HEMET – Hemet High School’s mountain bike team successfully ends its season. The 12-member team, comprised of six Hemet High School students, five Western Center Academy students and one Idyllwild School student, will be competing in the Southern California high school cycling league finals in Tehachapi, California in Kern County April 29-30. The team has already competed in four races this season and is currently ranked eighth in their division.
Peter Kirkham, the Hemet High mountain bike coach, created the team back in 2008. Under his leadership, the team has made it to the state championships every year since its inception in 2011. In 2012, the team placed fifth in the state competition out of 22 teams. Team members earn points as a team and individually as they complete laps based on their level. Freshman and sophomore girls and boys race two laps, junior varsity girls complete two laps, junior varsity boys and varsity girls complete three laps and varsity boys race four laps. Each lap is typically between 5-6 miles in distance.
In order to prepare for the races, the team has set aside considerable time for practice. They practice three times per week for an hour and a half to two hours and have a two-to-three hour ride Saturdays, providing the team does not race that Saturday. The team normally practices in the surrounding foothills of the school, most typically at Simpson Park.