, proved the strongest in the high school girls' championship.

The Helena Dynamos team picked up all four team titles, fielding full squads (three-rider minimum) in each category.

"All of these kids are involved in other sports - cross country running, soccer, volleyball, ski racing, baseball, football - but we're proud to be able to offer them the opportunity to ride and race their bikes. With hard work, an expanding set of opportunities, and a little luck, we hope some of these kids will take off in the sport," said Proctor.

Helena Dynamos colleague and co-director Scott Herzig said, "We've worked really hard here in Helena to build our youth cycling program. All six of our co-directors are teachers in the Helena School system which we see as crucial to the vision of the team. We ride together, build character skills together, and we have that connection with the kids through everyday school-day contact. It's pretty rewarding." .


High school boys
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Eric Carlson (Helena Dynamos)0:57:59 
2Colton McCullough (Helena Dynamos)0:03:32 
-1lapHans Harris (Helena Dynamos)  
High school girls
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tara Hines (Helena Dynamos)0:59:06 
2Mara Menehan (Helena Dynamos)0:01:59 
-1lapSidney Barrey (Helena Dynamos)  
DNFShawn Loy (Helena Dynamos)  
Middle school boys
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Landon Beckner (Helena Dynamos)0:45:23 
2Alex Bardsley (Missoula/Unatt.)0:04:04 
3Atticus Proctor (Helena Dynamos)0:04:08 
-1lapAndriy Proctor (Helena Dynamos)  
-1lapSam Miller (Bozeman/Unatt.)  
-1lapSean Kiely (Helena Dynamos)  
-1lapSawyer Linke (Helena Dynamos)  
-2lapsGarret Carlson (Helena Dynamos)  
-2lapsTodd Thayer (MslaSheepheads)  
-2lapsColin Habeck (Helena Dynamos)  
-2lapsCameron Dole (Helena Dynamos)  
-2lapsSilas Rea (Helena Dynamos)  
-2lapsKeenan Charlton (Helena Dynamos)  
-2lapsKeaton Habeck (Helena Dynamos)  
-3lapsJonah Elston (Helena Dynamos)  
-3lapsAndy Harris (Helena Dynamos)  
-3lapsBenji Nallick (Bozeman/GAS)  
-3lapsJacob Rex (Helena Dynamos)  
-3lapsJosh Barrows (Helena Dynamos)  
Middle school girls
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Erika Ackerlund (Helena Dynamos)0:51:42 
2Hadley Schoderbeck (Helena Dynamos)0:00:15 
-1lapJulianne Jones (Helena Dynamos)  
-1lapJacki Copenhaver (Helena Dynamos)  
-3lapsMacKenzie Dexter (Helena Dynamos)  
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