Grand Valley prep mountain bike team ends season strong

Palisade High School sophomore Marta Morris completed an impressive season on the mountain bike by finishing second in the overall series after Sunday’s final race.

Competing for the Grand Valley composite team in the Colorado High School Cycling League championship, Morris finished fourth Sunday in Eagle. In the other three races this season, Morris placed first, fifth and fourth. Last year, she placed fourth overall.

Morris, who has been racing on the road since she was 10, just starting riding and racing mountain bikes last year.

The overall girls winner was Claire Vandeyacht, a junior from Summit. The league is made up of two divisions, but the individual varsity races combine both divisions.

In the team standings, the “Kokopelli Kids,” as the Grand Valley riders calls themselves, won the Division 2 overall team title.

Even though Morris was the team’s lone varsity competitor, the Grand Valley composite team had strong finishes in the junior varsity, sophomore and freshmen races to claim the title. The team title is determined by all levels of riders.

Durango placed second and Crested Butte third. In the Division 1 team race, the Vail Valley team defeated Boulder.

In the boys JV race, Grand Valley’s Jonah Howe won the overall title after he won Sunday’s race. Howe, a junior at Grand Junction, won three of the four JV races this season at the Division 2 level.

Grand Valley’s Erik Pipkin finished third overall in the JV competition.

The Grand Valley team is in its third season and is made up of riders from Grand Junction, Palisade, Fruita Monument, Caprock Academy and Life Academy.

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