Gear Grinders break into top 10

WASHOUGAL - The Bainbridge Gear Grinders mountain bike racing team finished their season ranked among the top 10 Student League teams in the state in both the High School and Middle School divisions.

The Grinders high school team finished in ninth place overall, with two individual riders placing in the top 10 as well.

Anika Vroom took third place in the Intermediate Girls category, and Tessa Vroom finished in fifth place among Beginner Girls.

The Grinders Middle School team finished in sixth place overall, and also had two individual riders placing in the top 10.

Sebastian Hagman took fifth place, and Sebastian Belkin finished in eighth place among all Middle School Boys.

The team’s final race, the “Washougal MX Challenge” on Sunday, May 18 in Washougal MX Park, proved a wet and muddy affair.

“[It was a] challenging course with lots of slippery mud and very wet weather with almost constant rain, including a little thunder and lightning,” explained Middle School Team Coach Jay Abbott. “Everybody rode in intermittent heavy rain and constant drizzle that turned the trails into mud-baths and the racers into mud-wranglers. The 5-mile course favored strong, proficient riders who knew how to stay upright in very slippery conditions.”

High School riders completed two laps, Middle Schoolers finished one.

Representing the High School team were three riders: Edward Wilson (16th place, Intermediate Boys), Anika Vroom (second place, Intermediate Girls) and Tessa Vroom (fourth place, Beginner Girls).

The Middle School team fielded four riders, including Gabe Travis who finished in 17th place during this, his inaugural race.

Belkin finished in second place, Hagman in sixth and Aidan Meidell finished in 29th place.

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