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Borealis bike team wrapping up race season

Team BOREALIS bike team is wrapping up its 2023 race and sport season demonstrating driven team spirit, well-versed skills and techniques, and speedy race scores!

While racing is optional for the team, around half of the team’s 20 athletes choose to compete in at least one or the entire race series held around the state.

So far the team has raced at Lake Rebecca in Rockford (Sept. 9-10), Excel Energy MTB Park in Shakopee (Sept 16-17), and middle school racers competed at Spirit Mountain in Duluth (Sept 23-24). Sunday’s high school race events at Spirit Mountain were rained out.

Races are organized by grade and gender, with middle schoolers racing on Saturday and high schoolers racing on Sunday.

Team series racers include Ely sixth grader Beck Sponholz; Ely seventh graders Addison Kannas and Grady Anderson; Ely freshman June Nelson, George Sponholz, Mason Molden, and Thaoden Schwartz; and junior varsity racer Ely sophomore Rena Johnston. Other first-time racers and team members include Ely sixth graders Hokan Lunn and Ava Wohnsen, and Ely seventh graders Siiri Nelson and Sawyer Chick.

Top race places for middle schoolers at Spirit Mountain were Beck Sponholz finishing fourth out of 18 for sixth grade girls. Grady Anderson placed 17th out of 30 for seventh grade D2 boys, while Addison Kannas and Siiri Nelson placed 14th and 22nd, respectfully, for seventh grade girls.

Top racers for team high schoolers at Excel Energy MTB park race for Freshman boys D2 were George Sponholz with 27/75, 2 Schwartz with 37/75 and Mason Molden with 54/75. Freshman racer June Nelson came in with the middle of the pack at 12/24; while JV2 racer Rena Johnson finished with a place of 15/37. Impressive scores for this team competing with metro youth racers.

“On this team we’re all about building a love of bike riding and being outdoors. It’s been a really great season watching each and every one of these kids progress, improving their skills and confidence on the bike. Race weekends are a great opportunity for them to see how big the community of mountain bikers is in the state of Minnesota,” said Mark Sponholz, Head Coach for Team Borealis.

The team season runs from July-October and practices at Hidden Valley Ski and Bike Club’s trails in Ely. All youth in the communities of Ely, Babbitt, Tower and the surrounding area are welcome to join.

Formed in 2020, the team is led by head coach Mark Sponholz and a number of dedicated coach volunteers and parents. Team BOREALIS is a member of the Minnesota Cycling Association (MCA), a 501(c)(3) youth development organization. The team competes and participates within the 2,600 student-athletes and 1,300 coaches. MCA currently has over 80 teams and over 125 schools.

The final upcoming race is this weekend at Whitetail Ridge in River Falls, WI; with the state finale at Mount Kato in Mankato. Racers must qualify to race in the state finale.

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