Mountain Biking Shifts into High Gear


Jiahua Chen '20

Alex Kulicki ’19 rides on a forest trail.

This season, Varsity Mountain Biking plans to leave opponents in the dust.

This season is a special one, as it is the team’s first year being officially recognized by the school as a varsity sport. “We’ve got four or five new racers this year,” said Head Coach Michael Fitzgerald, “and they are really making a lot of progress…in their fitness and their skills.”

“The commitment they give, and the competition [in which] they engage is worthy of a varsity sport.”

— Coach Michael Fitzgerald

Team members, including co-captains Alexander Kulicki ’19 and Jack Wolf ’19, are gearing up to make their first official season a successful one. The team is made up of two sections – A and B – which can be compared to Varsity and Junior Varsity teams in another sport. Although two A-Team racers graduated last year, the coaches and team captains expressed confidence in their newest members. Clark Dong ’22 said, “Being a new rider myself, I think new riders are getting along well with the more experienced riders.  Since it is a very small team, everyone gets close very quickly.” 

The team has already raced in a meet on Saturday, September 22 against six schools: Berkshire, Kent, Kildonan, South Kent, Salisbury, and IMS. It was a rough race, plagued by complications on the course and mechanical issues. As a result, the A-Team did not make it onto the podium. The B Team, however, was able to finish in 3rd place.

The Bearcats are currently training hard for an upcoming race against Kent next Wednesday, October 10th. The racers plan to travel and practice on other courses to develop a wider variety of technical skills. Coach Fitzgerald notes, “Our trails here are really technical. We don’t have anything that’s all that easy.”

In the end, the team’s passion makes all the difference. It is this enthusiasm that led them to finally be recognized as a Varsity sport. Coach Fitzgerald says, “We think the training that they do, the commitment they give, and the competition [in which] they engage is worthy of a varsity sport.”