“Vermont Academy has one of the best, if not the best trail network of these schools,” explained Coach John Kelly. “It takes a lot of work to keep ten miles of single track in shape and to build the trails so they flow. Students pitch in at least once a week through the season to work with the trail building team.” Vermont Academy’s trails are maintained by faculty and staff members including John Kelly, Sean Cote, and John Buser.
The Vermont Academy team is comprised of Samuel Boxer ’23, Bryce Boyd-Tucker ’24, Jack Citera ’24, Asier Otaegui Camano ’23, Josh Paprin ’23, Jacob Schwedt ’23, Finnegan Scott ’22, and Aidan Willett ’25. “The team put in a lot of work this year and it’s been a fun group to work with,” Kelly said. “People were helping each other out this year with riding and maintaining bikes. This is a young team – most were juniors and sophomores – and it will be good to see them come together again next year.”
Schools that sent teams to compete against Vermont Academy included Maine’s Gould Academy and Southern Maine Mountain Bike Syndicate; Massachusetts’ Northfield Mount-Hermon School and St John’s Prep; New Hampshire’s Cardigan Mountain School, Dublin School, Holderness School, Kearsarge High School, Kimball Union Academy, Portsmouth High School, and Proctor Academy; and Vermont’s Burr and Burton Academy, Green Mountain Union High School, Stratton Mountain School and Woodstock High School.
Riders faced a challenging course that required them to storm uphill from the start before switching back through Vermont Academy’s woods and fields. “This was an exciting event to host,” Kelly said. “Everyone had a fun time even with the rain. It was fun for spectators because the riders were sliding around like they were on grease.”
Vermont Academy’s Bryce Boyd-Tucker came in third in the boys B race with Asier Otaegui Camano taking fifth and Sam Boxer coming in thirteenth. Jacob Schwedt came in thirty-eighth in the boys C race. Jack Citera experienced mechanical problems in the C race and did not finish. Paprin, Scott, and Willett did not race due to injuries.
Coaches from other schools had nothing but praise for the event and Vermont Academy’s trail network. “A number of our racers had parents who attended the event and all of them were impressed with how it all went,” said Parker Heath, coach at St. John’s Prep. “Every one of our racers will remember the epic nature of course and the day.”
Matt Boobar, Stratton Mountain School Nordic Director, said, “VA is always a rider and fan favorite no matter what the conditions!”
Jason Rickles from Green Mountain Union High School said, “Dare I say, it was downright fun and exciting… Great season, huge accomplishment, amazing, gritty student athletes.”