Park City High School mountain biker racks up first place finishes
A Park City High School junior is making headlines with her latest win at the Soldier Hollow bike race.
Park City High School’s mountain bike team has grown over the years, with 200 members this season.
One of the newer riders is junior Abigail Pruyn, who is 16 years old. She had been biking with her parents for years and joined the team in 2020. She switched over from swimming because that sport became less accessible for her when quarantine started.
Park City is full of recreational mountain bikers. Pruyn said competitive racing is very different - especially the race training aspect.
“You have like a set schedule on what type of ride you're supposed to go on," she said. "Or if you're supposed to like cross-train, go to the gym. Or maybe sometimes trainng can include like, swimming for two hours or going on a run. It's just keeping your fitness up.”
Pruyn competed in the Soldier Hollow race September 24th. She won, with a time of 53:58.01. That was more than 36 seconds faster than Wasatch High School’s Alex Charles, who came in second. She said that being the fastest that day was an accomplishment.
“The competitors I race with are super fast so it always feels good to get first. But I don't know, getting first always feels good. It's kind of like you feel like you've accomplished something pretty big.”
It wasn’t her first win. She won first place in three out of the four varsity races she competed in during her freshman year. This season marks the third straight year that she placed in the top three in varsity races.
“The NICA high school season I am super happy about, before NICA I was actually racing for, I was training and racing for the nationals races, and I finished pretty well there too.”
The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) is a non-profit that helps build mountain biking programs for high school athletes across the US.
The high school biking season has one race left: the state championships in St. George October 21st and 22nd.
Pruyn said she is doing as much training as possible to prepare, practicing two hours a day and doing lots of sprints.
Park City High School is currently ranked second in the state in mountain biking.