Posted at: 09/23/2012 10:45 PM
By: Brittany Lewis
Rochester Team Hosts Second Ever High School Cycling Race
(ABC 6 News) -- Today in Rochester, hundreds of kids competed in a sport that is just two weeks old- high school cycling. Athletes from all over the state were at Eastwood Park to race the course.
So far in Minnesota, there are 20 teams, including one in Rochester, but the ultimate goal is to make cycling an official high school sport.
Feet pedaling to the bells and cheering around them, the male cyclists started their race. This race, just the second, of the league's very first season.
"Well we have the second race of the first season of the Minnesota state cycling league," said Melissa Gregg, Team Director of Rochester Cycling.
The league is broken into three categories-Varsity, JV, and Freshman/Sophomore. It is open to both girls and boys, and gives all high school students a chance to compete, when they might not otherwise.
"Typically the kids that do this aren't ball and stick kinda kids and they're maybe kind of a drift, and they find something they can do that's fun. It gets them outside," said Fouding Director of Minnesota State High School Cycling League, Gary Sjoquist.
Outside and uphill. This hill just one of the challenges on the course, but an advantage to the rochester home team.
"Knowing the course, helps you know how to pace yourself, know where there's a thing that's gonna take ya by surprise and you need to have a technical feature," said Gregg.
An adrenaline rush, none the less.
"It's fun, it's exciting, it's difficult," said a group of guys on the team.
One of the things the sport needs more of is girls. The team totals are made up of the highest boy and the highest girl and the girls points count as double, so the more girls on your team, the better chance you have of winning.
Claire Ommen is one of those girls. She won the first race and is the preliminary leader of this one.
"It feels fun though cause you stand out and it's like an achievement," said Ommen.
And an achievement for the league, is that many kids are jumping on board.
"The kids are discovering that thre's something they can do that gets them outside in nature, riding a mountain bike. Kids say this was just really awesome, can we do this more?" said Sjoquist.
There is still a need and want for many more athletes to join. They say it's a sport that everyone can participate in, with so many advantages including being active outside.