WASHOUGAL — Mountain bikers from Lakewood and Arlington showed off their skills and took home some medals at the Washougal Challenge, a state championship race, on May 19.
“The course was a climber’s delight, offering over 500 feet of climbing per lap, and included features such as a flowing canyon descent, a technical rock garden, a serpentine forest, and even a few high speed downhill areas,” said coach Heidi Klippert. “Team members did a great job of riding and cheering on their fellow teammates.”
Middle School riders and Beginner Boys and Girls raced one lap or 4.2 miles, and Intermediate Boys raced two laps, while JV girls raced three laps. Post Middle School seventh-grader Hallie Williams placed fourth in state and third overall for the series. Eighth-grader Tagan Walker, also from Post Middle School, placed ninth in state and eighth overall.
“For Beginner Girls, the teams had an exciting finish,” said Klippert. “Arlington Composite junior Kayla Lampert placed first, beating her Lakewood High School teammate, junior Dana Arenz, by just five seconds.”
Lampert took first place overall, while Arenz took third place overall for the series. Junior varsity racer Elle Lee took third place at state and third place overall for the series.
Lakewood’s Gavin Sitter took fourth place in the boys competition, while Sam Oakes of the Arlington Composite team took sixth place. Wesley Holboy took 17th place and Chris Nelson, an Arlington senior, took 30th place. Lakewood sophomore, Charles Davis, placed 13th in the Beginner Boys category.
“Not feeling well at the start of the race, Chris’ main goal was to finish for team points,” said Klippert. “It’s a good thing that he did race, because Arlington teammate Glenn Gamboa, who was racing in the Beginner Boys category, broke his chain and Chris was able to hand off a multi-tool as he passed the disabled bike on the course. Glenn fixed his bike and finished 14th.”
The Washougal Challenge marked the end of the mountain biking season, and the athletes wanted to thank the community for its support.
“They are grateful to the support of their families and team sponsors Sports Buzz Coffee, Arlington Velo Sports, the Silvana Firefighters Association, Everett Bone and Joint, and Expressive Fit Yoga,” said Klippert.